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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Postpartum Psychosis - Be the advocate

Melissa shared this forum with me, and I grabbed a snippet of a post to share with you today. It's a second-hand account of a woman's experience with postpartum psychosis, and how she finally received help when someone recognized her plight and did something about it. The entire account can be found by clicking HERE.

May 8, 2013

"Another mommy in a small group I'm a part of was informing us about her experience with Postpartum psychosis (PPP). Postpartum depression (PPD) is shoved under the rugs enough, but PPP is sometimes pushed under even more. Please go to the doctor if you are struggling. Or be that friend that knows.

(The mother suffering from PPP is quoted from this point on)

"When I would go to my son in his crib, I would be terrified because I would see spiders crawling all over him. Big ones. Mean ones! Thank God that I knew in my heart that something was not right, and I would close my eyes hard and pray and then open them again and all would be fine. But when you hear of moms who hit or smother their newborn and swear they don't know why they did it and don't remember doing it, you might wonder how you would get hundreds of spiders off of him and out of his crib in a hurry without really knowing what was going on. Again, let me repeat that I was fortunate to never act upon my hallucinations, but ugh...what if I had? We had a video monitor, and sometimes I would turn on the video to look at him, but I wouldn't see him in his crib where I knew he was actually sleeping. Many times, I would turn on the monitor and I would see him floating in a bathtub. So when you hear of moms on trial for drowning their babies, you might wonder what would happen if you were so tired that you were sleep walking and dreaming of giving your sweet baby a bath, only to wake up and find out that you really did, but weren't awake and with it enough to really know what was going on.

"I will forever be grateful for my friend, who, upon receiving that email, immediately called me and calmly explained that I needed to call my doctors immediately and tell them what I was experiencing, and told me that she had already called my husband to have him come home. Be that friend. Be the friend who knows stuff. Be the friend who reaches out. Be the friend who advocates."

I hope the take-away from these posts is that you become more aware of who around you might be experiencing these trials. How can we help a new parent? Send a message to them. Send a meal over. Be in the home with them when invited. And let us all try to avoid making them feel "less than," or like monsters for having a hard time.

If you have a story you'd like to share, please feel free to send it to me (livytay at gmail dot com).

1 comment:

  1. I find it a little scary to tell a friend or family member that you think they need help. I would find myself hesitating because I would be afraid they would be hurt or offended that I would even think something might be wrong with them. I guess saying something and rescuing someone from their hellhole is better than letting them continue to suffer, just because I worry about hurting the friendship. That postpartum psychosis sounds so scary.

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