Friday, April 3, 2009

Coping with Life: The desperate village

A newborn infant

Image via Wikipedia

A sobbing woman walks into her obstetrician's office with a newborn baby. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? Well, for some unfortunate women, the joke is on them and it's a dangerous joke indeed. The women I am referring to are new mothers who have been courageous enough to seek treatment for a Postpartum Mood Disorder yet find themselves either denied assessment, dismissed, or inappropriately medicated and sent on their way with no additional therapy prescription, left wading fearfully and silently through dark waters.

In the spring of 2004, I found myself joining the ranks of women turned away by the very people they trusted the most – their physicians. For three months after the birth of my first daughter, I often struggled with sleep, snapped at my husband for no reason, yelled at the dogs for glancing my way , and constantly battled horrific fleeting thoughts filling my head. I finally garnered enough courage to call my doctor's office. I hesitantly admitted things weren't the way they were supposed to be. I was promised glow. Where was my glow? Where was this mythic calm? Where was my Vaseline lens of cheer, my soap opera happy mama moment? Why couldn't I enjoy my daughter instead of thinking she judged me every step of the way?…

Coping with Life: The desperate village

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