Finding hope in the midst of PPD

One of the things that has really helped me tremendously while battling postpartum depression has been finding a community of women online who have struggled with the same types of issues. People like Beth Anne and Katie (who blog at Heir to Blair and Sluiter Nation), along with many others, have put themselves out there, risking criticism and misunderstanding, to let people like me know that we are not alone.

October 5 (which was yesterday) is known as Strong Start Day because it’s the most common birthday (thanks to New Year’s Eve, apparently!). Katherine Stone writes on Postpartum Progress: “Every mother shares a common wish.  It doesn’t matter what level of education she has, where she lives, her race or her religion: she wants desperately to be a good mom.”

And that’s so true. But PPD steals that from so many mothers. It makes them feel worthless, like they are the worst mother in the world and like their child would be better off without them. I certainly experienced those types of thoughts. It was always a downward spiral that could be set off by the smallest thing.

Thankfully I got treated. That made me one of only 15 percent of women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders who actually receive professional treatment. Hundreds of thousands of women (and their children) suffer from the effects of this without treatment, whether it’s from fear of being stigmatized, lack of good information, lack of support or whatever other reason.

Postpartum Progress is looking to change this and to provide support for women who experience this. Katherine has already built a strong online presence, and she’s raising funds to go a step further. Check it out, and if you feel moved to give, then give.

PPD is not something women should have to struggle through on their own. I really don’t think I would be making it through or that I would be able to function in my role as a mom if I hadn’t gotten help, and I’m glad someone out there is doing something to make sure more women get this help.

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