Postpartum Depression: Raising Awareness

Postpartum Depression: Raising Awareness

You Don't Need Experience To Bring Awareness
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Women’s Wellness is a useful class. It teaches women's health, from depression and physical health, to the female reproductive system. I learned a lot. Near the beginning of the semester, we had to pick a book, and later, present a project on a specific subject of a topic we were to discuss. My partner had dropped the class, but my professor was gracious enough to let me do it on my own. With Free reign, I decided on the topic of Depression, specifically Postpartum Depression (PPD). I picked it because I had seen reports of mothers having Postpartum, and in a specific case, it was mentioned that a woman’s husband did not believe in her feelings, so she ignored it until it eventually escalated into the murder of her children. That woman didn’t have a chance.

But, this is definitely not a regular case.

In my presentation, I wanted to focus on preventative measures, maybe so PPD wouldn't escalate to this degree. My goal is to make it personal for people, so they can understand that Postpartum is real and any woman is susceptible. I’ll give a little background on Postpartum Depression. It is a medical depression, that is usually misdiagnosed. It is different from the common “baby blues” and Postpartum Adjustment Disorder. Postpartum Adjustment Disorder is characterized by deep disappointment, but isn’t debilitating and usually caused by stressors like C-sections (Kleiman); the mother can still go through the motions of the day. Baby blues is even less severe, but can be confused with PPD. It causes feelings of inadequacy, crying, frustration and sadness.

Typical Postpartum symptoms include: crying, sadness, concentration, losing interest in hobbies, insomnia, no energy, change in diet, and hopelessness.

The feelings involved shouldn’t be discredited

Being an English major, there was one way, in the allotted time, I felt I could convey my message fully. I found a poem written by a woman who had experienced PPD; I cut and pasted a few stanzas and used it as a hand out.

“The Hole” by Caitlyn Blake is a representation of what women can feel due to PPD.

I ended up selecting a book on Postpartum called, “This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression (second edition),” written by Valerie Raskin, M.D and Karen Kleiman, M.S.W. It gave a lot of information as a guide for those that have been diagnosed. I used the book for most of my information. It is interactive, comforting, and even has a section for spouses. I will say that the terms wife and husband are used, but there is a disclaimer so not to deter same sex couples, which I think is pretty neat.

The ultimate message is that women do not have to hide. Postpartum Depression is normal. There are support groups, books (like the one I used), and other professional help. If you are going through this, you aren’t crazy, and you don’t have to “be strong”. One out of five women go through postpartum depression (Kleiman). It can happen to anyone.

If you haven’t experienced PPD, then I hope this article has given you some insight and motivation to raise awareness and help others. If you have, I hope you know that there are options.

You aren't alone.

Cover Image Credit: Pintrest

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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An Open Letter To The Girl Who Just Feels... Alone

Because "look around you, you aren't alone," is cliché and helps no one. I've been there.

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Dear strong soul,

You feel alone now more than ever. Your recent move/breakup/relationship/mistake/change in character has brought you to this point, and you don't know what to do. I want to write to you to prove that I am here, and you aren't alone.

Guess what? We get to grow!

I know you feel like no one knows you can feel your heart breaking and that you feel lost and isolated. Please, resist the urge to compare yourself to the people around you. In an age where it seems we're constantly reduced to a social image and a following we can display online, it's difficult now more than ever to "see" loneliness. In the same way, you often feel like your loneliness is masked by the image you let people around you see, you don't see half of what those around you're struggling with.

You don't see that you're not alone.

Ask yourself, what does it matter if those around you are less lonely than you are? You're YOU. You are special no matter who's around you succeeding in their own ways. You will get to the place you want to be.

This stage of life is normal and it's temporary.

You should take this time to pour yourself into what you're best at; you're so talented! Create art. Treat yourself. Grow flowers. Learn how to do something you've never tried before Don't be afraid to try new things! If you focus less on digging yourself out of loneliness and spend more time embracing this stage of life and growing strong, you'll be so much happier.

Lastly, don't lose heart. We got this. You're doing an amazing job.

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