This post might be triggering for those who have experienced mental health issues, specifically postpartum mood disorders. Please consider yourself and your needs prior to reading.
At this point many of us have seen the news about Miriam Carey, the woman who crashed her car into the Capitol Building's gates and barricades and led police on a chase away from the area, only to sadly wind up shot and killed at the scene.
We've heard from her mother, her boyfriend, her former boss.
There are rumors about bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and postpartum depression. There are statements being made about her mental health that are beyond our knowledge or understanding at this time.
While news reports are still conflicting, word has been spread that Ms. Carey was a new mother, one who was likely experiencing some levels of a postpartum mood disorder (PPMD).
Assumptions have been made. Assumptions that can be very triggering for those of us who have experienced PPD/PPA or other PPMDs. Assumptions that can lump postpartum women into a category that stereotypes them as crazy, psychotic and ready to hurt their children.
Ms. Carey had her 18 month old daughter in the car with her during these incidents. Is it true that she did not consider the safety of her child? Sure. To those of us outside of the situation it would seem as such. But do we know what she was thinking or experiencing prior to taking these actions?
No. We don't.
We can guess but we can't know.
Postpartum depression and anxiety are NOT postpartum psychosis.
Every woman who experiences a postpartum mood disorder does not want to harm their child(ren). Every woman who experiences sadness during the postpartum period is not necessarily experiencing PPD.
It is critical that we remember that there are so many variables that come into play when it comes to the postpartum mother. Please do not lump these women together in such a way that they are scared to get help, feel stereotyped or labeled, or looked at differently. Things like that are the things that will stop these women in need from reaching out for help. And help is critical. Help is what they need more than anything.
Help, love and support the new moms in your life. They need you.
If you're unsure whether you or someone you know is experiencing a postpartum mood disorder, please reach out for help. Talk to your doctor. Your pediatrician. Your loved ones. Find yourself a support system as you navigate your way through this. We're here for you. We believe you will be okay. Let us help.2 Comments