May 18, 2007

woman overcomes PPP -- what about those who don't?

I was just reading an article in Mothering magazine about a woman who overcame PPP (postpartum psychosis). Her story was very enlightening, but scary to read about how much she lost it at times. It was stunning to see the photos of her, ranging from the "before," while she was in the midst of suffering/ravaged by PPP to later when she was recovered, happy and glowing. I suppose I should have felt glad that her story ended with a happy ending; that she received the help she needed, recovered, and has moved on and now has two extremely cute kids aged 2 and 4. But, honestly, by the end of the article I just felt very, very sad. Even as I looked at her blissful family "after" photos, I felt haunted by the unknown faces of all those mothers who didn't make it like she did. All those women who weren't surrounded by a loving, supportive family and/or friends who could spot the danger signs and seek help. Because if you don't have some kind of support system in place before you have a baby -- if you don't have anyone to advocate for you and help you get help, you're pretty much doomed. It's great that there's this well-written article that is out there spreading awareness of PPP by telling the story of one survivor. But what about Andrea Yates and all the other countless women and babies who don't survive PPP? I wonder if we'll ever get to the point where no one has to suffer from this insidious, monstrous disorder.

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