When one considers the happiness and excitement of the birth of a child, there usually aren’t expectations of doubt and sadness along with these positive emotions. However, that is what Sally felt.
According to Sally, “When I recapped all the times I could recall myself crying, it was quite often. I would just have, I guess, emotional breakdowns for no apparent reason.”
Postpartum depression (PPD) is depression which arises after birth and affects approximately one in nine women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While it is a prevalent issue, PPD is treatable with medication, counseling and/or other effective treatments prescribed by a health care provider.
A critical issue with PPD, however, is that it is often left untreated. This may be due to the mother believing her negative feelings will abate over time or due to improper interpersonal communication where support is not given.
If PPD is left untreated, it can last for months or even years. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, along with a woman’s physical health, it may hinder the mother from connecting and caring for her baby, which could lead to a host of health issues for the infant.
According to Sally, “If I wouldn’t have spoken out about what I was feeling, I probably wouldn’t know that I had a problem or that I had something that I could get support for.”
The start of medical support can begin at the Madison Community Wellness Fair at Madison Junior High School. It will be on Friday, May 12, from 2 PM to 8 PM, and will offer many free screenings on health issues like depression. Like Sally’s story shows, treatment starts by knowing where to ask for it.
(Name has been changed for confidentiality).
Organizational Communication and Advocacy Major at BYU-Idaho