Did you know…
Each year, MORE women will experience Postpartum Mood Disorders (PPMD) than people will have strokes. MORE women will experience PPMDs in a year, than people will experience a sprained ankle.
Shocking, isn’t it?
1 in 7 women will face a postpartum mood disorder, like Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety/OCD or Postpartum Psychosis, and yet they still fly under the radar, receiving too little research, screening and funding.
But here’s the real shocker, only 15% of those women will receive treatment. FIFTEEN PERCENT!!! That means millions of women go undiagnosed. They suffer in silence. Even worse, their children suffer, too. Research has shown that untreated maternal mental illness affects the development of children, and puts them at a higher risk of future psychiatric illness themselves. On top of that, untreated maternal mental illness causes far too many Mamas to leave this world too soon.
My battle with Postpartum Anxiety & OCD began the moment that Silas was placed into my arms. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the information that I needed in order to get help. I believed that everyone cried all the time, thought obsessively about all the terrible things that could happen to their children and had to say a specific sentence to their baby every night or else they wouldn’t wake up in the morning. Well, sort of. I knew SOMETHING didn’t feel right, but I was too scared and uninformed to be able to do anything about it. What’s more, I trusted in our medical care providers and, since I was passing the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression screening repeatedly at well baby check ups, I assumed that I must be normal. Turns out I didn’t have Postpartum Depression, but rather Postpartum Anxiety and OCD, so the PPD screening was not sufficient to raise any red flags. (This is why more research needs to be done in order to develop more thorough and accurate screening methodologies!)
Thankfully, I have an incredible husband who, after watching me suffer for 2 years, kept on pushing me to find help, until I finally did. Finding a therapist who understood what I was experiencing, put a name to it, and, even better, lifted me out of the darkness, was like breathing fresh air again after being locked underground.
The reason I was able to get that help? Postpartum Progress.
This organization provided me the tools I needed to understand what I was experiencing and the resources I needed to get help. I owe more than my gratitude to them. It was so bad, and I was so exhausted and defeated that, had I not found help when I did, I would not be writing this to you today. It is because of them that I am still alive. Gratitude will never be enough. I owe them my life.
So, here we come to the point of this little pow wow. I’m asking for you to make a donation. On June 18, 2016, I will be joining women all over the country to Climb Out Of The Darkness. This annual fundraiser, created by Postpartum Progress is so much more than a way to raise money, though. It shines light on an oft invisible illness. It brings women together who have suffered uniquely, and who in turn, understand each other uniquely.
Your donation helps Postpartum Progress to continue the important advocacy work that they do. Your donation helps Postpartum Progress save more women and children. Women and children like me and Silas. I hope that you will make a contribution. Even better, if you’re local, feel free to come walk with me (you must register first)! This event is not just for survivors of PPMD, but for their loved ones and support networks, too! All the information you need, whether for donating or registering, can be found at the link below, or by clicking here.
Lastly, I love you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for supporting me as I continue to battle maternal mental illness. Postpartum Progress brought me out of the darkness, but YOU, all of you, are the light that shines on me, day after day.
All my love.