15 June 2012

Channeling my inner mythbuster

There's a show on tv that my husband loves to watch, it's called "Mythbusters". Today, I'll be channeling my inner mythbuster, Warrior Mom style.

Statement: "You can't participate in a PPD support group because your baby is past his 1 year birthday so it's not PPD anymore".

The bolded is a myth.

PostPartum Depression does not magically go away when a mom hits the one year postpartum mark. It does not magically cease to be PostPartum Depression and morph into something else. A mother does not have PPD the day before her baby's first birthday and then suddenly cease to have it overnight just because her baby turns 1. PostPartum Depression can last beyond the first year. In fact, to look at this logically, PostPartum Depression can be diagnosed at any time during the first year postpartum. If I can be diagnosed with PPD when my baby is 11 months old, does it make ANY sense whatsoever that I would suddenly stop having it just because I hit that 1 year mark?

(I'll give you a hint: the answer is "No".)

Moms with PostPartum Depression can still be suffering beyond that first birthday. They need our love and support just as much as the woman who was just diagnosed at 2 months postpartum. It is the height of cruelty that not only would we erroneously tell her that she doesn't still have it, but that the community of women who is going through the exact same thing, struggling with the exact same condition, would turn her away from receiving the support that is so vital, just because her baby is no longer under 1 year old. We should be the most welcoming people of any she will encounter, our hugs should be the warmest, our arms the widest open, our sympathy the most heartfelt, our ears the most open.

There is no magic date, no magic timestamp, no guarantee that passing a certain milestone will mean that the mother no longer suffers from PPD. Just because someone has a baby who is older doesn't mean we should be turning them away. If you run or participate in a support group of some sort for women with PPD, please make sure you educate yourself on this point and that you aren't turning people away on a faulty assumption or erroneous information.


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