Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows

postpartum depressionI’m dancing for joy this morning because of this story in the Los Angeles Times: Bringing New Mothers’ Pain Out of the Shadows.

One reason is because it highlights the amazing and fabulous Kimberly Wong, a Warrior Mom, a friend, and an amazing advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She founded the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force.

The other reason is because the story explains what so many of us already know, that much of the healthcare community is inadequately trained to recognize postpartum depression, even in Los Angeles. To wit:

“Her doctor told her she was simply a high-strung lawyer who needed to relax. So she blamed herself, which made matters worse.”

And there’s more:

“She penned a suicide note. By luck, her husband walked in on her. He took her to a Mid-City mental hospital so she wouldn’t harm herself. Nobody at the hospital had much expertise in what she was battling.”

Thank you, Kurt Streeter of the LA Times, for this fantastic story and for bringing more awareness of postpartum depression to the public.

About Katherine Stone

is the creator of this blog, and the founder and executive director of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the 15 most influential patient advocates to follow. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

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Comments

  1. Robin | Farewell, Stranger says:

    What an incredible article. Such a great perspective and it deals with the issues so nicely.

    • Doesn’t it? I’m sure it helps that the author’s spouse went through PPD. It often takes someone who really understands what a serious illness this is, from personal experience, to write a great article.

  2. sarah freeman says:

    I think I presented with postpartum psychosis to our local hospital and was sent home basically told to prioritise what I felt I had to do during the day. Fortunately the friend who took me in had been thru something similar. And my husband is very supportive, and we had grandparents coming to stay. So after five days of struggling at home, during which I saw my GP, and my old counsellor twice, and experienced some very weird symptoms, I went back to the hospital, with my baby and clothes packed, and i wasn’t going anywhere else. I was completely terrified after 5 days at home, and I wasn’t going to be sent away again. Fortunately this time the doctor I saw was very good. And he admitted me. But I am still getting better after 2 years. And I suspect things wouldn’t have been so tough if it had been picked up as soon as it started. And the symptoms were very clear, so am not sure why they weren’t picked up. Mind you, I thought I knew about PP problems. But the pamphlets I had read just didn’t manage to communicate to me what it meant. I appreciate so much being validated by hearing other peoples stories.