Stigma of Postpartum Depression Dooms Many New Mothers to Suffer in Silence

In my years treating women with postpartum depression, one word is frequently the undercurrent during in-take interviews. That word is, “stigma.”

“I’m supposed to be over the moon with happiness,” new mothers often tell me. “But instead I feel guilty that I’m depressed. I must be a a bad mother.”

When I ask if they’ve shared these feelings with a spouse, partner, or doctor, they typically say, “No, never, it’s too embarrassing and shameful.”

That stigma is what we must work to eliminate, for it’s one key reason women fail to seek treatment.

What I emphasize is this: “You are not alone!” We must remind women that 800,000 to 950,000 new mothers every year in the U.S.,  and similar incidences worldwide, are affected with postpartum depression. That’s a huge number.

My mantra is: Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t allow the ignorance or stigma about mental health to keep you from getting the help you need. Seek treatment from a mental health provider with expertise in perinatal issues. Talk to your physician. Get the healing you need, get well and enjoy motherhood.. NOW.

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~ by ppdsus on March 19, 2013.

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