Another Tragedy of Perinatal Illness

At this point many of us have seen the news about Miriam Carey. It is certainly a tragic story of “missed opportunities.”

Even after reading many accounts of the tragedy which ended in Miriam’s death after the high speed chase on October 3rd, we still don’t know exactly what went wrong, but there are many questions that occur to me and likely to many of you.

What was the reason she did what she did? Was it a head injury or postpartum psychosis that was to blame for her delusional beliefs that the President was monitoring her and broadcasting her life on television? If this began three months after her daughter was born, why was she still psychotic well after the first year? If she was hospitalized on two occasions and medicated properly, why was she still so ill?

My purpose is not to blame the authorities, her healthcare providers, her family or the system that failed her. I’m more interested in solutions, so that there are no other women that suffer from unsuccessfully treated perinatal illness.

In truth, we have helped many women over the years, but there continues to be those that we have failed to identify or help.

It is further proof how important the work we do is!

It makes me think, we need to continue to increase awareness so that women and families recognize the signs of perinatal illness. We need to continue to educate the public and the media so that they know the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety disorders and the more severe symptoms of postpartum psychosis.

It makes me think how often the public and the media make the mistake of thinking there is no difference between postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. (See, Postpartum Support International’s website: or the Introduction of my book, Happy Endings, New Beginnings: Navigating Postpartum Disorders

I’m sorry we couldn’t have helped Miriam. I am sorry that we failed her.

Let’s make sure that she is the last woman we fail. Let’s change things by increasing awareness, so that other women suffering with perinatal illness will get help soon enough and the right kind of help to get well.


~ by ppdsus on October 6, 2013.

7 Responses to “Another Tragedy of Perinatal Illness”

  1. Reblogged this on For Miriam.

  2. Thank you, Susan, for your accurate response to a tragedy.

  3. Thank you for the post! Important communication after a tragedy like this.

  4. Thank you Walker for posting it.

  5. Thanks for your feedback and for taking the time to write me.

  6. Thanks so much for your kind words.

  7. Thank you for your well written post. It took me four years to say the words, “I had postpartum psychosis” instead of my standard” I suffered postpartum depression.” You can read about my experience at my blog.

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