Thursday, August 25, 2011

10 Ways to Get Help Now for PPD/PAMD

A mother who was being treated for postpartum depression (PPD) threw her 7 month old off of a 4 story parking garage, and he died.

I read the story at Postpartum Progress while I was nursing my 8 month old, down for his afternoon nap, crying into his fuzzy hair because of some poor baby I've never known, who will never reach the age of 8 months.  Crying for his two older siblings who are going to lose their mom, either to prison or a psychiatric ward.  Crying for his devastated father.  Crying for his mother, because I've been through PPD and I know that there but for the grace of Zoloft and some excellent therapy go I.

I am just heartbroken over this story.  Please, please please, if you're in that dark place, get help.

Talk to your doctor.  

Call your local crisis hotline.  

Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)* the National Child Abuse Prevention Hotline.  

Call the Postpartum Depression hotline - 1-800-PPD-MOMS (800-773-6667)*.  

Call the mother and baby unit at your local hospital.  

Go to the emergency room or urgent care.

Call a friend or relative.  

Confide in your spouse. 

*I called both hotlines, and as of 8/25/2011 they are both active.

Don't try to fight perinatal anxiety and mood disorders or postpartum depression alone.  Don't hurt your baby.  You are not alone.  This IS treatable.  You CAN fix it.  It WILL get better, but you have to be brave enough to take the first step.  And you have to keep taking steps until you get the support and help you need.  It's hard, and I KNOW it's scary, believe me I know, but you must. 

I think the saddest part of this story is that this happened just outside a hospital.  All she had to do was choose, in that critical moment, to walk into the emergency room and say, "I need help, I'm afraid I'm going to hurt my baby," rather than to walk to the top of the parking structure.  She was so close to all the help she needed, and she chose, instead, to literally throw her son away.  It's just devastating.

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