Earlier today, someone I follow on Twitter tweeted about the cost of Postpartum Depression.
My response: What does she mean by how much does it “cost” In terms of what? Treatment? Time lost to illness? Memories lost?
There are some things #Postpartum steals from you on which you cannot put a price.
Her: @unxpctdblessing that is so true. She’s a researcher and is studying that which is measurable. So much can not be measured.
Me: I suppose she could create a hypothetical woman and start by pricing various antidepressants, typical co-pays or out of pocket.
Her: @unxpctdblessing well, all of those are real costs but she’s talking about financial cost in terms of health care, lost work, etc.
Me: I have no idea where you would get those numbers. It would depend on so many things from woman to woman.
Her: very interesting research study! We’ve been using a spectrum approach to talk about the #postpartum period. Thanks for the thoughts! I’ll pass them on!
This conversation took place nearly 5 hours ago. I’ve been consumed with it ever since.
How on earth do you put a price on Postpartum Mood Disorders?
Sure, you can talk about financial cost in terms of health care, lost work, etc. But what about the emotional cost? The lost and missed memories? The heartache and damage it does to marriage, to bonding with your infant, to the anxiety which comes storming into your life as a result? What about the cost of a divorce or family estrangement as a result? Do you measure that with legal costs? How do you put a price on someone’s mental health? Someone’s heart? Someone’s love and life?
My Postpartum Mood Disorders?
Nearly destroyed my marriage.
Severely affected my bond with my two daughters.
Cost me enjoying the infancy of my two daughters which fed into anger during my son’s infancy because I was able to enjoy his.
Missed several family events, etc, because of anxiety/paranoia, breakdown.
Therapy for over a year.
Medication for over two years.
Fed into antepartum depression.
Stole nearly three full years of my life.
How on earth do you put a price on all of that? I know I can’t. I don’t even know where to start. Frankly, there is no number big enough to cover everything I lost during the three years of the first years of my motherhood. No number.