Tag Archives: irresponsible

The numbers – Oh, the sobering numbers

sobering-numbers14.1 million people watched last week’s Private out-of-Practice.

88% of Americans get health information from TV shows.

20% of new moms will suffer a Postpartum Mood Disorder.

What does this mean?

12.4 million Americans who watched last week’s show were left with the indelible impression that what they saw was ACCURATE.

And let’s say that all of them were moms for the sake of argument. If that were the case, then 2.8 million of them experienced a Postpartum Mood Disorder.

If those numbers don’t drive home how utterly irresponsible ABC’s behavior was during last week’s Private Practice episode…

I don’t know what will.

Health care practitioners discourage disclosure of Postnatal Depression

Picture by Flickr

Picture by Flickr

In a study published yesterday, UK researchers reviewed the disclosure of Postnatal Depression from three different vantage points – the mother, the GP, and home health visitors.

The results are chilling.

The mothers reported making a conscious decision regarding their decision to disclose symptoms of Postpartum Depression which is not terribly shocking because I went through the same thing. It is most definitely a conscious decision and a difficult one at that.

The chilling result lies within the response of the Health Practioners¬† “described strategies used to hinder disclosure and described a reluctance to make a diagnosis of postnatal depression, as they had few personal resources to manage women with postnatal depression themselves, and no services to which to refer women for further treatment.”

I feel as if I’ve been punched in the gut. I want to cry, scream, yell, stomp my feet. But I know that won’t change what’s going on over there and even over here because I’m sure this attitude is very pervasive in the medical community here in America as well.

Where’s the responsibility of the medical professional who turns a blind eye to the struggling new mother and actually uses strategies to prevent her from admitting she’s having a hard time? How does that serve anyone but the selfish nature of that physician? What happened to the Hippocratic Oath and “Do no Harm?”

If we pretend a problem doesn’t exist, it doesn’t go away. What if we pretended cancer was all in our heads and didn’t offer chemo, radiation, or other therapies? Would it go away or would it sit and fester, eventually killing us and hurting those around us? I think we all know that answer. It is no different with Postpartum Mood Disorders. Left untreated a new mother may even slip into Psychosis as she tries to rationalize intrusive thoughts or fall even deeper into depression and attempt to take her own life or even worse, that of her infant’s.

With all the online resources, training, and knowledge at the fingertips of even lay-people such as myself, there is no excuse for medical professionals to ignore this condition anymore. Any medical professional in my opinion who would implement strategies to hinder disclosure of symptoms should be stripped of the right to practice medicine. It’s wrong and it should NOT be acceptable. Mothers deserve to be treated honestly and with respect. They need to be given a safe place in which they are able to admit any emotional trauma or difficulty they are having. Giving them this space will foster the growth of trust and compassion rather than continue to grow the cold shoulder on which they have apparently been leaning upon.

So what can we do about this? Write about it like Katherine Stone, myself, Cheryl Jazzar, and others. SPEAK like Natalie Dombrowski, become active in online peer support like Tonya Rosenberg, talk to another mom and let her lean on you. Let her know you too have been there. Talk with doctors or their nursing staff about your experience and how important their role in discover and recovery can be. Write your Senator in support of The MOTHER’S Act as this wil laid in the growth of knowledge and support among the medical professional as well as research regarding how to bring the new mother and medical professional together. Sharing your story is the best thing a survivor can do. Our voices woven together can be the strongest advocate for increased treatment and acceptance. Won’t you lend us yours?

Shame on Oprah

Today as I was watching TV with Grandmama, I saw a commercial for Oprah’s show this afternoon. The ad made mention of overwhelmed parents. So I asked my husband to set up our TiVo to record the program as I thought that maybe Oprah would be talking about Postpartum Depression or something similar. I was OH SO WRONG and OH SO MISLED by the ad.

I turned on the show to watch just a few moments ago and deleted it just a few minutes into the program. The topic was about overwhelmed parents but the lead interviewee was a mom who had tragically left her two year old daughter in her car for eight hours. Graphic 911 calls were played prior to the first commercial break (which, by the way, I did not make it to) and the mother wept as they were played.

Really, Oprah? REALLY?

Yes, this is a tragedy and needs to be addressed. But to advertise it as a show about overwhelmed parents with no warning regarding the true topic and stories to be included is sheer irresponsibility. Clearly this is a situation that may arise from being overwhelmed but I would say this is more than just Overwhelmed. My heart and prayers go out to this family as I cannot imagine being in their shoes but SHAME ON OPRAH for misrepresenting her topic and possibly causing harm to a mother out there who may be suffering from Postpartum Depression and had been told to watch the show by some well-meaning family member or like me, seen the ad and decided to watch because SHE TOO was feeling a bit overwhelmed and saw the possibility of hope and help. Afterall, it IS OPRAH and that’s what she does, right?