There are lots of support groups around the world for women with postpartum depression and anxiety. You can find a support group in your area on the website of Postpartum Support International.
But women who have experienced a postpartum psychosis (PPP) may go through their entire life and never meet another woman who has lived the same experience. Many women bury the tragedy deep in their psyche, and never speak about it again. For years there was an epidemic of silence about all perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, but in recent years, more and more women have spoken out about their experiences.
Here’s my story – For 10 days after giving birth to a premature son on the ward of a military hospital, I was extremely sleep deprived. My husband was half way around the world serving our country, and my mother was half way across the country, dealing with work and personal issues. I was experiencing a lot of stress and lack of social support. I lost touch with reality, slapped a nurse in the hospital, was taken away in a straightjacket, and spent two weeks on a mental ward. It was a devastating experience. For over 30 years I never spoke about it. At the PSI Annual Conference in Minneapolis in 2013, I met several other moms who had also experienced PPP. It was healing to know that I was not alone, and that other professional women like myself had survived and thrived after PPP.
Come join us in Plymouth, Michigan, for PSI’s 28th Annual Conference, June 24-27. On Friday evening, June 26, there will be a special gathering / support group for women and families of women who have experienced PPP. Come and meet other women who have struggled and conquered, and share your story. If you can’t make it in person, email me at Sharon@SharonGerdes.com, and we’ll connect via email and phone. I’d love to hear your story.