Breaking the Stigma
This is the first-hand story of a woman struggling with postpartum depression. She shares how it took her, "Five years. It took five years of convincing, cajoling, and near pleading for me to swallow a pill..."
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I grew up with a fear of mental illness and a deep suspicion of psychiatric drugs. Which is why it took a collective five years of persuasion by my caring therapists to swallow that little pill.
Flash forward to eight years later, when I’d gone cold turkey off those meds, popped out a baby, and was a manic mess. Things unraveled fast and there I was checking into the psychiatric hospital in the middle of the night, stumbling along behind a staff.
As we rounded the massive, high-ceilinged main room, a woman sat silently in a chair while another woman bustled softly nearby, and a few staff members chatted behind the desk. The bustling woman asked something like, “Do you want to go back to bed now, Lin?” The woman in the chair made a few small motions in response. Their conversation continued that way, the bustling woman speaking and the woman in the chair making tiny gestures in reply.
I shrank away from the woman in the chair. She must be a patient….like me. But I wasn’t like her, my manic brain insisted. I’d talk only to the staff. I then proceeded to initiate a loud, too-friendly conversation with the women behind the desk. THEY were who I could relate to, after all. Not this strange woman who sat silent and unblinking in the middle of the night.
Read the original blog and more by D'Arcy on her blog.