My dearest friend A has just had a beautiful baby son (and I don't even like babies!) and fears that she is suffering from post-natal depression.
I had told her during her pregnancy that my mother had had an awful time after giving birth to me. This being 23 years ago, PND was not commonly diagnosed and mothers who did not instantly bond with their children were judged by the doctors treating them and were seldom sent to see a mental health provider. Symeon is only two weeks old, and A is already reaching out to her friends asking for pointers and helpful advice.
My heart bleeds for her. I've been through depression and I can't imagine the strain of having to care for a new-born while coping with the horrendous backlash of emotional distress depression brings in its midst. However, I am glad that I told her about it and that she is able to ask for help. Instead of making mothers feel guilty about how they feel, we should always try to help them in this time of need.
Instead of constantly labelling women "emotional", "irrational" or "hysterical", can't we just acknowledge the diversity of experiences we can feel? Science has too often reduced us to the sum of our (private) parts; I strongly applaud the new transparency that enables us to understand how we feel.
Now if only the Scientologists would shut up...
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