Trigger warning! This post is full of angry rants from yours truly. I’m really getting fed up with reading the same tragic stories every day and knowing how preventable they are. It talks about babies dying and CPS and PPD and police so if you aren’t in the mood, best to keep clicking elsewhere.
So, today I was tagged in a post about a celebrity talking about her PPD. Thanks Facebook for ruining an otherwise perfectly productive day.
Who the heck is Hayden Panettiere? Oh that’s right, there’s a little thing called Google. Whoever she is, I can look her up if I care. Ever since I got a divorce and quit watching TV I feel as though I started living under a rock. Regularly my online friends write on Facebook about what shows they are watching and all I can think is how do you have the time? A J.D. and a new husband and several children and jobs later, I find myself being tagged in posts regarding postpartum depression to this day. Such and such celebrity is talking about her bout with postpartum depression.
So I click on the link I was just tagged in and I see a familiar looking face. Is she the actress from Heroes? I don’t know but why is she so depressed? I mean she’s gorgeous and famous and rich so why is she depressed? If only I could write something about her being depressed that would help someone else not be depressed. If they could only take enough of XYZ supplement or get proper sunshine or exercise… or social support.
I feel almost like I am watching the entire world self destructing sometimes. I hear about so many people suffering the same exact “side” effects from their medications every day that any time I see a sick baby or a dying baby on a mommy group or a birthing group, I assume that the baby was exposed to a psychiatric drug or to Zofran or to some crazy vaccine.
There are just as many people who think this way like I do now, as there are people out there talking about their depression and the drugs that saved them. I wonder how long the world has been like this. Some of the people I know who have lost almost everything carry on without needing to use drugs any more. A friend of mine lost her son to suicide from antidepressants, and 10 years later, lost her only other child who was murdered by her boyfriend. Another friend of mine lost her daughter to Effexor. Another lost her son to Effexor and then had a miscarriage. Another lost her son to Effexor and is a single mother. Another friend was abandoned by her father’s child and raises him alone. She’s suffered more from the choice to keep her child than most people suffer in a lifetime and yet she carries on and writes about how much joy he brings her life. These friends aren’t banging a drum for drugs or why we need them and they aren’t talking about how brave they are for talking about their depression. They’re talking about how depressed they are after losing their children and how much it sucks having to live with that because of a drug they took. Nothing, not social awareness of depression, or talking about their depression to their doctors, or all the money in the world is ever going to bring those children back.
I feel sorry for anyone who is going through postpartum depression and at the same time, I am irritated because these messages do not come with an answer for people watching. Disease promotion and awareness really do not do anyone any good. Yes, please by all means, do not be afraid to reach out for help. But it is not that simple. The people who need help the most are the ones who can’t afford to take the risk of reaching out, because of the havoc that would surely ensue. If you have PPD, yes go to your doctor and get your meds and all will be ok, right? Wrong. Well, just mention that you’re depressed, but don’t say you have any homicidal thoughts and you’ll be ok, right? Wrong. Well, not unless you’re a famous actress. Because that will create an imaginary bubble of safety around your child’s body and he will become immune from the sedating effects of drugs in breast milk. Your future pregnancies will be risk-free as well. Celebrity babies can’t get heart defects or PPHN.
In an ideal world the help available would be provided by someone who holds our trust, who offers a real solution or constructive advice, or who is there for you. It would be help free of consequences like the 100 side effects on the back of a drug label ranging from heart defects to suicide and homicide. And it would be help free of calls to CPS or police, or help that wouldn’t come up in future court cases with your future ex-husbands. It would be help free of a law requiring your therapist to report you or spend time in jail for a felony. You shouldn’t have to wear a disguise or create a fake online identity and learn computer security just to be able to talk to someone skilled in therapy about a time of crisis in your life.
I am starting to get older and I feel like I have watched the same story unfold over and over online a million times. The second that a mom admits she has feelings, CPS is called. Today I read about a mother whose son is in the hospital on breathing machines. When she became disgruntled with his care and he was getting worse, she requested a transfer. The hospital had asked this mother to quiet her crying. The next thing you know, CPS was being called and she was banned from seeing her son. The hospital immediately took protective custody of him.
Another story. A man became suicidal and told his wife about it. Family members found out and called police. Before you know it the man is in protective custody. No matter what the family wants, or what the man wants, cocktails of drugs are given to him and the family is treated like their wishes do not matter because the psychiatrist knows best. Civil rights are meaningless if a psychiatrist is standing there with emergency custody over your body.
The truth about having feelings today is not that you need to be brave enough to share them or strong enough to ask for drugs. The truth about feelings today is that you need to be brave enough to hide them and strong enough to handle it on your own without asking for help or God forbid, telling the wrong person. That is because there are some things you cannot say to a doctor or a therapist without consequences. The consequences of reaching out are not public admiration and praise. The consequences are CPS, protective custody, forced drugging and birth defects, suicide and homicide. Stop worrying so much about gun control and start worrying more about psychiatry, medical professionals, therapists, and the state trampling on our rights. Start worrying about what you don’t know about drugs and how that could hurt you or your children. There will always be depression, there will always be weapons, there will always be pain and death. But there will also always be baby smiles, flowers, music and comedy. There will be children, and grandchildren who will live on when you are gone if you are lucky.
So until you’re ready to go, make the most of the time you have and make it a drug-free life.