The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE – uniteforlife.org

John Grohol Ignores Forced Treatment and Infant Deaths

Aside from the fact that this entire debate on PsychCentral got started when Dr. Bremner agreed with TIME magazine, and Grohol tried to “expose” Bremner based on a flimsy argument that there are really tons and tons of other “risk factors” of which we need to be aware when mass targeting women with DSM “diagnoses,” (mostly “risk factors” that apply to anyone and everyone if they have them, not just new moms), Dr. Grohol expects people to be convinced by his lame debating skills and attempts at distracting from all the issues. And aside from the fact that his entire argument for screening and The MOTHERS Act is that new moms are too stupid to realize that treament is out there for PPD, or too depressed to realize that they are depressed, he seems to be making this argument about him. It’s almost like it’s a contest in his mind between who is the smartest, Bremner or him. As if the issues in this debate over a potential federal law targeting mothers were really Bremner or Grohol, a couple of guys who will never have PPD or be a pregnant or nursing mother under a big brother spotlight. (Except that Grohol seems to promote anything pharma wants, and probably hopes to become a government funded entity helping to carry out the projects in the bill.)

All along attempting to comment on the blog has been met with condescending comments stating that we are not on topic, that’s not relevant, that’s not what I’m talking about, don’t talk about the players, don’t talk about forced treatment, and let’s not talk about side effects. He wants to talk about screening, as though a 10 question multiple choice test (or even 3 question test) justifies exposing a mom and her baby to toxic drugs. The entire theoretical concept of why drugs are given in the first place for mental “disorders” is ignored, so we’re supposed to make a logical leap that the treatments are irrelevant. The reverse logic that because I give you drugs and you feel better means that the emotion you had was a disease that the drugs cured is swept under the rug and kept all hush hush. Yet the sad part is that the very relevant logic that I give you drugs and then you flip out and shoot yourself, or that you can’t get off of them and then you wind up pregnant and your baby dies, is ignored as well.

As I have explained before, it is a fairly simple two-part phenomenon that would create a problem in terms of forced treatment were The MOTHERS Act to pass.

1) The paranoia of doctors and therapists not to let women slip through the cracks if a nationwide fear-mongering PPD advertising / screening campaign were initiated would lead to overzealous treatment of all sorts. Including forced treatment for those at “highest risk” or with the worst symptoms.

2) The adverse effects of drugs lead to forced hospitalization. When women go absolutely psychotic and suicidal after starting on drugs, if they are lucky they will make it long enough to ask for help. However this help will likely come in the form of being told to go to the emergency room, and forced treatment will ensue.

In addition, John Grohol continues talking about the screening being voluntary. This has not always been the goal, because it used to be that universal screening was the goal. Yet we are expected to forget what the “entities” have always wanted. Nor are we assured that women will indeed have a right to decline screenings without retaliation.

Assuming that women would only be given voluntary screenings, this does not justify the fact that the screening tools in existence are highly inaccurate and are considered unethical. If he does not believe it’s a problem to have mass screening, why does he also have no problem if the screening tool is one that is specifically designed to overdiagnose and misdiagnose women? The EPDS is the most common tool used for PPD screening. This tool triples the number of women diagnosed with PPD. And this is not a problem?

As I have also explained in the past, one third of pregnant women are exposed to psych drugs at some point during pregnancy. How could we possibly expect that there are women being missed out there who “need” treatment. Does 30% of pregnant women sound like too few and we seriously want to try to find some more women to put on drugs? What are we doing to our future?

It’s absurd and really sad that people act like screening is not going to lead to more treatment with drugs. It’s actually a desperate attempt to debate an imaginary point that doesn’t exist in the real world. In fact on the open letter to TIME posted on Katherine Stone’s blog, a letter signed by Grohol, it is emphasized that screening is not effective unless it is tied to follow up and treatment.

Psychologists and psychiatrists, OBs and family doctors are already told that medication for depression (whether in the form of antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers) should be thought of as crucial to help women, to prevent PPD etc. and that the benefits outweigh the risks. If you don’t believe that’s true, I simply suggest you read the comments on the MOTHERS Act promoters’ websites and how they minimize the risks of medications or try to convince others that meds are the way to go. The “It worked for me and my friends all swear by it” phenomenon. Perhaps this would fall under the “euphoria” side effect on the label, which is sometimes later followed by “paranoia, aggressive reaction, delusions, and illusions.”

John Grohol argues that we are trying to limit treatment choices for women. On the contrary, we feel that women should take whatever it is that they think they need, as long as they are fully informed. We’re not advocating for fewer choices, we are advocating  for fewer lies. Our coalition opposes the widespread government-endorsed promotion of programs that lead to the use of more drugs.

We don’t think it’s a particularly great idea to sell a disorder for which the mainstay of treatment is deadly drugs (quite easier and cheaper, on some insurance plans, than lengthy psychotherapy sessions – if you believe that meds are safe and effective).

We are demanding that the government not do something to increase the risk to women and their children, but step back and instead look at the data on psychotropic drugs.

John Grohol refused to respond to the issue of forced treatment. He has also failed to mention side effects and keeps harping on the “it’s the choice of the mother” mantra. Yes, it is her choice. But it needs to be her informed choice.

He says he is for informed consent, but there is no assurance that informed consent will be given to women. In fact, it’s impossible unless the entities doling out screening and education are required to inform women completely. And as we can see from their PR campaign, they’re on more of an anti-information campaign than anything. They want to talk about PPD the disorder, we want to talk about the available treatments and ways to prevent women and children from suffering. The treatments that exist include psychotropic drugs. The word medication was in the bill last year. Psychotropic medications cause death and birth defects and have questionable efficacy at best.

If the government wants to promote a disorder and encourage the management / treatment of that disorder without the assurance that the treatment side effects will be disclosed (look for the words treatment, management, etc. in the bill) then yes, we have a serious problem with that.

John Grohol replied to me that my tone speaks volumes. Perhaps that’s because he condescends and refuses to address all the dead babies and moms committing suicide and homicide. This is the type of professional we expect to be “helping” mothers? One who is in utter denial of drug effects? Is he the role model for other psychologists or what? I would hate to think that if I were a new mother suffering and I was screened and told I was suffering from PPD, but I decided to just try psychotherapy, that I would possibly encounter someone who loves to promote drugs, yet is so incredibly ignorant (or deceptive as the case may be) about what could happen to me or my baby if I did later decide to take drugs because my therapist recommends them.

This is exactly why we need proper oversight added to this bill. Without oversight and informed consent, and assurance that the entities doling out the government-endorsed services and screening are free of conflicts of interest, we are just asking for moms to be sent to people like John Grohol, Katherine Stone, PSI, Perinatal Pro, etc., where they cannot seriously expect to get balanced information.

If the government expects complete information to be given out then we need to see what that complete information will be. We need the government allow an intial study by the public and scientists, free of pharma influence, on these treatment options, including a review of the MedWatch data and a review of all existing research (which means also looking for research that is not pharma-funded or conducted by pharma cronies) and submit a report to Congress and the public for review before passing anything into law.

I just have a few questions for Grohol:

Do you really believe that The MOTHERS Act is not a boon to the pharmaceutical industry?

Do you really believe that there will be no increase in pregnant and nursing women taking antidepressants and other drugs should it pass?

Do you really expect people to ignore the side effects of drugs in this debate, namely suicide, homicide, and infant death?

Filed under: antidepressants, antipsychotics, Congress, forced 'treatment', Melanie Stokes, mothers act, PPD, Pregnancy, suicide, , , , , ,

26 Responses

  1. Evelyn Pringle says:

    I spent an hour composing a response to a request for sources to back up my claims in a previous post and it was not accepted twice.

    I posted it on Dr Bremners site and I will also post it here.

    I have spent the past six months researching the various websites of the main supporters of the Mothers Act.

    In response to the request for sources to back up my claim that social workers are now running treatment centers and providing therapy for mental illness, and using websites to recruit customers, while promoting the use of screening tools equal to a pop quiz, and advising women on what drugs to take, I will gladly submit the following.

    The websites discussed below all refer to each other back and forth with live links.

    This from social worker Susan Stone’s website:

    “Welcome to Perinatal Pro, the website presence of Blue Skye Consulting, LLC, posted by women’s reproductive mental health expert Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW, to help educate and inform women, families and health care providers about the often unexpected challenges of mood changes during pregnancy, the postpartum and throughout a woman’s reproductive life.”

    Susan is a past president of Postpartum Support International. She maintains a private practice, “specializing in women’s reproductive mental health across the life cycle,” according to her bio.

    The “Clinical Focus” of treatment advertised with PerinatalPro includes: Perinatal Mood Disorders and Postpartum Depression; Perimenopause and menopause; Bereavement associated with child loss, stillbirth or miscarriage; Lifestyle changes and loss (divorce, remarriage, health issues); Depression associated with medical conditions; Disordered Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorder; Trauma/PTSD; and Affective Disorders including depression and anxiety.

    Potential patients can click on a link on the website to schedule an appointment.

    Blue Skye offers half-day workshops for professionals “to help develop a specialty in perinatal mood disorders,” including two titled: “Identifying Perinatal Mood Disorders,” and “Treating Perinatal Mood Disorders.”

    Karen Kleiman, another social worker, runs a treatment facility called the “Postpartum Stress Center,” in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.

    “The Postpartum Stress Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety disorders,” Kleiman’s site says.

    Services offered include, “Screening for prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety,” and “Psychiatric evaluation and follow-up.”

    At the Center,” Kleiman teaches seminars for professional training with ads on her website and the heading: “Become an Expert in the Treatment of Postpartum Mood Disorders.”

    The first sentence in “Highlights” for this training states: “This is a crash course on diagnosis, screening, assessment, treatment options.”

    The fee is $750 for a 10-hour course, but they do throw in a book titled, “The Postpartum Stress Center’s Guide to Enhancing your PPD Private Practice: A checklist for successful practice.”

    Karen could make $7,500 per seminar by simply recruiting 10 trainees. Nearly all the websites pitch in to promote conferences and seminars, so rounding up 10, or even 20, trainees would likely not be too difficult.

    The site shows 4 seminars a year, meaning Karen could earn roughly $30,000 for 40 hours of teaching people how to “Become an Expert.”

    And if she could round up 20 trainees per class, she could make $60,000 a year, putting her up there with all the other highly paid speakers within the new industry.

    In a June 4, 2007, blog, Kleiman reported a new study that found 79% of doctors were unlikely to formally screen for postpartum depression and noted that the co-author of the study “reminds us that in addition to the Edinburgh (EPDS) Screening tool (most commonly used), healthcare practitioners can check for signs of PPD by a simple 2-question tool, developed by Whooley et al.”

    Further elaborating on this quiz, Kleiman wrote: “It has been shown that these two questions may be as effective as longer instruments,” and listed the questions as: (1) “Over the past 2 weeks, have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?”, and (2) “Over the past 2 weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?”

    “A positive response to either question indicates a positive screen and should be followed by an comprehensive history and assessment to confirm the diagnosis of depression,” she wrote.

    Kleiman is listed as a postpartum depression “expert” on another website called StorkNet, complete with her own bio page, where she posts advice for pregnant and nursing mothers to access over the internet and provides a live link to her treatment center.

    In response to the question, “what are the best drugs for a breastfeeding mom with postpartum depression?”, Kleiman wrote in part:

    “Keep in mind that this information is based on MY practice and will vary considerably from doctor to doctor.”

    “The SSRI antidepressants (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) we are most comfortable using based on the research we have are: Zoloft (Sertraline) and Paxil (Paroxetine). Other antidepressants (tricyclics) that are used are Pamelor (Nortriptyline) and Desipramine (Norpramin), although it seems that the SSRIs are preferable these days because they have fewer side effects and are easily tolerated.”

    In answering questions on “How Long to Take Medication,” Kleiman said to think of antidepressants as a “Serotonin vitamin,” and cited a recommendation from the American Psychiatric Association for staying on antidepressants for 6 to 9 months after the woman is feeling better.

    “That’s not 6-9 months after you start taking the pill, it’s after you start feeling better!” she wrote. “The reason they recommend that you remain on it that long is because studies show there is a high risk of relapse if you get off the meds too early. And if you relapse, the symptoms are often harder to treat.”

    “Antidepressants are one of the most efficient and effective treatments for PPD,” Kleiman tells women reading her StorkNet advice.

    In another blog Kleiman wrote: “Women who experience depression during pregnancy are at an increased risk for PPD.”

    “Current research supports the use of antidepressants immediately after delivery to reduce the likelihood of PPD.”

    “Many women and their doctors choose this option,” Kleiman said, “to start their medication right after the baby is born, and I mean right in the delivery room!”

    In a March 11, 2009, blog on Postpartum Progress, Katherine Stone plugs herself for speaking jobs, along with a study that concluded “the Internet is a viable and feasible tool to screen for PPD.”

    “I’ll be adding this study to the speech I give on how women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders use the Internet,” she reports, and then adds:

    “If you’re interested in having me speak at your event, let me know!”

    On March 16, 2009, Katherine posted a “Quick Survey on Postpartum Anxiety,” and wrote:

    “The fabulous Karen Kleiman has asked me to ask you to participate in a short, five-question online survey on anxiety. She says ANYONE can answer it, regardless of the age of their baby(s) and regardless of diagnosis or lack thereof. ANY mother should answer the questions. It’s super quick — I know because I took it myself.”

    Kleiman’s survey is a good example of the methods used to con women into suspecting they are mentally ill via the “expert” blogs.

    The preface states: “The questions on this survey can be answered by a new mother of an infant or an empty-nester with good recall of the early days with her baby. Please answer as honestly as you can.”

    The question, capital letters and all, reads: “When you were carrying your baby down a flight of stairs, did you EVER, at ANY time, have ANY thought, image or concern that you could accidentally drop your baby?”

    The survey further tells women:

    If you answered YES to the first question, please describe the type of worry you had: Scary thoughts about dropping the baby, Scary images about dropping the baby, Both thoughts and images, Other.

    How much distress did this cause you? A Great deal of distress, Some distress but I quickly got over it, Some distress that seemed to linger, Not much stress

    Did this thought or image occur once or did it recur? Only once, It recurred frequently, It recurred persistently, It occurred off and on, Did you ever tell anyone about the fear of dropping the baby? (Please describe why you chose to tell someone or why you chose not to)

    Women who take the survey are told nothing about what the results mean at the end.

    But clearly the seed is planted that something is wrong if you “EVER, at ANY time, have ANY thought, image or concern that you could accidentally drop your baby”.

    In September 2008, the Postpartum Support International website ran the news flash: “3 Questions Can Spot Possible Postpartum Depression.”

    A three-item anxiety sub-scale of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale turned out to be a better screening tool than the two other abbreviated versions which are almost the same as the commonly used Patient Health Questionnaire, PSI reported.

    On September 8, 2008, Katherine ran a blog with a headline of: “Researchers Find 3-Question Screening Test Effective in ID’ing PPD.”

    She explained that for this sub-scale of the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, new mothers were asked to answer “Yes, most of the time,” “Yes, some of the time,” “Not very often” or “No, never” to the following statements: I have blamed myself unnecessarily when things went wrong; I have felt scared or panicky for not very good reason; I have been anxious or worried for not very good reason.

    “The subscale identified 16 percent more mothers as depressed than the original, longer questionnaire,” Stone reported, in the best news for the psycho-pharmaceutical industry.

    The StorkNet site carried the headline “Postpartum Depression: Three Simple Questions to Ask Yourself,” for the same quiz. “A simple new 3-question test has proven very reliable at detecting postpartum depression,” it reported.

    In a July 8, 2009, blog on her website, Lauren Hale reported on the latest screening tool and wrote: “This morning I discovered an iPhone app which includes the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale along with three other depression scales.”

    “Chances are many new moms either have an iPhone or know someone who does,” she said. “What’s really cool about this app is that it stores the last 30 entries so you can take the results straight to your doctor.”

    The above information is taken from excerpts from my past articles on the Mothers Act and my new four part series titled, “The Mothers Act Disease Mongering Campaign.”

    I hereby rest my case on this particular issue.

    Evelyn Pringle

  2. Evelyn Pringle says:

    It’s not too difficult to figure out why a “therapist” like John Grohol, would think it is somehow justified to treat clients with mental health problems for years on end.

    Judging by the way he switches, rationalizes, justifies, and generalizes on his website, he obviously would not know how to help clients identify harmful defenses, much less help them change their unhealthy behaviors and and irrational thought processes enabled by their defenses.

    Evelyn Pringle

    Evelyn Pringle

  3. Jenny Hatch says:

    Over the years I have been contacted by two women who were told that if they chose to have another child, they would be forced to go on psychiatric meds to “prevent” post partum psychosis.

    Forced treatment is happening in America, and those two mothers who were both treated aggressively after becoming psychotic, probably won’t have any more children.

    Thanks Amy and Evelyn for standing up to these morons who think they understand why mothers go insane. No one ever talks about sleep deprivation. Yet I believe it is one of the main reasons mothers suffer with depression and anxiety after birth.

    The pills just make it more difficult to get good sleep because of the way they interfere with the REM state.

    Jenny Hatch
    Who was court ordered to eat psychiatric meds after the birth of my first child in 1989.

  4. Evelyn Pringle says:

    Over on Grohol’s site, PsychCentral, my statements about the voiceless, unprotected victims of the Mothers Act disease campaign, the fetus and nursing infants, were basically ignored.

    Grohol himself switched my term “voiceless” into meaning the women and never addressed the victims I was talking about.

    Dr David Healy, the famous psychopharmacologist and historian on psychiatry from the UK has said, that only 1 out of 10 pregnant women will be helped by antidepressants even they do have true depression, which means the fetus of nine women will be put at risk for the one mother who may be helped.

    As Dr Fred Baughman points out, years ago, doctors would never have considered giving pregnant women drugs unless it was absolutely necessary.

    Today, in the midst of the psych drug peddling for profit, the safety and health of the unborn fetus is no longer the priority concern in providing health care to pregnant women. In fact, it seems to have fallen to the bottom of the list.

    Being that the medical profession as a whole is now dominated by the pharmaceutical industry’s best interest, women themselves had better start thinking about the responsibility they have to the unborn children they chose to bring into this world, who have no voice of their own in this drugging matter.

    The health and safety of the fetus needs to return to the number one position on the list of concerns for pregnant women.

    As a women, mother and grandmother, it’s difficult for me to understand how they ever lost that priority position in the first place.

    Evelyn Pringle

  5. hymes says:

    Grohol is for forced treatment, he made that pretty clear after Virginia Tech’s tragedy. I won’t read him at all anymore.

    • Evelyn Pringle says:

      I guess that explains why Grohol doesn’t have a problem with forcibly drugging children before they even make it out of box.

      • Amy Philo says:

        And I would really like to know who believes that Seung Hui Cho was not on meds when he shot up VT. http://www.ssristories.com/show.php?item=1725

        “He also took a prescription medicine. Neither Mr. Aust nor Mr. Grewal knew what the medicine was for, but officials said prescription medications related to the treatment of psychological problems had been found among Mr. Cho’s effects.”
        There is a second article at the end of the New York Times article. This second article states that the records for Seung Hui Cho were missing from the University Health Center;

        http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/18/us/18gunman.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

        Hmmm missing records? Until someone conclusively disproves that Cho was taking meds I will believe the initial reports that he was, just like I believe the initial reports that the Wedgwood Baptist Church shooter who shot up my brother’s church during a prayer group was taking Prozac even though later there was a coverup attempt. Just like I believe that the Columbine killers took drugs despite attempts to discredit that.

        But this is partially just because having been homicidal on drugs for four months, the only time in my life I have been the least bit screwed up, I have no reason to doubt.

      • Amy Philo says:

        This just in:

        Dear Friends and Colleagues,

        As of today, July 19, 2009, there are over 3,200 documented cases posted on http://www.ssristories.com

        Since I last reported to you on June 3rd, 2009, there have been 91 new cases and 9 older cases added to the Website.

        I am including a new case which appeared in Google News on June 8th, 2009. A mother in Hillsboro, Texas, on 100 milligrams of Zoloft each day, slit the throats of her two daughters on June 5th, 2009. The 12 year old girl died and the 13 year old girl was critically injured but did survive.

        Rosie Meysenburg
        Moderator: SSRI Stories

        —-

        That looks pretty huge compared to John Grohol’s “more than one” woman who benefited from screening and drugs.

  6. Evelyn Pringle says:

    As much as I hate to argue with members of my own debate team, I feel I must jump in to dispute this comment by Amy:

    “As if the issues in this debate over a potential federal law targeting mothers were really Bremner or Grohol, a couple of guys who will never have PPD,” she wrote.

    I’m not sure how old these two gentlemen are, but according to the opposition, they most certainly may be at risk of PPD.

    “Dads too can suffer from Paternal Postnatal Depression (PPND) and need to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of this increasingly occurring disorder,” a pamphlet on Lauren Hale’s, “Sharing the Journey,” site states.

    Hale includes a special section on her site for the “Postpartum Dads Project,” and also provides links to sites called “Postpartum Dads” and “Postpartum Men.”

    On January 19, 2008, Katherine Stone featured a blog on Postpartum Progress to announce a, “New Resource for Men with PPD,” and provided a link to “PostpartumMen.”

    “This site was expressly created for men who experience postpartum depression themselves,” she said. “Recent research has indicated that men can experience postpartum depression, or PPND (paternal postnatal depression), too, and this population has been underserved until now.”

    On May 8, 2008, WebMD reported that then APA President, Nada Stotland, said first-time new dads are at greatest risk for postpartum depression. The causes of the new disorder are apparently as follows:

    “The life changes for a new dad are enormous. Just thinking about the costs of raising the kid to 21, maybe for life, can be terrifying. And all the unspoken fears: Will my wife still be as interested in me? Will my baby be as cute as my brother’s baby?”, Stotland explained to WebMD.

    Amy might want to be more careful with her comments from here on in, or risk being attacked for minimizing the seriousness of an “increasingly occurring disorder,” that she quite possibly was not aware of yet.

    Evelyn Pringle

  7. Amy Philo says:

    I will be more careful in the future not to minimize the seriousness of daddy depression. I can only hope we can get as many dads on drugs as we possibly can so that their sperm and DNA can be screwed up before they conceive their next child, thus relieving the mothers of the sole responsibility for the prenatal health of the child when things go wrong.

    I actually saw that stuff on their sites many times, but since I fail to see how that ties into their chemical imbalance theory of pregnancy and childbirth I did not mention it.

    I will have to reread this year’s bill in the section on services to family to see if it mentions the dads, I think it just mentions educating them but I need to look again.

    Perhaps The HUMANS Act should be passed in place of The MOTHERS Act.

  8. kimbriel says:

    Quite frankly, therapists/counselors/non-MD mental health professionals of any kind, in my experience, were all drug pushers. Every single one of them, upon barely getting to know me, suggested drugs. So it’s not surprising that Grohol is a fan.

    I’m flabbergasted by Jenny Hatch’s comment. I had no idea that women are being told they MUST take drugs if they ever become pregnant again. I had postpartum psychosis– and I, too, was forced to eat a lot of drugs after birthing my kid– but have not been told I MUST take drugs if I become pregnant again. Of course, the whole experience was so traumatizing, I really do not WANT to get pregnant again. But if I do get pregnant I will most assuredly NOT be taking drugs.

  9. Evelyn Pringle says:

    I believe Amy was told she may have to stay on drugs or not have any more children.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong Amy.

    • Amy Philo says:

      I was told by my OB that I should stay on Zoloft forever (and get an IUD or go on the pill). I told him no thanks to the IUD and that I wanted to have more babies so I would eventually be getting off Zoloft, and that I would be using another form of birth control. He told me that I should not have more babies until I “got this under control.” He wanted me on the IUD so I would not have more babies. He wanted me on the Zoloft during any potential subsequent pregnancy and told me it was perfectly safe for pregnancy.

      Since I have a moral reason why I refuse to use an IUD, and I do not want to use birth control hormones I told him no thanks. I am sure glad I did because I found some reports of SSRIs causing pregnancy (i.e. interfering with the birth control pill I presume) in the MedWatch data. I also found something on KellyMom referring to how St. John’s Wort may interfere with birth control. I am so glad that I did not add extra synthetic hormones to the already drugged breast milk that I was feeding Isaac.

      The pediatrician was the one who really tried to scare me though. She told me that PPD always gets worse when you have more kids and that I had a 90% chance of having it again. The presumption was that I had PPD of course, even though I did not.

      After I got off Zoloft and told the pediatrician about how I was suddenly better, I was simply told “Zoloft has helped millions of people.”

      However, when I stopped giving Isaac formula and started cosleeping and exclusively breastfeeding, the lactation consultant at the pediatrician wanted him brought in right away to be checked on (this was 6 weeks of age). She claimed it was for a weight check. I would not be surprised if it was for the fact that I was on 150 mg of Zoloft and exclusively breastfeeding / cosleeping while Isaac was only 6 weeks old. He lost weight at first, and then started gaining it back. But he didn’t start getting the cute baby chunkiness until after I tapered off of Zoloft.

      Funny how nobody seems concerned about you while you are actually ON the Zoloft and having problems from it, including thoughts of murdering your baby, but they somehow act like they care about your “next” baby? Mmm hmmm…

  10. Evelyn Pringle says:

    This response is to Amy’s comment of:

    “I can only hope we can get as many dads on drugs as we possibly can so that their sperm and DNA can be screwed up before they conceive their next child, thus relieving the mothers of the sole responsibility for the prenatal health of the child when things go wrong.”

    If the young couples hope to conceive again, we can only hope that the dads on psych drugs are able to get an erection or ejaculate at all.

    • Amy Philo says:

      Yeah well if they do, we better hope they use condoms after they knock up their wives. To minimize potential exposure through the mother’s body to drugs in semen absorbed into the vaginal wall and circulated in the blood stream.

      Though this may not even really help if the mom is also on drugs.

      I wonder if someone will come out with a tell-all story of their paternal PPD. I can’t really imagine many guys buying into this. In fact I just asked Joel and he said he would never call it PPD, he would just say “I’m depressed” if he were that person.

      It’s so bizarre… I guess it just comes down to the question of when are young people most likely to be in a doctor’s office? Since most of them are generally healthy the majority of the time, the time to get them would be at the hospital when they have their first child, during prenatal visits and postnatal visits, and when going to the pediatrican with their children.

      Maybe they will invent a perinatal paternal depression too, because I know a lot of guys who have a hard time dealing with a tired wife, or those who find the pregnant body unappealing and stop feeling attracted to their wives.

      Then there’s Paternal Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder for those who think watching a birth is going to be scary, or for those who worry about the health of the baby.

      Maybe I should become a psychiatrist and go work for the DSM people and think up new illnesses. Kind of like making commercials! Brand marketing.

      Not to minimize PTSD at all… I fully believe that trauma can be tough to get through, especially having had a panic attack myself after almost losing my son. I just happen to think panic attacks are preferable to hallucinations, suicide and homicide as well as babies dying in utero or neonatally from drugs.

      • Evelyn Pringle says:

        Amy said: “I fully believe that trauma can be tough to get through, especially having had a panic attack myself after almost losing my son. I just happen to think panic attacks are preferable to hallucinations, suicide and homicide as well as babies dying in utero or neonatally from drugs.”

        I fully believe that too. And a competent doctor would have known that you needed to talk about that incident and how it made you feel, in order to lead you into understanding why you remained so fearful.

        From there, a competent therapist would have helped you see that holding onto that fear was harmful and irrational, and would have worked with you to help change your thought processes.

        It’s not rocket science. The trauma of an incident like you experienced would not be eliminated by taking a drug, but getting over it should not take years of therapy either.

        This discussion validates my claim that the Mothers Act disease mongering campaign is detrimental overall because it leads to the discounting of women who do develop mental health problems for identifiable reasons.

      • Evelyn Pringle says:

        Go read the websites for postpartum dads. They have all kinds of personal accounts documenting the “newly minted disorder.”

  11. Evelyn Pringle says:

    This response is to Kimbriel’s comment of:

    “Quite frankly, therapists/counselors/non-MD mental health professionals of any kind, in my experience, were all drug pushers. Every single one of them, upon barely getting to know me, suggested drugs.”

    Being 59-years-old, I can tell you that the development of the situation you describe directly coincides with the entry of the new generation of psychiatric drugs on the market, beginning with Prozac in 1987.

    Over the last 20 years, the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the standard of care provided by every sector of the mental health field.

    Starting with primary care doctors, who never thought themselves qualified to treat mental disorders 25 years ago, finding out how lucrative it was to bill for simply prescribing drugs for maladies requiring no testing or physical exams.

    From there, the counselors and therapists need a doctor to sign off on the diagnosis for billing purposes, so over the years, they learned it was not in their financial interest to upset the profitable drugging chain.

    Of course, the overall scheme is far more complex, but I do not have the time to map it all out.

  12. kimbriel says:

    It’s really disgusting to me how these non-MDs suggest drugs. I guess it’s no better that the MDs suggest them so quickly, but you go to a counselor so you DON’T have to talk to a doctor.

    I had a lot of trauma when I was little. I had 10 surgeries between the ages of 5 and 8. My parents took me to therapists to make sure I was dealing with it healthily. They told my parents I was normal, healthy.

    Then the 90s came around (and I became a teenager). One counselor suggested Prozac during a family therapy session in which I started crying. It was her 2nd or time meeting with my family. I balked.

    At 24, I had my postpartum psychosis experience. I was put on an older generation antipsychotic so that it was still “safe” for me to breastfeed. “Luckily”, that medication gave me early tardive dyskenesia after ONE DAY of drugging, and I say luckily, because I would have never made the choice to breastfeed my child while I was on ANY drug if I had been in my right mind. So they put me on one that was not breastfeeding safe, and my milk dried up.

    1 and a half years ago, I started having trouble sleeping because my son’s daycare provider had been found to be in violation of the health code. I soought mental health “help”. She was a nice woman, an LCSW. She told me I should get a psychiatrist because the “drugs would make me feel better”. Well, they got me this time. I was labeled bipolar and told I must take the drugs for a lifetime, or my cycling would get worse and worse and worse, and then in middle-age (20 years from now) I’d end up with treatment-resistant depression. I tried the drugs for over a year. Felt like crap the entire time. NO ONE in my life thought I was doing better on the meds except for the psychiatrist I saw once every 6 weeks for half an hour. I have been off of the drugs for 6 months and feeling fine, though my self-esteem is near ruined because I have to fight images of being told that I have a defective brain and that I need Abilify (yes, Abilify), much like a diabetic needs Insulin.

    Looking at the data, we are going the WRONG WAY on so many mental health outcome measures.

    Upon further research, I learned how nasty these drugs are. “Drug Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime” by Grace Jackson, MD, should be required reading for ALL med students.

    Amy, your OB sounds HORRIBLE. I hope you got a new one.

    Reading the Postpartum PTSD stories is really an exercise in learning about the traumatizing nature of birthing in a hospital, the medicalization of birth. Birth is a HUGE industry, no doubt about it. As I’ve said before, NEVER AGAIN, not in an hospital.

    • Amy Philo says:

      I don’t have an OBGYN I have a midwife. I moved back to Texas. Minnesota was pretty, but it was too full of bad memories and my family was here. I really missed them from the second we got to MN so yes, I do not see that OB. Actually he was forced to temporarily retire when he came down with a mysterious illness that nobody could figure out. I feel just a teency bit bad for him about that.

  13. Amy Philo says:

    “From there, a competent therapist would have helped you see that holding onto that fear was harmful and irrational, and would have worked with you to help change your thought processes.”

    I understood why I was fearful, I understood what I had to do to protect Isaac, the only thing I did not understand is that they were also lying to me about cosleeping / formula.

    Funny how once you discover that you can breastfeed while sleeping, your baby is back in your arms during the night, you can feel him breathing, you know he is ok at every moment as you sleep, and you also don’t have to worry about him choking on hard-to-digest formula.

    I don’t think the fear was harmful and irrational. I think it was a normal instinctual response, and one that I would have eventually gotten over perhaps with therapy or self-help. The best advice I can give new moms on this is to just nest with the baby, lay around in bed and cosleep and have the dad or some other helper take care of mom while mom takes care of the baby, not telling the mom to let others take care of the baby, while she takes care of herself. That’s outside the normal order of things.

    A lot of people believe that PPD and PPP are actually caused by disruptions in bonding, and that throughout history the only time women seemed insane after birth was following the deaths of their babies. I’ll have to go find some of those articles some time.

    Taking the power and responsibility of caring for the baby away from the mother unnecessarily can be harmful.

    I wrote about the reasons why I did not want Isaac out of my sight in the TIME Retracts False Statements entry. I don’t consider those reasons irrational. Although I am happy to say that I never had a panic attack after the one I had on Monday, and I wouldn’t want another.

    After Toby was born I got to experience a somewhat ideal period of bonding, breastfeeding and cosleeping from birth and minimal to no doctor visits. It was awesome just being at home and having my family around to help me while I just cuddled with my baby.

  14. hymes says:

    Cho’s autopsy showed he was not on SSRI’s but the trauma of our kangaroo court commitment system in Virginia changed his personality, he was put through that about a year before the shootings–everyone said he changed completely after that and withdrew from everyone etc. Makes sense to me, the system is designed to humiliate people and take away all sense of self and citizenship. I get emails all the time from people who have been through it in Virginia and still have bad memories years later even though they went on with their lives, some of them. Cho was already vulnerable and an outsider, I’m sure this is what pushed him over the edge and his independent evalulation said he should not be committed. They passed all these laws to fix that tragedy but not one thing about the Cho case was fixed, evaluations and hearings can still be held less than 24 hours after police pick up as Cho’s was and the people who committed Cho are still working only 3 days a week alternating as defense and committing judge. More people are being traumatized by ridiculous commitments now than ever before in Virginia.

    • Amy Philo says:

      Well I am still inclined to believe the reports over an autopsy that could be suspect considering his records were sealed and there are usually coverup attempts. He could also have been in withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause delayed psychotic reactions because brain washout is so much slower than bloodstream washout and levels in the brain build up to 10-30 times that of the serum levels.

      But, we will probably never be able to prove it either way since it’s all been covered up aside from the initial reports.

      Like I said before I have no reason to doubt it.

    • kimbriel says:

      Well Virginia is particularly awful… headquarters of NAMI, MHA, TAC (and Fuller Torrey) nearby NIMH… it just goes on and on. I don’t know enough about the Cho story to comment on it directly but what I do know is that it’s clear that “mental health care” in this country has NOTHING to do with “mental health” OR “care”.

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