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Secrets of the Motherworld

Dec 10, 2019

Here’s the story we discuss this week:

This is part of the story when I could have used help.
I was under a tremendous amount of stress. My marriage was in major trouble, my mother was having mental health issues and leaning heavily on me, we were having massive financial problems, and I had just given birth to my 2nd child, who has special needs. She was having feeding difficulty and had colic which made her cry for hours a day.

I started to have terrible intrusive thoughts about hurting my kids. One day, I basically broke down. I was so terrified that I would follow through on the intrusive thoughts that I went to the hospital.

The hospital admitted me to the psych ward, involuntarily. Because it was a holiday weekend, what should have been a 24 hour hold turned into 6 days in the hospital because no psychiatrist was available to see me. When I was finally able to see a psychiatrist, he spoke such heavily accented english that I couldn’t understand his question. He ended up labeling me homicidal even though the worst thing I said that I feared I’d do was spank my toddler.

I really needed someone to tell me that intrusive thoughts were part of postpartum depression and anxiety and that having the thoughts didn’t mean I would follow through with them.
I wish there was a way to go in and amend my medical record to remove the “homicidal” diagnosis. I also wish I had had more support. My husband didn’t feel that he could take time off work to help me recover after my 2nd c-section, I had no family near that could be trusted, and didn’t feel comfortable asking my new friends, most of whom were childless, for support.”

Lisa and Stella mention Brooke Shields’ book ‘Down Came the Rain: My journey through postpartum depression’