Some women have a supportive partner or others who care about them, but they still feel alone emotionally. If this is you, depression is causing that desperate sense of isolation and that there's help for this problem. I want to reassure you that having reached out for assistance by reading this page, you will soon begin noticing improvements in your life.
But psychological distress, let alone mental illness -which still carries a stigma in our society -seems to be especially forbidden for mothers. There's little sympathy for the emotionally distraught mother. Surrounded by the pervasive myth of the perfect mother, it's easy to understand why women blame themselves. In the collision between stigma and myth, mothers (and thus their families) are the victims.
I want to reassure you that because you are reading this website you have taken an important step in knowing you're not alone.
Those at Special Risk for PPD
Women with a family history of depression or anxiety and/or a personal history of emotional difficulties are most at risk for PPD. It's also important to note that women who experienced PPD with one child are more likely to suffer it with subsequent births. The ideal community offers a support group or network for this special population. We may not be able to prevent another episode, but preparation and awareness can make a difference.
Current scientific literature indicates that mental illness is linked to a possible genetic vulnerability. Ask yourself if your family has any history of mental illness or alcoholism. Remember you're not alone and you're not to blame and there is help available.
Help is available through the Postpartum Support International website.
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