Wednesday, April 25, 2012

where's the support?


Trying to start a support group in my area for women battling a Postpartum Mood Disorder is harder than I expected. Trying to find resources in my area is harder than I expected. Sometimes I feel as if it’s a dead end road. Am I wasting my time? Am I running around in circles? Why can’t I find anyone willing to help? Why is there nothing available?

Posters on breastfeeding classes are hung all around my OB’s office. Whenever I sit in that waiting room I wonder where the posters are for a Postpartum Mood Disorder group.

Results on the internet for potty training classes, childproofing classes & even classes on taking better photos of your child come up in less than 5 seconds. In fact, too many classes to choose from pop up on my computer screen.

Finding support groups & resources in my area on PPMD should be as quick & easy to find as the classes on taking better photos of your child. PPMD & the women who are fighting so hard through this are as equally important as this photo class. Right?

When I was searching for a support group & resources in my area, I found nothing. Actually, I’m lying. I found one support group that accepts moms up to 6 months postpartum. My daughter was 2 years old by the time I found out about this group. They wouldn’t allow me to attend, didn’t offer me any resources & couldn’t even at least point me in the right direction.

I guess I wasn’t lying. I found nothing.

During my last visit with my OB, she offered to discuss the importance of having a PPMD support group in our area at their next meeting. I was beyond excited.

Finally something will be done.

This was 7 months ago & I still haven’t heard back.

I contacted another physician in the same office regarding the importance of support groups. I never heard back from her either.

There is a company in my area that sells organic prenatal vitamins, cloth diapers & baby slings. They offer every class imaginable related to pregnancy, childbirth & children. But not one resource, class or support group on PPMD.

Shocking right?

Just in case I missed the resources on the company website, I called to ask if they offered anything on PPMD. They explained that they do not offer anything but asked me to come to a meeting to speak about how significant this is. Once they found out how long ago I had my daughter, I never heard from them again.

I wonder if they expected me to be within that 6 month postpartum range.

I believe the classes & support groups that are out there are extremely important. I really do. But I also believe resources & support groups for PPMD are so essential & in my opinion may even be a slight bit more important than a class on taking photos of your child.

Are some people still afraid to talk about PPMD?

Do the companies that offer all the fun mommy & me yoga classes & the exciting new moms groups think that PPMD is too “depressing” of a topic & therefore won’t include such a group? How can a company offer 13 free breastfeeding support groups in one month but can’t squeeze in one PPMD support group? 

Trying to destigmatize PPMD isn’t an easy thing to do but I think once more people start to realize what it really is & how lives could be saved & changed by offering support & resources; we could really make a difference in so many lives.

I know my life was changed because of the women who Do talk about it & I am not ready to give up on starting a support group in my area. I know eventually it will be done. 

4 comments:

Sari said...

I totally agree!!! This is why we started our online PPD support groups (www.regrouptherapy.com). It is just the start, but the idea was to reach those who can't get the help they need otherwise. It is also convenient cause its from home, no need for any kids arrangements. We are still running the groups for free... Anyway - i thought the need is strong so it might help...

Andrea said...

Sari-I participated in the ReGroup Therapy last week & I love it! It is so wonderful that this is available now! I will definitely be recommending it to anyone looking for support :)

working moms support group nyc said...

I just recently joined a support group and all I can say is that it really helped me to live everyday. Thanks.

Andrea said...

That is wonderful! I have found support groups online (which are awesome) but I still would love to have one in my area that I could attend in person too!