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THE MOTHER MAZE

Home | "INFANTICIDE TERM MISUSE - THREATENS PPD PREVENTION | Where is the GOLDEN STANDARD OF MEDICAL CARE for the POST PARTUM PERIOD? | Pardons 4 Prevention | HELP PASS BILL # 1940 - The Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Research & Care Act | POSTNATAL/POSTPARTUM BROCHURE | APOLOGIA "PLEASE" | 3-Column Page | GRASS ROOTS EFFORT & BEYOND | THE MOTHER MAZE | WHAT'S A FUTURE MOTHER TO DO? | EPA Places Women at Risk | ACS - THYROID GUIDELINES IN ERROR | Research | Abrupt Weaning Factor in PPD/Psychosis | Mayo Clinic Web Site Different From Mayo's Book | Mother-Daughter Team | Books To Read | Nutrition | Postpartum Progress | "R.E.A.P. Research, Education, Awareness and Prevention" (Copyrighted, 3/05 D.A. GRAY) | INTERNET ANGELS OF COMFORT | REFLECTIONS FROM CHILDHOOD | Traumatic Experience - Age Seven | Mentors For You | Letter Writing From The Child Within | Poem

ONE PUZZLE PIECE AT A TIME

DIFFERENT TERMINOLOGIES – SAME DISORDER

 

Whereas in the U.S. postpartum depression is known as PPD  - some European countries recognize PPD as post-natal depression or PND. In South Africa, PPD is known as ante-natal depression, AND??  And, no matter where you live, a different disorder may be diagnosed depending upon the training of your doctor responsible for your care.  Additionally, lack of adequate care and non-familarity with terminology and symptomatology can further compromise your postpartum transition into motherhood. (See Brochure link for entire list of disorders with "postpartum onset". )  

 

Knowing what symptoms to look would be a big bonus - so why do LaMaze and Childbirth classes and instructors ignore how important it is to provide any and all information surrounding the related disorders of PPD.  Time criteria perhaps?  Being unfamiliar, untrained and unpaid for the extra time it might demand from them? 

 

Having a specialist is the key to being properly diagnosed and treated, and anything less is not prudent, wise nor "progress".  So, be very upfront, no matter how difficult it is to admit that you are having symptoms that presently taunt your every waking breath.  If you do not agree with your present treatment plan, ask for a follow-up plan. Do whatever possible to resolve any and all issues as soon as possible.  Waiting will not help - it will only intensify the situation.  It is not your fault, you will be well and do not let anyone tell you to "give it time". If you feel something is not right, it probably is not right. Go with your instinct that tells you to reach out and be proactive in all aspects of your health care.  It is your right as a medical consumer. 

 

DISORDER WITH NO NAME   

 

When researching "Why me", I found nothing at the library under "postpartum" back in the late 80's early 90's - but kept on searching.  Dr. Hamilton's research was eventually taken into the lab by others who followed after his lead to find an endocrine (thyroid, penal, pituitary glands - to name a few) link to PPD and Psychosis.  More and more research is becoming available, but medical consumers will not find it within the media.  To find information - one must be internet savvy. 

 

More of my questions: What causes PPD and Psychosis?  were answered when reading The New Mother Syndrome by Carol Dix published in 1985. Although out of print, and with recent attempts dashed for seeing it reprinted with updates, this great medical resource can be purchased from on-line book companies and will bring you up to speed historically speaking - and, it is still a recommended read by professionals and organizations!  My questions, "why me" were finally answered.

 

 

ONE OUT OF ONE THOUSAND/ONE OUT OF 3-4  

 

Why did I experience the mental disorder known as "psychosis" that "one out of one thousand" women have?  And for those women who have a psychotic episode the first time, why does the risk increase to "one in three or four" women after subsequent births?  Continued research would  have found the answer by now - instead we wait, and wait ...

 

 

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The term, "postpartum" was erased from all medical literature for twenty years, from 1972 to 1992, (my son was born in 1972/daughter in 1977) and as a result, doctors schooled during that time-frame, have and continue to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to postpartum issues today.  Its time that "we" the "medical consumer" demand more from them!

 

This term “postpartum” was not referenced in any of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual's, DSM's during the time they were in use in those twenty years; making accurate diagnosis and medical treatment nearly impossible!  Without  a term, a diagnosis code, and medical schools that taught what future doctors need to know regarding "anything" postpartum - women were left fending themselves.  It was happening this way 28 years ago when my daughter was born and it is unfortunate, but this same mind-set continues today placing already women at risk - at further risk to the many thieves that rob them of motherhood.

 

Are medical schools teaching the present medical students in postpartum symptomatology today? If not, why not?  We need to find out the answers to safeguard that next unsuspecting mother - a mother who could be your sister, aunt or dear friend.  Most medical students only receive about two hours of nutritional education - no wonder society is getting medicated instead of nutritionally educated! So if med students only have two hours of nutritional education, how many "hours" are devoted to everything PPD and Psychosis?  Not even a semester of training would be enought to bring them up to speed today.  But, we'll take two hours over nothing!

 

Even after the term was reintroduced into the DSM's, doctors were not required to be re-educated about mood disorders affecting women during pregnancy or upon becoming new mothers.  It is long overdue that all caregivers be demanded to become re-educated on all women's health issues - especially those concerning women of child-bearing age.  

 

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PIECES TO THE PPD/PSYCHOSIS PUZZLE

 

The Phil Donahue Show - 1985 ??

 

As I began to do independent research, looking for the puzzle pieces responsible for my once psychotic state, it seemed that I was not alone.  First, there was The Phil Donahue Show, where a Mr. Glenn Comitz was able to put a face on PPD.  Unfortunately, it was only through sharing the negative experiences his wife Sharon's went through when in a catonic, severely psychotic state - "Postpartum Psychosis".  I felt a deep, abiding connection to her immediately - because I had once come to the "point of no return" as she must have.  We wrote back and forth for a bit, sharing our concerns for other future mothers.

 

DISORDER, DISEASE OR "SYNDROME"

 

A lot of my personal questions were answered when reading The New Mother Syndrome by Carol Dix, 1985, but what about all the ones left to be explored via research? Carol Dix made mention that mothers had experienced Postpartum Depression and Psychosis as far as Hippocrates day.  You know, where the "Hippocratic Oath" came from? 

 

How could an age-old phenomenon known to have plagued mothers this far back not have found medical resolution long before 2005! 

 

(Read on and you decide for yourself - and then get angry, but do not let your anger deter you from seeking and demanding the research necessary to change the medical decisions of the past that has brought society to this point.)

 

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LA LECHE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL - LLL

 

I owe LLL a copy of Dr. James A. Hamilton's People Magazine's interview article.  I have to admit that I've out-grown my small desk and things keep getting buried, but I promise to get back to LLL soon. 

 

Eighteen years of playing "seek and you shall find" revealed first hand, when abruptly weaning my daughter at seven months old, that this too only  hightened my already depressed state and eventually brought me to experience "Psychosis". 

 

The hormones, necessary to breast-feed, were still being pumped into my system even though my daughter was now drinking "cow's" milk from a plastic bottle.  Ubrupt weaning placed me at further risk of slipping into a psychotic state. It did, and if not for what little mustard seed faith left - I might have crossed over the "point of no return".

 

In LLL's latest book - the point regarding "abrupt weaning" has yet to make it into print.  It would be very helpful if they did include this both in their book and on their web-site.  LLL's director is on my email list and after several attempts to reach her - I have received no reply as yet.

 

Post-script - November 17, 2005

 

MOTHERS' FUTURES are in the hands of TODAY'S MEDICAL STUDENTS

 

 

I met a young, female medical student today. She is attending The Milton S. Hershey Medical School in Hershey, PA.  I thought I had seen her somewhere before; she said many have said that.  After our "brief" shared exchange she was interested enough in the postpartum field to ask for my email address. I look forward to sharing all that I have with her and perhaps some of the other women in her class in the near future.  It's all about "talking up" versus "talking down" - and speaking from "positive" rather than  "negative" perspective.  AND being excited for the "cause" sure does not hurt!  Join me, please.

DSM-IV, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - IV of the American Psychological Association.