Episode 11: How Do I Know If I Have Postpartum Depression?

Did you know there is another podcast devoted to increasing awareness about maternal mental illness? The Mom and Mind podcast is a weekly show that is crushing the stigma of maternal mental illness by sharing real stories from real moms. It is available on iTunes, Soundcloud, YouTube and Stitcher – check it out!

Two new books about postpartum depression have also been recently published.  First, there’s The Warrior Within Me: My Postpartum Story by Tabitha Grassmid.  I’m reading it right now and loving it.  Her story is different from my PPD adventures, but it is resonating very deeply with me.

Then, there’s A Dark Secret that shares the stories of women who suffered from a maternal mental illness. It is available now on Kindle and the paperback edition will be out in a few weeks. I’m waiting for the paperback because I’m old school that way – translation: if I read an e-book, my kids lose their shit and want to take my Kindle away from me; but if I read a book-book, they leave me alone. One of the moms has already agreed to be interviewed once I get a chance to read her story. Ooh, should we have a podcast book club?

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is a tool that doctors use for assessing whether a patient has postpartum depression. I have a lot of issues with the test. If you “fail” the test, then you probably do have postpartum depression. But if you “pass” the test, you can still very easily be suffering from severe depression. I took the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale several times during wellness visits with Pippa’s pediatrician and even though I was sinking deeper and deeper into darkness, I always “passed” with flying colors.

This is my advice: if you feel like something is wrong, get help.  If you feel like things are difficult, get help. If you don’t feel like yourself, get help. If your doctor gives you the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and you pass, then go see another doctor and another until you get the help you need. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is very imperfect and does not identify all cases of postpartum mood disorder.