Sometimes it takes a bold reminder to shake us into awareness. Something dark and destructive may be lurking in the mind of a mom after she’s had a baby, someone in your family or one of your friends. Sometimes it can take a death to make us remember how real postpartum depression is.
This touching but sobering video was passed on to me last week by a friend of mine in the postpartum depression support community. It was created by the father of a mom who killed herself as a result of undiagnosed postpartum depression. The video features an emotional song playing along with a slide show of family photos. The lyrics are printed as they are sung, and they ask how a person could “leave the stage in the middle of a song.” Powerful lyrics telling a story with an obviously sad ending.
It’s a beautiful but tragic reminder that postpartum depression is still out there, still wrecking havoc in the lives of many families. It is certainly not fatal in most cases, but depression usually gets a person a lot closer to scary thoughts and beliefs. Even normally sweet optimistic people can go through dramatic changes under the influence of depression.
Just watch, folks. If you know a pregnant woman, whether it’s her first child or her tenth, genuinely check in on her and follow up any hunch that you have about something seeming wrong. It may be nothing big, or you may uncover clues about depression. Be someone she can share her feelings with. Call a therapist or doctor right away if things don’t seem right.
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