“The Yellow Wall-Paper” is a story about a woman suffering from neurasthenia, what we now know as postpartum depression. The only treatment available to her was total isolation and rest which eventually drove her to insanity. The narrator tells us of an oppressed woman who is forced into solitude and required to stay in bed. She is isolated from society, unable to have contact with her baby or do the things she loves. She is confined to an attic room with walls covered in sickly yellow wallpaper the windows and door are barred. Left alone with no other outlet of creativity or socialization she has only the light, shadows and wallpaper to pass her days. This story shows the real impact that postpartum depression, isolation and lack of understanding of this condition causes greater harm.
It is considered “normal” for women to suffer from some form of “baby blues”. Recent research show that nearly 80% of women suffer from some type of postpartum depression in the first two weeks after giving birth. However, only about 10% of women experience major depressive episodes, that without treatment can lead to bigger psychological issues Postpartum depression was first diagnosed by Hippocrates in the fourth century B.C. While his medical reasoning behind the causes of the depression can now be seen as odd, we can see that the condition has been around for thousands of years. In the Middle Ages women with postpartum depression were often thought to be witches or were themselves victims of witchcraft. During the sixteenth century melancholic filicide, where mothers murdered their children while in a postpartum depressive state, led physicians to study the causes...
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...y can’t have PPD. And some are told to simply perk up, stop being selfish or get out of the house more, she said.
There’s confusion about everything from PPD’s symptoms to its treatment. Myths also often portray women with PPD in a negative light, which dissuades many from seeking help. Moms worry what others will think, whether they’re even fit for motherhood or, worse, if their kids will be taken away, according to Stone and Meltzer-Brody.
As a result, most moms with PPD don’t get the treatment they need. “Some studies show that only 15 percent of moms with PPD ever get professional help,” Stone said. Untreated PPD can lead to long-term consequences for both mom and child, she said.
The good news is that PPD is treatable and temporary with professional help, Stone said. And education goes a long way! Below Stone and Meltzer-Brody dispel five common myths about PPD.
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