I am posting this just as I am preparing to depart for Philadelphia to speak at the National Association for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (NAPMDD)conference. We are losing too many women to severe depressive disorders that result in suicide. This is not something that a drug can fix. but the drug companies are trying to. Postpartum depression (PPD) has been referred to “postpartum psychosis,” and the latest reference is “maternal mental illness.” And once there is a label – a drug soon follows. And a few years back Good Morning America reported on using Xanax for new moms to become better mommies. What a horrible feeling it must be bring a baby into the world – wanting to experience the joy of motherhood (since it is expected) – while feeling shamed over a losing battle with depression.
The sad part is that each generation is born with a smaller nutrient reserve – as our food sources have changed dramatically in the last couple of decades. Mother Nature;s grand engineering design for bringing life into the world – is that the fetal body depends on the micronutrients in the maternal body – vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids – for optimal health during pregnancy. If that reserve is not there – there could be health issues for both mother and baby. The mother is left with whatever nutritional reserve is in her body post-pregnancy and if the reserve is lacking severe depression can set in.
The other thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the high levels of estrogen that we have all been exposed to through our environment. That really skews that estrogen/progesterone ratio in the body. Most of us are estrogen dominant. Meaning that we have too little progesterone and estrogen goes unchecked. During pregnancy progesterone levels rise 10-fold to prevent miscarriage. Progesterone is also known as a “feel-good” hormone and when the pregnancy is over – levels can take a nose-dive – again causing a spiraling down the rabbit hole with no way out.
I am amazed at how many women of child-bearing age develop PMDD post-pregnancy. And many other women take their lives – who are not even pregnant. This is why we are gathering with doctors, researchers and educators in Philadelphia. We need to understand the mechanism identify women at risk – and work on intervention and prevention.
New Mom Takes Her Own Life After Silent Battle With Postpartum Depression: Why All Of Us Must Share Her Friend’s Plea
her View from Home
September 2, 2016