Yesterday, October 10th was World Mental Health Day. In memory of Miriam Carey, I raise my voice as a survivor of Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety. Three years ago, my beautiful baby girl, Skeeter, was born on October 10, 2010. With that auspicious beginning, I was plunged into the depths of depression and anxiety so severe that I lost thirty pounds. I simply could not sit still. I had to keep busy in order to keep the pain, anxiety, rage and frustration away. I was hanging on by a thread.
I finally found help, treatment, and medication eight months after my beautiful girl was born. I relied on my family, my friends and the amazing community of Warrior Moms. I feel powerless and heartbroken when I hear about tragedies. How many more women and children do we need to lose before we take a stand and demand better mental health care? I know that I received the care that I needed due to my job, access to health care and the access to one of the few perinatal mood disorder therapists that is in our state. I am heartbroken and furious when I hear how many of my fellow Warrior Moms have concerns that are dismissed. If a mama says she is struggling, listen to her. Help her. Do not make judgements based on her circumstances, her race, her religion, her economic background. Mental illness does not discriminate. So why do we? In the US, only 15% of the women struggling with postpartum mood disorders get treatment. Miriam and I both did. I got treatment, and I recovered. What happened to Miriam? Were her concerns dismissed? Was she not compliant with her treatment program? I am keeping both her and her baby girl in my thoughts and prayers. My prayer is that all women receive the access to the mental health care that they need. I want a better world for my daughters and their peers. This tragedy could have been prevented, and it starts with me. I am speaking out now #ForMiriam.