Friday, October 4, 2013

The Shooting on Capitol Hill - Post Partum Depression or Just Plain Crazy?

I'm no psychiatrist. But I am a mom. More specifically, I am a mom who has gone through my own version of post partum depression. And because I experienced it, I can say with 100% certainty that post partum depression is real. It's not a made up disease or condition that moms use just to get attention. It alters your thoughts and feelings and actions. It feels like it's a never ending cycle when you are in the midst of it. And you only realize how severe it was once you are cycling out of it - looking back and finally realizing what was happening to you. I wrote about my issues with PPD (coupled with the stress/shock of having my son go through a full craniotomy at 4 months old) in these two posts: The Aftermath of a Baby Born with Birth Defects and The Truth About Post Partum Depression. CAUTION: RAW EMTION CONTAINED WITHIN THOSE POSTS

So then, while perusing my Facebook page just a few minutes ago, I come across this article from TheBump.com: Capitol Hill Shooting Reminds Us How Important Postpartum Depression Treatment Is. ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?! Is October 4 the new April 1? Stretch Armstrong couldn't even make that connection.

Like I said, I am no psychiatrist. But I feel like "rationalizing" Miriam Carey's behaviors by saying she was dealing with Post Partum Depression has created a black eye on the issue of PPD education and awareness. I understand people are looking for answers as to why Ms. Carey acted so irrationally. But I feel like people are making the leap of "woman acting crazy" = "post partum depression" because she is a new mom and hormonal. Even though it makes absolutely zero sense, it's something for people (note: the media) to latch on to. Just because a new mom acts crazily or out of sorts, it doesn't mean she's suffering from post partum depression. When a woman acts irrationally, it's not always connected to her hormones. She could very well just be bat sh*t crazy. Because, folks, there IS a difference.

Here's an excerpt from the article on The Bump:

Yesterday, news broke that a high-speed chase had taken place on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., amidst the government shutdown. The driver of the car, identified later as Miriam Carey, was 34-years-old and was mom to one-year-old daughter, Ericka. Miriam was a dental hygienist from Connecticut. After driving directly into a gate in front of the White House with her daughter in the car, Miriam was chased down Pennsylvania Avenue and stopped in front of the Capitol.

After her identification had been released, her mother, Idella Carey, came forward to speak about her daughter. “She had postpartum depression after having the baby. A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed… She was hospitalized.” And though Miriam had “no history of violence”, her mom and other close loved ones were admittedly at a loss for why Miriam and Erica had traveled so far from Connecticut to the nation’s capital. Idella had believed that the two were off to a doctor’s appointment. Miriam’s boss said in a statement, “I would never in a million years believe that she would do something like this. It’s the furthest thing from anything I would think she would do, especially with her child in the car. I am floored that it would be her.”

During the chase, two police officers were injured. Miriam was shot and killed by police after driving “very erratically and very dangerously.”

So, at one point in time, she HAD (past tense) PPD. According to her mom, the PPD became so bad that she was hospitalized for it. And maybe I'm just being cynical, but the idea that she had "no history of violence" doesn't mean a thing. People who have know terrorists say the same thing. And think about the neighbors of Ariel Castro - they BBQ'd with the man! Blaming her actions on post partum depression is a stretch... Next they are going to say that she was also on her period - because, after all, don't ALL women act crazy when they are on their periods?

I feel badly for Miriam Carey's family, especially her baby girl. Ms. Carey was definitely (hopefully?) not of her right mind. And I'm thankful no one else was hurt. But blaming it on her hormones? I just don't buy it.

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