The Happy Mask of Postpartum Mood Disorder
When I saw that BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) theme for October is “MASK”, I immediately knew I had to blog about the “Happy Mask” worn by many women who suffer from postpartum mood disorder (PPMD).
It’s no wonder that a mom suffering from PPMD feels the need to put on a mask! New moms are expected to be joyful and no one, including new mom herself, was expecting to be sad, crying, paralyzed by anxiety or dealing with OCD. She didn’t picture herself swinging from mood to mood – snapping at every little thing one moment, feeling great the next and bawling her eyes a minute later.
The truth of the matter for all moms in our society is that as soon as that wee little babe is born the pressure to perform is on. Sadly, instead of turning to someone for help, many women put on a standing-ovation-worthy performance. No new mom wants to stumble and fall during motherhood lest she be judged by all the other “perfect mothers” out there. Even the Most-Amazing-Mother you know, or think you know, could be suffering from postpartum mood disorder. She may be afraid to get help, feel isolated, feel embarrassed by her symptoms, or not even realize she has a treatable condition!
Please check in on a new mom you know — even if she appears to be the Most-Amazing-Mother you’ve ever met. You just could be the person she takes her Happy Mask off for.