Posted by: Heather Coleman | April 7, 2013

#HAWMC Day 7: Postpartum Psychosis Sensationalized

Sensation!! newspaper print

Today’s writing challenge asks: What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard about postpartum psychosis? Well, nothing much surprises me anymore, but it certainly doesn’t make some of it any less painful. I feel for each and every woman and family that experiences postpartum psychosis. And even though infanticide and suicide are rare with this illness (4-5 % of cases), those are the stories that get told and retold, again and again. Those headlines are far too easy to sensationalize. But, those are not the first stories I want a woman or a family who feels a loved one is experiencing this illness to see. I want them to see women who have received the help they needed, who have recovered, and who are living happy and healthy lives with their loved ones. One great resource for finding positive stories is Postpartum Progress.

During the summer of 2011, I was interviewed by Tom Jackman for the State of NoVa blog on the Washington Post website. One of the comments (which was quickly deleted) said something to the effect of me being a “whackjob”. I had to talk a close friend down from responding to it when she saw it and explain to her that there are always going to be internet trolls out there and that they need to be ignored, not fed (which is what responding would do). I’m happy to say those types of comments are in the minority and most of the direct feedback I have received for blogging and speaking out about my postpartum psychosis experience has been overwhelmingly positive. But all it takes is one negative comment like the one mentioned to make me want to hide away, to keep quiet, to stop sharing my story. But, I can’t let that happen. I have to push forward and keep sharing, so that I might reach even more women and convey to them that they will get through this. There really can be a happy ending!



  1. Heather, thank you so much for continuing to share your story. Your message of hope is so important.

    • Jenny – I’m just thankful to be able to share my story. I really appreciate you following my blog and reading my posts. Feedback like this keeps me motivated to continue writing. Sometimes hope is all we have to keep us going.

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