At every turn of my pregnancy, people were telling me that there is “help available” for postpartum anxiety/depression and to “ask for help” and to “tell your doctor” if I wasn’t feeling right.
I did the first thing- I talked to my doctor. She proceeded to tell me about how I shouldn’t feel the way I was feeling and asked if I wanted a prescription for “happy pills.” That was the name she gave for Zoloft. I asked her what Zoloft did and she said, “It’s like you eat chocolate- lots and lots of chocolate, only you don’t get fat.” I’m not a professional, but I could see that she didn’t understand PPD and wasn’t qualified to hand out prescriptions for anti-depressants.
I called the PPD helpline which is something the NICU suggested. It’s a “warm” line- you call and leave a message and they promise to get back to you in 24 hours. Nobody called me back the first time. I tried a second time and got somebody in British Columbia. I’m still waiting for a follow up email from her about resources in my area.
The NICU also gave me a list of counseling agencies, but the few numbers I tried were incorrect or disconnected. I got through to one who said that I had to have insurance and they didn’t take the insurance I had or something like that. I called another one and was transferred to someone who is on vacation until tomorrow.
Getting out of the house with or without a baby is a bit of an ordeal… and I’m running into a month of out-of-town guests. I’d rather not have to tell all my relatives about how I have to go see a counselor in the middle of their visit. That’s what I’ll do if I have to, I guess.
So anyway- I think health professionals have made themselves feel better by telling their patients that “help is available” for PPD but that’s about as far as it goes. They leave you on your own to actually get the help.