A MOTHER’S CLIMB OUT OF DARKNESS: A Story About Overcoming Postpartum Phychosis
By: Jennifer H. Moyer
I received a free copy of this eBook from http://www.librarything.com in exchange for an honest review.
This book is the heart wrenching true story of an ordinary woman who literally went through mental health Hell and eventually triumphed.
Jennifer seemed to have everything. Her life was going well both personally and professionally. When she discovered that she was pregnant, she felt supremely happy. In 1995 they welcomed their infant son into their lives, and at first everything seemed to fall into place.
Like every other mother, Jennifer loved her child and vowed to take the best possible care of him and to keep him safe from all harm. What she couldn’t know at the time was that this brief period of bliss would not last.
The first cracks in her happiness began when she had difficulty sleeping through the night. This seemingly small matter began her spiral towards full-fledged postpartum psychosis.
She began to feel more and more isolated from the world. She started to fear that people were planning to harm her, or worse, harm her child. She even began to fear her own husband.
The worst part of this downward spiral was that even though she sought help, it seemed that no long term help was available.
Jennifer endured multiple hospitalizations and tried a multitude of prescribed medications in an effort to get her condition under control.
It must have seemed to her that she was the only person who this condition had ever happened to. She felt alone and adrift. Why was it so difficult to receive the proper medical diagnosis? Why were there not support systems in place for new mothers or others suffering with this disease? Why was there no literature available on the subject? Where could she turn for help?
It is a wonder to me that more women diagnosed with this condition do not commit suicide. The enormity and hopelessness that Jennifer outlines in her book would have crushed most women. It is a testament to her inner strength and determination that she did not give up and persevered until she finally found a doctor that could help. Jennifer’s relief was evident and she states: “Finding medical care I could trust brought me great peace of mind.”
Jennifer was eventually also diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, and since obtaining the proper mix of spiritual and medical treatment, she has been stable for over six years.
The disease of postpartum psychosis is not something that we hear about often. It is like many other mental illnesses in that sufferers are often too embarrassed or too overwhelmed to talk about their experiences. “… It is estimated that fewer than 20 percent of women who suffer from symptoms ever talk to their health care providers about them.” This, unfortunately, leads those suffering from postpartum psychosis to try to hide what is happening to them and to attempt to appear “normal” to the outside world.
Jennifer’s writing of this book allowing readers to glimpse her horrifying symptoms is nothing short of courageous.
It is books like this one that I hope will eventually help to remove the social stigma that attaches itself to those who are deemed as “mentally ill”. As Jennifer states in her book, she “needed knowledge and treatment, not judgement and contempt.”
Postpartum psychosis does not discriminate. It can happen to any woman. It is an illness that crosses all socio-economic barriers.
This is an important book and I encourage all women to read it. Even if you have never had a child, or if your children are already grown up, this is still an important book. The more women educate themselves, the more chances we will have to help educate others and perhaps save someone from having to go through what Jennifer endured.
This book will also help by giving those suffering from PPD (Postpartum Depression) and PPP (Postpartum Psychosis) the knowledge that they are not alone. It offers sufferers a much needed lifeline and a potential roadmap to help lead them to eventual recovery.
I give this book a 5 star rating.
It is a gripping and emotional roller coaster ride. You will find yourself rooting for Jennifer and cheering her on in her eventual triumph over this disease.
I applaud Jennifer’s courage in being open and honest about the worst experience of her life. Her commitment to bringing this topic out into the open is commendable.
This is a book worth reading.