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photo Post Partum Depression
From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

"I wasn't sleeping. I wasn't eating. I felt like there was no feeling inside except anxiety. I didn't feel love for this baby; I would sit there nursing and just cry for hours." Shawn

"I looked in the bathroom mirror and thought I looked dead. I should be dead! This is my night to die." Tamara

"I started thinking about harming the children. I was thinking of drowning them in the bathtub. It was almost a sense of relief that I still had some control in my life." Karen

Becoming a new mother is usually a time of joy and celebration. But for many women those feelings are also tinged with sadness or depression. As many as 90% of women may experience the "baby blues" after childbirth; its causes are primarily physical, and it generally goes away without treatment. If it doesn't go away, if crying spells and feelings of hopelessness persist beyond a couple of weeks, the woman may be suffering from postpartum depression, which affects 10-20% of new mothers.

In perhaps two percent of cases, mothers may experience the severe depression, delusions, paranoia and other symptoms of postpartum psychosis. This candid video presents the stories of four women whose experiences were toward the extreme end of this spectrum. At first elated, the women soon found that they could not function or feel love for their babies. Their symptoms included feelings of extreme disorientation, and psychotic or paranoid thoughts and behavior, to the point of contemplating harming themselves or their babies. Three of these women have found successful treatments involving medication or electro-convulsive therapy, together with support groups. One is still struggling to emerge from the cloud of postpartum depression.

12 minutes
© 2002
Purchase $129.00 DVD
Order No. QA-369

"Recommended. Most useful for academic health sciences collections, or in a public library consumer health collection." Educational Media Reviews

"Recommended, particularly for high school and adult female audiences, and for medical personnel who work with pregnant women and new mothers." Library Journal

Related Films
Bundle of Blues: The stories in this thoughtful documentary represent a range of experiences from minor postpartum depression through postpartum psychosis. It stresses that PPD can happen to any new mother, but that it can be managed.

The Good Egg: Becoming a paid egg donor: it started as a way to finance her first film, but became an engaging journey through some of the personal and ethical realities of today's reproductive technology.

Second Opinion: Several women, as well as the authors of the well-known book, Our Bodies, Ourselves, examine the unequal ways in which women are often treated by the medical system.

Depression: Fighting the Dragon: This compelling documentary explores the growing prevalence of depression, and the research breakthroughs that could finally unlock its secrets.

Inside Out: Bulimia can affect women and men from all walks of life, and it kills nearly 20 percent of its victims every year. This moving documentary profiles individuals and families affected by this eating disorder.


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Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website