||Postpartum: Depressed New Mom Commits Suicide After Antidepressant Adjusted
Paragraph one reads: "Ruth Rhoden Craven never suffered a day of depression her entire life. Friends described her as positive, happy and carefree; a person who always took the time to think of others and make people smile. Shortly after the birth of her first child, Ruth fell into the darkness of postpartum depression. She received treatment and even started to improve. Unfortunately, her antidepressant medication was decreased far too soon, within a week or so after her symptoms finally began to subside. Ruth then spiraled back downwards and ultimately took her own lifejust two and half months after the birth of her son. She was 33 years old. With the proper treatment, her story may have ended differently."
SSRI Stories note: Withdrawal, especially abrupt withdrawal, from any of these medications can cause severe neuropsychiatric and physical symptoms. It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these drugs, often over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified and experienced specialist, if available. Withdrawal is sometimes more severe than the original symptoms or problems.
Family and Friends unite on Daniel Island this weekend for the 2010 Moms' Run
By Risa Mason-Cohen
May 5, 2010 - 12:04:15 PM
Ruth Rhoden Craven never suffered a day of depression her entire life. Friends described her as positive, happy and carefree; a person who always took the time to think of others and make people smile. Shortly after the birth of her first child, Ruth fell into the darkness of postpartum depression. She received treatment and even started to improve. Unfortunately, her antidepressant medication was decreased far too soon, within a week or so after her symptoms finally began to subside. Ruth then spiraled back downwards and ultimately took her own lifejust two and half months after the birth of her son. She was 33 years old. With the proper treatment, her story may have ended differently.
In March of 2000, Ruth’s mother, Helena Bradford, started the Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation for Postpartum Depression Awareness together with two of her daughter’s closest friends: Elaine Earl and Mary Anna Mullinax. In keeping her daughter’s memory alive, Helena made it her life’s mission to comfort, inform and educate women across the country suffering with this very serious illness.
The Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation acts as a gatekeeper for women seeking support in their local communities, as well as a resource for medical professionals, the media and the general public. The foundation strives to impart information about the importance of proper screening, diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression. Further, the foundation sponsors a free support group on the first and third Thursday of each month, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel Island. The foundation relies on members of the community and businesses to continue its mission to serve women suffering from postpartum depression and their families.
This Saturday, May 8 at 8:30 a.m., the Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation will proudly sponsor the seventh annual 5K Moms’ Run/Walk for Postpartum Depression. This family-friendly event is all about mom and the people who love her. Previously held in Hampton Park, this is the first year the event will take place on Daniel Island. The runners will start at Blackbaud Stadium and proceed through the beautiful Etiwan Park neighborhood. There will be a finish line celebration at Blackbaud Stadium with a delicious assortment of foods and beverages, compliments of the Daniel Island Grille, Island Town Café, Piggly Wiggly and BANa. Participants will enjoy live music by Frank Royster, face painting for the kids and a special appearance by Cupcake the Clown. There will be a raffle with many exciting prizes for grabs, with proceeds to benefit the Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation. Everyone is encouraged to attend for a morning of family fun and support of a very important cause.
It is not necessary to suffer personally with postpartum depression in order to stand behind the cause. The weeks and months following the birth of a child are never easy. In fact, within the first few weeks after giving birth, up to eighty percent of new moms will suffer with the baby blues- a very normal and common reaction to the hormonal fluctuations, sleep deprivation, emotional adjustments and lifestyle changes that go hand in hand with parenting a helpless infant. However unlike postpartum depression, the baby blues is not a clinical disorder and typically clears up on its own without professional intervention, whereas postpartum depression typically worsens over time. Women of lower socioeconomic levels, teenage mothers and those with babies in neonatal intensive care units are at increased risk for the illness. Many women will suffer in silence, terrified of seeking help due to the common stigma attached to this illness. It is not uncommon for women to fear they are unfit, incompetent or even crazy when faced with the myriad of symptoms that define postpartum depression. The media has not helped in this respect, as we often hear about the absolute worst cases which are more often cases of postpartum psychosis- a rare condition that afflicts less than one percent of new mothers.
When suffering with postpartum depression it is important for women to understand that they are not alone, they are not crazy and there is help readily available. When treated properly, postpartum depression is a temporary illness with a promising prognosis. There is a universal pulse that beats inside every woman’s soul. Regardless of whether a woman has stumbled in the darkness of postpartum depression or sailed through the postpartum phase with relative ease, she can certainly feel good about standing behind this cause and rallying those who love her to do the same.
Risa Mason-Cohen is a psychologist with a private practice on Daniel Island, SC and the Executive Director of the Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation for Postpartum Depression Awareness. For information about this Saturday’s Moms’ Run for Postpartum Depression, visit www.ppdsupport.org or www.momsrun.blogspot.com