Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women's Stories of Trauma and Growth
Publisher: Praeclarus Press
ISBN 10: 1939807212
ISBN 13: 978-1939807212
Transformed by Postpartum Depression is a poignant tale of 20 women’s journeys through postpartum depression and the growth that they experienced as a result. These women described severe suffering as they had been taken completely by surprise by their depression. They also experienced failure of care providers to screen for or treat depression, and finally reached a place where they determined that they would do whatever it took to recover. These women not only survived their ordeal, but emerged stronger than they were before. Transformed by Postpartum Depression is a deeply rich, compelling journey. These women creatively engaged and transcended their “diagnosis,” truly transforming themselves, their relationships, and their lives finding self-empowerment within their personal creative journeys of healing.
"From her mini-van-based research office, Dr. Walker Karraa has forged the future for maternal mental health. Her provocative book, Transformed by Postpartum Depression, will challenge and change clinicians, researchers and the public. Finally, the paradigm of PPD has been broadened to include trauma and the human condition. She has exposed a missing piece of the postpartum puzzle. Thank you, Walker!" Jane Honikman, MS, Founder Postpartum Support International
What makes Transformed by Postpartum Depression so uniquely powerful is that Karraa stands in the face of preconceived notions and challenges them with the stories and voices of real women who speak the truth and deserve to be heard. The conviction of these experiences holds tremendous healing power on behalf of the PPD woman seeking support as well as valued wisdom for the clinician who is accompanying this journey.--Karen Kleiman, MSW, Founder & Director, The Postpartum Stress Center
Going beyond healing, Dr. Karraa explores concepts of resilience and taking women beyond simply surviving into thriving in their re-creation of a new self. This book takes a critical examination of a new direction in the field of PPD to help women create a new life through the process of healing, finding meaning and hope, and rebuilding.--Pec Indman, EdD, MFT, Author, Beyond the Blues
Walker's book offers a special insight into the plight of mothers who have suffered postpartum depression, and the cathartic, emotional journey they had to take to seek the peace they deserved.--Dr. Jane Hanley, Past President of the International Marce Society for Perinatal Mental Health
From the Author
We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into a human achievement. Victor Frankl (1959, p. 112)
When I began this research, I had met so many women who described how postpartum depression (PPD) had changed them in powerful ways. I had met women who amazed me with their stories of survival, strength, and commitment to help others despite unimaginable pain. They had suffered--greatly. But many, if not the majority, told me that the suffering served as a catalyst for significant personal change. Some change involved loss--women who never had another child, or had lost permanent custody of their children. Others had told me how PPD changed their goals or motivations in life--changing careers, starting non-profit organizations. The change women spoke of was profound. This change was my interest as a researcher. What was it about the nature of PPD to change the trajectory of a woman's life? How does a woman experience this change? What could we learn from women that might deepen our understanding of the pathology and its meaning in women's lives? Questions like these fueled my curiosity.
Underlying my wonder was a constant voice telling me there is more to women who suffer from a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder than just disease. I knew that science had only evidenced a part of the whole experience of PPD. We have benefitted tremendously from scientific inquiry into postpartum depression. We know more today than ever about the phenomenon of PPD. But then, why is it still so prevalent? And if we know that the vast majority of women who get PPD go undetected, what happens to them? Moreover, what about women who do suffer in view of science--those who score high on the screening instruments, those who meet diagnostic criteria (such that it is), who had risk factors known to increase likelihood of developing PPD, those who experienced the symptoms described in medical journals, those who undergo treatment that has been demonstrated to show some relief. What of them? Is that all there is? A laundry list of labels and recovery and then it's over? I knew from my own experience that PPD is never over. It lingers. PPD marks a point on the map of one's life when things change forever. That point on the map is where I set up basecamp.