Myths about postpartum depression

Dr. Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains the biggest misconceptions about postpartum depression (PPD), and how knowing the facts behind the perinatal mood disorder can help women get better treatment and faster recovery.
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Myths about postpartum depression

There are number of misconceptions about postpartum depression. Some of the biggest one’s are that there is a certain type of women who is going to get it and I have been doing this work for quite awhile. I have seen the most laid back, relaxed, easy going temperaments get hit with a really severe post postpartum depression. Another big misconception is that there is something wrong with the women some kind of inadequacy or something defective about her like a character weakness or a personality flaw and this of course isn't true at all. It's not her fault, she didn't bring it on. It can happen as easily as any other very common Perinatal disorder and as a matter of fact this is the most common problem associated with child-bearing. Because the women is thinking there might be something wrong with her and the public might be thinking she is afraid people are looking at her and judging her. Due to that shame, it works as an obstacle for her to come forward and get the help that she needs, so no shame should be associated with this no more so than just situational diabetes or high blood pressure or anything else. Very important that she knows that. Also the misconception is that once you are depressed, you will always be depressed. So if you’re diagnosed with postpartum depression then for the rest of your life you are going to be on medication, or it's going to be on chart that this is a chronic illness and that isn't so. This is an acute disorder and once it's treated it's gone. Another big misconception is that women who have postpartum depression are somehow a danger to their babies. They can’t be trusted with their babies and that couldn't be further from the truth. Most of the time if not almost all of the time, women with postpartum depression are bending over backwards to try to protect their babies. Now that's not to say that, they are certainly getting a valuation that isn't something else is going on that is of a danger but depressed mommies in general are trying so so hard to protect their children. That is the main reason they call me and my colleagues because they want to make sure they are okay so that their children will also be okay and the children won't pick up on their depression. Another misconception is that this is somehow a western phenomenon. It is not. This has been happening as far back as women have been having babies many many centuries ago and always no matter where they are in the world, a certain percentage of them will be clinically depressed.

Dr. Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains the biggest misconceptions about postpartum depression (PPD), and how knowing the facts behind the perinatal mood disorder can help women get better treatment and faster recovery.


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Shoshana Bennett, PhD

Clinical Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist

Shoshana Bennett, PhD (“Dr. Shosh”) from the popular Radio Show is the author of Pregnant on Prozac, Postpartum Depression For Dummies, and co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety.  She is also the creator of the new mobile app PPD Gone.  National TV shows including  20/20, Discovery Channel, The Doctors and The Ricki Lake Show feature Dr. Shosh as the pregnancy and postpartum mood expert and news stations such as CNN consult her. Several publications including the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News have written articles on Dr. Shosh’s work.  She’s interviewed regularly on national radio and has been quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, WebMD, Boston Globe, Fit Pregnancy, Glamour, Parenting, Psychology Today, New York Post, Self, Cosmopolitan, and the Chicago Tribune. 

Dr. Shosh is a pioneer in the field.  She is a survivor of two life-threatening postpartum depressions. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, and is a former president of Postpartum Support International. Dr. Shosh helped develop the official Postpartum Support International training curriculum for professionals which is now considered the gold standard in the field. She has helped over 19,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups and wellness seminars.  As a noted guest lecturer and keynote speaker, she travels throughout the US and abroad, training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. She earned three teaching credentials, two masters degrees, a PhD and is licensed as a clinical psychologist.

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