Dec 27, 2016

Housekeeper Needed

A grateful husband wrote to Family First thanking them for his wife's recovery.  He says they have four children, the last three born one after another.  After the last one, his wife could not get back to herself for a long time and constantly had a feeling of drowning, everything was too much for her.  She spent a lot of time crying and it was hard for everyone.      (sorry, I can't fix the size of this paragraph)

Then his wife read the magazine's article on postpartum depression and found that it described her feelings and symptoms.  The article described Nitza, an organization that helps women with PPD and it was wonderful for her.  "Now, as my wife has finished her medication and is, baruch Hashem, completely back to herself," he wanted to thank the publication.

With four children, and three born one after another, it's no wonder that she felt that it was too much for her.  The husband doesn't tell us whether she was working too. 

My question is, what if she had full-time help, would she feel like she was drowning? What if she had part-time help? Whether the help was to clean and do laundry and food preparation, and/or help with the babies, would she then need medication? I think it's highly unlikely.  Why is there a psychiatric diagnosis and medical treatment for women who need physical help?

see previous post here and here

Another thought, more controversial -
When we're feeling down, we often look to the future and dread what may happen.  The woman who had three children, one after another, could very well have thought - and what if I have another child again soon? If I'm not managing now, yet another child will put me over the edge!

Perhaps this is why getting a medical diagnosis was helpful to her.  It enabled her to tell a rav that she is on medication and cannot have another child again soon.  Do women have to be desperate, spend a lot of time crying, and end up at a psychiatrist, in order to prove their inability to have another child?
I'm not saying that she was playacting or that her behavior was premeditated.  I think her feeling overwhelmed was normal and justified. But that third child's birth wasn't a surprise.  It took nine months for it to be born.  Was she thinking she'll just go back to work after three months (maternity leave in Israel) and life would go on as before with the addition of a newborn? Was she looking around her and seeing other women with even more children who work and thinking she should be able to manage just like them? The only way for her to "prove" that she is different than "everybody else," was to become "sick," get a diagnosis and medication. 

There has to be a better way.

1 comment:

  1. At the root of the problem is the frum world's naive acceptance of the fraudulent, pernicious claims of the quack science of modern psychiatry: