I’ll Eat Your Sins

Sin Eater

Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Postpartum Psychosis stories, sin eater, hopeless, Depression, Suicide,
Send me your broken, send me your dreams
Send me your heartache, Send me your screams
I’ll take the hopeless, I’ll take the lost
I’ll take your helpless, I’ll pay the cost
The taunted, the tortured the sad and the blue
The beggars, the paupers, they all can come too
We’ll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We’ll huddle together, our souls set aflame
Unwanted, unfit and cast far aside
The hidden, the shamed, we all have to hide
I’m here to tell you, I’ll eat your sins
I’m here to say, you can start fresh again
I’ll be your voice, I’ll scream out your thoughts
I’ll share your madness, all tied up in knots
We’ll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We’ll huddle together, we’ll play their game
Send me your broken and send me your dreams
send me your heartache, send me your screams
I’ll take the hopeless and I’ll take the lost
I’ll take your helpless and I’ll pay the cost
I’m here to tell you, I’ll eat your sins,
I’m here to to say you can start fresh again
I’m here to tell you, I’ll eat your sins
 
 
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~
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I’m Your Huckleberry

I’ll Be Your Huckleberry

I’m just the right woman for the job! I didn’t necessarily want the job; and it’s not exactly the job I would’ve imagined I would have had when I was a child, but I will do it nonetheless. Why am I the right woman for the job? Well, because no one else wants to do it.

Here’s my observations on what happens in this – POST LIFE (Nikki Love is attempting to tell a version via her movie) I am writing about as it happens to me and feel the real time effects.
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Let me explain (this is the part where I’m your huckleberry comes into play perfectly) – people ignore you as you stand before them as a real live person. Or at least in cyber time. It makes them uncomfortable. As long as you continue with the act of suicide and make sure you actually die; you will be lovingly remembered and it will be romanticized. Your family and friends will be invited to speak at public events to raise awareness. Your story will be shared whenever one of them posts something about you, and on any kind of anniversary, there will be a remembrance.
You will become a stepping stone. Your back will become a platform for which others stand on to tell their own stories, and promote their own causes.
That’s not to say their causes are bad or not worthy of being promoted. On the contrary, most of them are fundamental in women’s healthcare. I mean ALL Postpartum Mood Disorders are important and need to be discussed.
But and this is such a big, enormous but, we also need to be talking to and having women like myself be the ones actually doing the talking. Share my posts, share my stories, get on board. I don’t ever want to hear “I don’t know what to say” again. Because if that is your response to me when I make myself readily available, then you have absolutely no business ever talking about Postpartum Psychosis and what those worst case outcomes are.
Because it is on the back’s of those worst case outcomes that you get links to your sites. You get readers aghast, but still reading, and coming back for more. Those worst case outcomes are what make the papers, and drive people to provide more funding. It’s sad but true.
This is about all of us. We are all in this together. Oh sure, I get upset because I will be going on 17 years since I became ill and not having a clue what was happening to me. Now going onto four years blogging and I still hear the same thing.
Yes, progress is slow and I have seen it myself. But if we, we the women at the forefront who are doing the pushing. The women who are standing up and demanding to be seen. Shouting out loud, you will hear us. We Need to be together, we need to stand together. We cannot be Un-united. We Have to support each other, in all our endeavors.
This is not about each one of us individually. This is about all the women who are here now, who will come after us, our daughters, our granddaughters, sisters, all women.  
Every time you share a post, you like a link, you comment, and you pass along information even if it does not benefit you in the moment, you are paying it forward. You are helping more women, more families, more moms. 
Isn’t that what you would have wanted someone, anyone to have done for you? I know I would have. That’s what I think about every single day when I get frustrated. When I get so irritated because I am not allowed into some of the inner circles and many of my posts don’t get “shared” by some of the “hipper” Postpartum circles.
I remind myself that, they are the people who are not paying it forward. I will continue to do my part. I will continue on my journey.
I will continue to be your Huckleberry.
Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Upon My Death, Do Not Let Me Die

When I am gone

 

I don’t want my story to stop being shared. When I am gone, be it by accident, disease, tragedy or triumph; I want it to be known. Say it out loud. I give my permission now to share my story. Share all my stories and if you have more stories of me, share them too. 

Upon my death, do not let me die.

I have lived an extraordinary life so far. I was reminded yet again very recently that we don’t always know if we will wake up tomorrow. When we are young and/or naive, we seem to think we are invincible. That will not happen to us or those we love. We can walk away angry. With words left unsaid and that we will always have another day to say those

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things we wanted to say.

I am living and have been living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have been here for almost six months and the last two weeks we have seen some amazing flooding take place. I have seen some things I hadn’t seen before. Some, as simple as a cotton field.

Near the end of this summer we lost a woman who wanted to share her own experience of Postpartum Psychosis. Her name is Naomi Knoles; and she wrote We All Have A Story To Tell. Her husband is continuing that journey and wrote a short piece I will share here. I know personally how difficult that road is. I myself, along with many others within the Mental Health community took a hard hit when she died. I think it also provided a wake-up call.

Even one year; 3 years, 5, 10, 20 years after you have been in “recovery” and everyone thinks you have gotten past the worst of it; you can still have bad days and not make it out. The hole you have found yourself in, that dark, black hole that many of us have described. Well, that hole is deep, it’s dark and even when you think you have walked out and beyond it’s reach; it still has the ever so slightest grasp sitting lovingly upon your chest. It caresses your cheek and whispers in your ear. It says familiar things to lure you back and before you can blink away the tears, you are seeing black again.

Court for my grandchildren and things happening with my daughter take a lot out of me. Along with advocating.

Job discrimination is huge. I had a job, that I enjoyed very much and was doing well at. The minute, and I do mean the minute, they found out about my past; that was it. I had to leave. It did not matter that I had been doing this job for approximately a month already. I am not going to say where this was, just that I had taken a position where people that were educated (one was a doctor) were in the employment position and I was the employee.
When people ask me why I don’t just go right out and find a job I just look at them. I have a resume. An excellent resume. I have skills, many skills. I am intelligent and sociable, I do an excellent job. I can even pass a standard background check and be bonded. (I used to sell insurance) But if one person googles my name, I am done for.

These are the kinds of things that 10, 15 and 20+ year out of recovery or at any time in a person’s life can become too much.

Pink Moped, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, When I dieI was out driving around on my Pink Moped during this Thousand Year Storm in South Carolina. I was listening to my mp3 player and I wasn’t trying to get hurt but it occurred to me I wasn’t practicing being my safest.
I started thinking about how I made the decision to “Walk the Line” and “Life for Death Sentence“. I started thinking that while I may not commit Suicide more purposefully the way Naomi did; maybe I am hoping fate will just take over.
It’s not suicide if I am out riding my Pink Moped listening to tunes during the worst Flood the Carolinas have ever seen right?
What about if I walk alone at night on the beach? Driving without a Helmet on highways? Meeting people off from Craigslist? Moving in with people I meet off from Craigslist?
I won’t list some things for the sake of the fet community of people I am involved with.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps I just wanted to be scared.
Another friend (Walker Karraa) who is taking an offline break was speaking of a conversation she’d had with Naomi who had said “Walker, I was in prison. Nothing scares me.” I remember thinking when she shared that, that I too had those thoughts and feelings. I still get scared for others. Just not for myself.

I want to sit on the beach every day and smell the salt in the air. I want to forget all the sadness around me. I want to be able to take a ride on my moped to the store and back while listening to music and enjoy the warm breeze.

But, then I read another story about another mom and another family who says; “we didn’t know, we had never heard of Postpartum Psychosis”. All I can think is how can you have not in this day and age. But then I remember they are cutting funding in even some of the most forward thinking states as far as Mental Health Programs go. North Carolina just cut $110 million from it’s regional mental health and another $152 million is set to be cut this Spring unless something is done.

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill created the first Women’s Mood Disorder Clinic. Now that same state that set a standard is about to cut close to $300 million in Mental Health from its budget in less than a year’s total time.

And that, is why. That is exactly why women and their families are not hearing more about Maternal Mental Health. Because Mental Health is usually one of the first to be slated for cuts.

I also, get emails, or friend requests on any of my numerous social media platforms. Someone wants to strike up a conversation with me about their experience, their child, wife. Sometimes I can’t get to them all right away. But I do the best I can. I realize that by sharing My Story; I have made a difference. That for every person that stumbles upon my blog and reads it. Every person that reads My Story and reaches out or passes it along, I am getting through to people in tenfold.

Why, why am I talking about this now. It actually started after our friend passed away and there was a big discussion about whether or not Naomi’s Story should be shared. When and how it should be shared and by who. None of us within the community felt quite comfortable. It almost felt disrespectable. But, on the other hand I truly believe she would want for Her and her Anna’s story to continue on. Her story hasn’t died. It feels like an injustice to stop talking. Like the disease won.
Postpartum Psychosis can’t win! If we stop talking about ALL the people involved and how it has affected each of them it wins.

So, I will say it again. Postpartum Psychosis cannot win. Keep talking. Keep telling stories. Keep sharing.

I don’t want my story to stop being shared. When I am gone, be it by accident, disease, tragedy or triumph; I want it to be known. Say it out loud. I give my permission now to share my story. Share all my stories and if you have more stories of me, share them too. 

Upon my death, do not let me die.

 

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~
Originally Drafted 09-14-15

When I Try to Be Brave

I Have Debilitating PTSD

*Originally blogged Aug. 18th, 2015- One of the sitting in drafts*

Almost no one knows I suffer from severe PTSD. It doesn’t stem from one specific thing; it stems from a multitude of things. I know there are certain people that see me as dysfunctional; perhaps it’s easier for them to see me that way. But I push myself often to do many things I am scared of. Things that give me a lot of anxiety, and that is when I am trying to be my bravest. 

I have had nightmares since I was a child. Where I would wake up in a cold sweat, heart racing and unable to move. As an adult, they have just gotten worse. I now take a medication that is supposed to help with nightmares. It was approved originally for veterans with PTSD. It doesn’t

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Kinkade meets Pollock

really work that well, if at all (for me).

My daughter and I were sharing a one bedroom apt down in the Carolinas the last few months and on several different occasions she would tell me I was talking and crying in my sleep. I also take anxiety medication just before bedtime, which I believe helps as well. But, nothing makes it all go away.

I have different ways I cope when I have a panic attack. I listen to music. I rock back and forth. I breathe deeply. I go for a drive. I try to reach out and talk to someone, even if I don’t tell them I am actually having a panic attack.
I imagine when they are sitting and speaking with me I may look to them anywhere from calm, to a little fidgety. Inside? Well, inside I probably look more like a Jackson Pollock painting than a Thomas Kinkade.

I had PTSD even before I became ill with Postpartum Psychosis. All the events that came after, just exacerbated the condition. It also made me realize I can be brave even when I am scared. It taught me to push through even when I am frightened and don’t know what is on the other side.
That’s what I would say is courage. Having courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t rather be doing something else. It means you are doing it anyway.

When you stand beside someone, when you take their hand. When you become their voice, help them find their own. When you are afraid you might be the only one but you do it anyway. When you take that chance knowing just one other person might be reached. When you are scared, afraid, worried, panicked and you do it anyway? You are courageous. You are the brave. You are the Moms, you are the Warriors, you are the Women who make a difference.

Every, single, one of you who takes time. Be it a few moments, minutes, hours or days to stand up, share your stories and be courageous when you are feeling so afraid; you are also the Warrior Moms who Make a Difference. You are All Needed.

 

 

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

I Cried for Home

When you cry for home when you’re alone

I had an entire thought process going on when I started this page. I had been reading all of my posts sitting in drafts, some may sit there unpublished forever.  As I was reading through, it started to remind me of all the times after my mother died, that I would cry in secret and beg God to go home. Home back then was for my mother to be alive and be with everything I knew and what was comfortable. Countless times I cried for home when I was alone.

I feel sad for the little girl that I was back then. At fourteen years old, I was left floundering to figure out my mother’s funeral, as I was the oldest. A task I was not ready to handle, yet felt it was my duty. My Grandfather telling me I was the oldest child so it was up to me. I now believe he was just not

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ready to plan and bury his child. He shot himself in the heart the following year; when the fog was so heavy on the Maine coast, that you couldn’t see across the small road separating the two houses as he lay in the doorway to the shed.

I have been asked often if I am angry at my mother. No. I feel sadness that I know how she was feeling. I can understand feeling so hopeless, alone and such utter despair that you want so badly for the pain to stop. You are in physical pain. It takes over your every thought. Make it stop, make it stop.
 
I cannot be angry when I can empathize with how my hurt they were in.
I have put myself on what I have called a Life for Death Punishment. Have I had suicidal thoughts since then? Yes. Last Fall was a particularly bad time. I had an undiagnosed Thyroid condition and had such severe Flashbacks I went to the hospital for 10 days. They were able to reconfigure my medication and the thyroid condition was caught.
Being ill with Postpartum Psychosis was a culmination of undiagnosed mental health issues, being in an unhealthy marriage and never having therapy after my mother and grandfather died. Those were not the only contributors. I developed pneumonia while in the hospital giving birth to my son. I had been depressed during my pregnancy and a dozen other things. It is never just one thing.
Do I cry for home now? No, because I don’t know where home is anymore. The last few years have been terribly difficult, helping my daughter as she herself becomes a mother. We are in the Carolinas again. She just recently gave birth to her third child. It has been a difficult journey that I know is not over.
I am tired. I am searching for home. I go to the beach almost every day. I swim and I recently got a moped to scoot around on. Those small things make me happy. I feel like I could sleep for a year. I want the waves at the beach to wash over me and take away all my sadness. The lonely and emptiness I feel while I look for home.
Good conversation, hugs, cool nights and the ocean breeze.
I no longer cry for home. I cry because I am looking for home. Unconditional love and understanding.
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~
 

I say Boo. You say Moo

It’s Dark in Here

 

I am sitting in bed with just the light from my computer typing and the soft whir from the fan. I want to say things, lots of things. So many things in fact that I often look at a blank page and don’t type anything. Or, I start typing and digress in so many directions this sits with the other dozens of drafts I have collected. And so it begins…

I think we are a world full of cattle. Even the cattle don’t know they are cattle. Sometimes they throw on some hipster jeans or play the bongos. Maybe they

Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health

even wear one of those silly beard hats or only buy second hand clothes form the ’70’s. Perhaps they have a “strong” opinion on something, or a few something. But they still easily fit onto the bell shaped curve of society and you would likely never see them at a protest or sit-in. Being the sole person to swing left while a thousand others swung right. Cattle^^^^

People consumed with being right or only having friends that think the same way they do. No debating an opinion anymore or bothering to agree to disagree while remaining friends. Not in an age of “un-friending” someone with the click of a button. I find that entire concept absurd. Cattle^^^^
I have met in my life and still respect to this day less than a dozen people. Some of them I am not even that fond of. There’s at least one I don’t even like. But they were honest and had integrity. I like a person with character and who has a backbone. Someone who isn’t afraid to form their own opinions or even stand alone. Fight for what they believe in. I value that in a person and find it commendable.
When did we become so afraid of what someone else would think and turn into cattle? I believe social media has a lot to do with it. Instant everything all the time. Everyone is so worried about people they don’t even know liking them.
People should be worried about raising independent thinkers instead of teaching them how to say Moo.
Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health

RE- POST – Postpartum Depression vs Postpartum Psychosis; 1, 2, 3, 4, – I declare… War?

Are We Battling for Our Place; Our Voice?


In my longstanding pursuit of wanting to not only have a voice myself, but to enable others to have a voice in similar circumstances as well, it seems we have (and by “we” I mean ‘me’) inadvertently stepped on some toes. It’s often difficult to be heard unless you shout in this busy world of everyone talking over everyone else. 

So generally I still start out by saying in an ever so low voice, “excuse me, would you be so kind”. Then I work up to “pardon me, I have something to say and I would appreciate some of your time”. (Now this may happen a couple times) To eventually “Excuse Me! I Have Something I Am Going To Say And I Will Be Heard”! *Sigh*



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Stormy Outside My Home Today. Our First

Nor’Easter Of the Year.

Honestly, it never feels good to get to the point of the proverbial finger shaking (even in my own mind as I type). But what’s a gal to go? I mean these are important issues. 
Bridging the gap from the tragedies, to the happy endings of where we find ourselves at the mercy of Postpartum Mood Disorders. They strip us of our ability to function at the most basic level. They can take away our sense of reasoning and our ability to rationalize. It attacks our brain; what we rely on to tell us something isn’t right. If our brain is telling us  the water isn’t hot and we get in it and our brain doesn’t register it as pain, we get burned. 

So as I have stated previously, I have been wanting to narrow the gap between what I feel is all the women running blogs and speaking on websites about how they “survived” Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Psychosis or any Postpartum Affliction. I think it is more than wonderful that all those women are reaching out and talking. I want to hear from all the “other” women as well. Not only the women who committed infanticide or attempted suicide. But their families of suicide survivors. Also as one women on another site recently commented –

“Are we ready yet to talk about the abusive acts we have committed while suffering from postpartum depression and psychosis? I’m sure I am not alone in this. My kids and I have been through a lot of good therapy and healing. It was hell at the time. We worked very hard to heal. It was frightening and it continues to be scary to talk about; but I, for one, want to. Anyone else? Any why talk about it? Healing. Healing and forgiveness and moving on.”

I say yes to that. Yes! I want these women to come forward and to have a voice. Just as she said, because it’s healing. It’s about healing and forgiveness and moving on. 
This isn’t to “out” anyone who isn’t ready. My God is took me over 13 years to feel ready and that whole time I was looking for someone to start talking and asking, reaching out. Telling me they wanted to hear from me. Finally after a culmination of many, many things over the last year, (including but not limited to) my realizing I have no anonymity in this day and age. Not with technology and people making up whatever they want and claiming it’s the truth. So here I am, being my own voice and advocating for yours.
I love how far we have come so far in just recognizing Postpartum Mood Disorders. We can’t stop. I was chatting with Teresa Twomey the other day, specifically about this topic. I was referencing how the numbers for infanticide/suicide may be only at 5%, (and in the minority as someone pointed out) but that number gets much larger for the attempted suicides/infanticides or as the mother above pointed out “abusive acts”. These are not things any of us are proud of. But to pretend as though they didn’t happen does an injustice to all of us. How are we going to help all of those who have experienced this or will experience this if we don’t talk about it? 
I know I knew Nothing in 1999. Now I know so much more than I would have ever thought possible. I’m not going to be the person who doesn’t speak up because it’s uncomfortable to talk about and when tragedy strikes, know I could have said something. I don’t want that next mother, that next family saying; oh my god… we just didn’t know what could happen.

Do any of you want that? I certainly don’t.


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Living a Life of Postpartum Psychosis

Help us, feel our pain


We are broken and we look around, waiting, begging, dying inside. We look for the arms to wrap around us and bring us to our feet. The Ocean we drive into is a Sea of Desperation. Hold out your arms, lift us up, hang on tight and guide us to the light. All we can do is keep breathing and trying. 


No more tears, we have wept a lifetime of sorrows for motherhood. The aches, the breaks and the tragedies to come. Help us, feel our pain. 
For every woman that the public and media is ready to tar and feather because there isn’t Universal Mental Health Screening for every pregnant and Postpartum Woman there are thousands that do receive effective treatment. Does that mean we should allow those woman to continue to slip through

the cracks? No. 

But there needs to be a better understanding for cases of Postpartum Psychosis and Women’s Mood

Disorders. The stories the public hears about are the Postpartum Stories that end in tragedy. Why? Well because it sells. 

postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicideI mean I can’t blame the public. I read those stories too. I have said over and over that “we” in our own Postpartum Psychosis/Depression/Anxiety community, we do nothing to help ourselves if we perpetuate the ideas that “those” (myself included) moms are different than the moms who did successfully receive treatment. 
I can tell you I am shunned by many in the Postpartum Depression community and when I finally get the opportunity to speak with any of them the most I often get is “well I don’t know what to say”. As though I speak a different language. I find it to be highly hypocritical that these same people want to advocate and call to justice all those who did not do anything for these “poor” women in their time of need, yet those women are me. So if they are at a loss of words of what to say to me what exactly do they think they are or would say to that woman if given the chance?
I am Miriam Carey and I am standing before you all now. I am Ebony Wilkerson (Mini-van Mom), 15 years later. Speak to me now – say something.

There’s a class of women that I remember one very insightful lady blogging about and she got it right on the nose when she said… it was as though saying they had Postpartum Depression got them into some club or something. Without fully realizing the enormity of it. Like it was the new trendy thing to have. 
I remember thinking “Wow, she hit the nail on the head with that one”. I am disgusted by it. It diminishes the real and genuine struggle some women are going through and there are many variables with Postpartum Mood Disorders. Especially Postpartum Psychosis. Which is very real, very scary and can lead to real tragedies. It needs to be taken very seriously.
Postpartum Depression, especially left untreated can have unforeseen consequences and tragic outcomes. 

I do need to say this; that as disgusted by this new trendy era of PPD (that’s Postpartum Depression for you not in the know); I am even more disgusted by the general public and their “trolling”. All of you out there with your pseudonyms (let me save you a step – it means the fake name you use online to hide your true identity) scouring the headlines and just chomping at the bit to get to the comment section and say something oozing with ignorance and common fallacies. Just pouring hatred and judgement into this world as though there isn’t enough already.

I use my real name here; Natachia Barlow Ramsey. At least I have found the courage to do that. It’s not easy and I decided I will be the person who gets to decide what’s put out there about me. Not another “troll”. I get to tell my story.

If that means that someone reads this blog and finds inspiration from it, that is wonderful. If they are disgusted but they walk away with just a bit more knowledge and think.. Good lord I Never want to end up like her. Well more power to them and hopefully they will pass that along as well. 

This article was started on my son (Hunter’s) birthday. Yeah, it was Tuesday, March 11th; he would have been 15 years old. My mother’s birthday was Thursday, March 13th. I’ve been keenly aware of the dates this week because my appeal briefs were due on the 11th.

Hey, like me, love me, hate me. But I know every single one of you has or had a mother. There’s no truer truth than that. So sign the damn petition. 

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~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~



Postpartum Psychosis

Is Postpartum Psychosis as Scary as is Seems…

Yes and No. While it is the scariest and most concerning of the PPMD’s(Postpartum Mood Disorders); there is only a 5% suicide/infanticide rate. So while that does seem like such a small percentage rate alongside an illness that only occurs on roughly 1-2 births out of 1,000. Does anyone want to raise their hand and volunteer to be in that 5% that end in tragedy?
Yeah, I didn’t think so… 

postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicide

As I read the many stories (well let’s face it All the stories) about women coming forward to share their experience with Postpartum Psychosis; I read the same sentiments over and over. They were afraid to be labeled a baby killer or one of “those” women (and it’s usually Andrea Yates) who tried to harm their kids. 

Well, there’s a reason PPP is considered a medical emergency; and it is because of the risk to the mother and child. The reason women are afraid in part to talk about it for fear of being labeled? We do the labeling. The media grabs ahold of a tragic story to make headlines and we also share those stories. 
Do I agree? Yes, we should share. Change does not come with remaining silent. It’s also unfortunately not going to come from a group of moms who had Postpartum Depression and wear it as someone said “like a badge of honor”, as though they were part of special group now. 
I have noticed this trend of Postpartum Depression seeming to be the New Trendy thing to have had. I had actually been noticing it for a while now and made reference to it in a blog I wrote titled Postpartum Depression vs Postpartum Psychosis; 1, 2, 3, 4, – I declare… War?. It feels like a clique from high school where you had to pay your dues to get in but if you went too far… well you just weren’t allowed to sit at the same lunch table anymore. Yet those same women will ride your coattails and all those who follow by saying “Look at this! See what can happen to any of us if not enough attention is paid” “We could have become one of Those women!”
It’s not just the media. We perpetuate this. We turn on one another in conversation. We use the term Baby Killer. That is an awful, derogatory, insensitive term. I cannot tell you how often I hear people use a qualifier of sorts when talking about their illness. “But I would never hurt my children” or “I never hurt my kids”
I for one can say I could have gone my entire life without wanting to be in this “Club”. Now that I am though, I do not want to remain ignorant to any aspect of it. I feel as though it is my job to educate myself to the best of my ability and those around me.  
PPP is most likely within the first four weeks after delivery. But it can occur at anytime and the onset can be rapid. Moms’ can also have periods of lucidity. Looking back now, I was also ill with Pneumonia so I attributed a lot of feeling “off” to that. But now I can see I was depressed and that should have been a red flag. Honestly my history should have been a big red flag along with my family history etc… but this was Maine in 1999. You practically had babies in a Potato field and kept right on picking Potatoes.
The Action on Postpartum Psychosis has a lot of useful information and a great resource tool as well as Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Psychosis is an Illness related to hormonal imbalances. Often the mom has subtle thoughts and feelings that can become more and more exaggerated if left untreated. These thoughts range from delusions to hallucinations. A new mom may appear overly anxious or paranoid. Close family and friends need to help recognize the symptoms. This time and this illness can be difficult and stressful on everyone. Remember the mom is not doing anything on purpose and does not want to be ill. Likely she may not even be aware of how irrational she may be. The most important thing is keeping mom and baby safe. 

My son, Hunter, would be 15 this coming March. I called him my little fellow. Whatever mementos I had left of his (which weren’t much) a small blanket, the little blue card they write the baby’s name on at the hospital, an ultrasound photo and a few pictures… Those were lost in the fire in my home on January 17th. Just typing that sentence took me 20 minutes and I had to sit with it. 
People make sweeping assumptions when they hear you are responsible for the death of one of your children. (This is where the name calling (baby killer etc…) comes into play) Also, the Moms who had Postpartum __________ Something want to make sure you know they would Never hurt their children (just so you know they must be a better mother than you, but let them in the club because they too have suffered).
Well for those of us who were not so fortunate to have had “your” experience (and perhaps some extra support around to recognize we needed help) and we lost a child or harmed ourselves or our child(ren). (We all jump on the Andrea Yates bandwagon when it suits us) 
I want to say, I loved my son. My particular illness wasn’t not hallucinations. I had delusional thinking. My husband (now ex) did not believe Hunter was his son. We had been separated when he was conceived (although he would still come over for… yes Sex). So after a series of events leading up to the birth of my son, (which you can read here) I became ill and thought I needed to die. I also believed no one would take care of my son, so he needed to be with me in Heaven. I did not want to leave him behind on earth. 
I did not think he was evil. He was not unwanted. I was not angry. I was delusional, because I was ill and I thought I was doing something out of love. 
I used to ask my Psychiatrist every day… How could my brain fail me like that? How could my thinking be so backwards? It did not make sense to me and for years I would revisit that question over and over. There is no definitive, black and white answer. I spent years in therapy and had to ask my therapist for permission to grieve my own son. I did not feel as though I had a right because I had been responsible for his death. 

I am coming upon 15 years now and I have seen progress. I am also keenly aware of all the areas that we still need to improve upon. We have a lot of many talented and incredible women dedicated to making changes. For that I am infinitely grateful. Teresa Twomey; Author of – Understanding Postpartum Psychosis;, Wendy Newhouse Davis; PSI Program Director;, Walker Karraa; Program Co-chair at APA Division 56 – Trauma Psychology (What doesn’t Walker do?);, Jennifer Hentz Moyer; Mental Health Advocate and Writer;, Elaine Hanzak; Motivational, Inspirational Speaker and Author….. these are just a smidge of the women who work so hard to make changes. They are a part of what I am grateful for.


Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Suicide, Maternal Mental Health, Psychotic, Depression
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

For Miriam

My Dearest Miriam,

Miriam Carey, Postpartum Psychosis, Postpartum Psychosis stories, PPMD, Walker Karraa, Postpartum. amhi Depression, Natachia Barlow Ramsey,

 I want to tell you that I am sorry. I have thought about you frequently since I heard your story on the news. I wish I could have shielded you from those bullets. I am so incredibly sorry that like so many other times change will inevitably come because a tragedy has occurred.

I have had a pit in my stomach all day thinking about you. I keep saying a thousand things over and over again to you in my head but they’re not reaching my fingertips. I just keep coming back to
I am Sorry; I can feel your pain and it makes me feel physically ill…

Natachia Barlow Ramsey – Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser


Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Suicide, Maternal Mental Health, Psychotic, Depression