The pregnancies were pretty easy except Amy Corn felt unusually anxious. About germs. About death.
The dark moments first surfaced in 2008 when Corn was pregnant with her daughter and again in 2011 while pregnant with her son. “There were days when I felt completely hopeless, and nervous, and cried for no reason,” Corn said recently.
For years, she accepted the dark mood as her new normal. Then in the summer of 2013, while vacationing in Florida, Corn stepped out on the balcony of their 19th-story hotel room and a thought so disturbing popped in her head, she rushed back inside. “If you jump, it probably won’t even hurt because there is sand down there,” a voice said to her.
As horrible as that was, it isn’t all that unusual. Corn was experiencing postpartum depression, considered the most common complication of childbirth.
In the United States, 1 in 7 new mothers report suffering from some type of perinatal mood disorder, which, if not properly treated, can have a long-term negative impact on the health of the entire family.
And according to the Mental Health America of Georgia website, more than 30,000 pregnant and postpartum women are likely to experience a perinatal mood disorder in this state alone. Think about that. Instead of enjoying one of the happiest times of your life, you’re feeling worthless, uninterested, depressed, suicidal or worse.
Consequently, women often feel alone in their suffering, believing the myth that motherhood and maternity leave should be the best times of their lives. First-time parents often have no experience with which to compare their new roles, creating a distorted perception of parenthood.
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