I Just Don’t Know

I’ve come to the realization over the past year that some people are never going to understand what it’s like to deal with depression. I’m not saying they can’t ever feel empathy or develop sympathy for those who do. I’ve just reached the point where I believe there are those whose dispositions are sunny enough or constitutions stout enough they’ll never be able to fully comprehend how depression affects a a person.

I don’t begrudge them this fact. In fact, I’m a little jealous I’m not more like them. I guess you could say there are times when I don’t understand them. This can, obviously, lead to all kinds of misconceptions and misunderstandings, because when people like that collide with people like me we may as well be from different planets. I have an idea of how they’re supposed to act, and they have an idea of how I’ve supposed to behave, and, inevitably, neither one of us winds up being correct.

I say all this to set up what may seem like a fairly simple statement: I don’t know much of anything about post-partum depression. The extent of my knowledge is basically this: Moms have babies and then get depressed. A mom being down because of the added workload of caring for a new human life makes perfect sense to me. Moms who have thoughts of harming their babies after giving birth to them does not. I’m not making a judgment here; I just can’t get my brain around it.

So when I awoke this morning to find every news agency in America declaring Miriam Carey – the 34-year-old dental hygienist from Miriam_Carey_2_270x270Stamford, Connecticut, who was shot and killed yesterday after crashing her car into a White House barrier – suffered from post-partum depression, I was somewhat confused. From everything I had heard about this form of depression, moms who suffer from it don’t usually pack up their 1-year-old toddlers in their vehicles and head off to Washington, D.C., to attempt to … well, whatever it was Carey was attempting to do. Does post-partum depression really have the potential to push a woman that far?

According to Northwestern Medicine Women’s Health Psychiatrist, Dr. Nehama Dresner, the answer to that question seems to be, “Maybe … but not without some help.”

“That kind of behavior comes from another source,” Dresner said in an interview with CBS Chicago. “They may have other challenges, either circumstantial or mental health challenges, such as psychosis. It’s not common at all for women with post-partum depression to become violent.”

An additional report from CNN today indicated Carey may have believed President Barack Obama had her house under electronic surveillance, and her sisters did mention in the same report she had been diagnosed with post-partum psychosis, so it is likely this was more than just a case of the baby blues pushing someone over the edge. What bothers me about what I heard this morning, though, was that again the media attempted to link depression with trying to kill someone.

I mentioned in a post concerning Aaron Alexis, the D.C. naval yard shooter, my concern that people with mental disorders were beginning to be viewed as ticking time bombs. This seems to be another instance of that occurring. It seemed as soon as the word depression was associated with Carey, that became the most likely culprit behind her behavior. The only problem was this theory was mostly being floated by people who didn’t understand post-partum depression or know much of anything about the personal life of this woman.

As I am finishing typing this, I’m watching a story on the news about a man who set himself on fire on the National Mall in the nation’s capitol today. I certainly don’t understand that kind of behavior either. There’s obviously some type of mental issue going on there. Could we at least get the whole story, though, before we slap the “depression” tag on this person? Tragedies like these are never that simple. I think that’s something we all can understand.


6 thoughts on “I Just Don’t Know

  1. Amen, the word depression has been thrown around too much lately. We had just started to make headway with the misconceptions about depression and the events of the last few months have pretty much nullified that.

  2. I suffered from ppd after jt was born but I believe it is linked to deficiencies in the women body and the health of the baby! My babay had health issues and had colic for 14 months that was unbareable with very little support! With experiencing ppd killing someone isn’t the issue but wanting to escape from the massive stress is! It is more in deattaching urself from the responsibility because the needs r so great and overwhelming that killing self makes sense because a person can just sleep! Having more support for these mothers would lessen the burden and the challenge in order for her own body to heal!

  3. I wrote I will comment soon as to saying I would do it then I would do it would do it.

    However I’ll not delay in reply i’ll do it now.

    My advice regarding news on TV is simply
    not to watch it / it is simply brainwashing nonsense very little if any truth being told.

    In regard to the shooting of Miriam Carey
    the police always say when killing someone that the individual killed had mental health problems / it excuses them from the crime
    in regard that mentally ill people regarded
    as violent / thus killing them but justified.

    The opposite is more the truth mentally ill
    peole suffer in main because their illness makes them very timid in nature / it being
    it’s be themselves they will harm / as kill
    rather than others. Of course their being
    mentally ill people whom can be violent
    but in number are by far in the minority.

    Miriam was simply trying to get herself
    out of a situation where being in a state
    of confussion a individual that simply
    taking a wrong turning finding herself
    surriounded by police pointing guns
    it being her natural instinct in being
    to protect her child and get it out of
    danger / the unfortunate situation is
    the police are out of control they are
    ever to ready to shoot people / this
    goes on daily / only this event could
    not be hidden where happened to be
    captured on camera / the shooting of
    Miriam was a appalling injustice…
    yet the reality she is but one of many
    whom have been wrongly killed it
    happens daily it simply unreported.

    Back unto depression / depression is
    not a sign you are getting ill and iller
    depression is more the sign that you
    are coming to the end of a illness &
    in truth it’s not illness but rather that
    of brain development. In norm brain development is not never a problem
    it’s at such an pace it causing little
    concern (however) there be those
    whom go through very tense period
    of brain development / and this can
    be a dire for those going through it
    it can take one to the very heights of
    anxiety / fear /depression /paranoia.

    A example one getting house repairs
    one person it being an new door new
    window….where for the other person
    it’s new electric wiring throughout…
    home new floorboards as windows
    walls replaced / ceilings replaced
    etc etc etc the point being in brain
    development for the many it’s not
    a problem for tthe other it being
    a dire nightmare they go through.

    Why some go through such testing
    times can be given reason however
    that i’ll put aside / for another time.

    There’s one thing you to understand
    about depression / it’s caused by a
    chemical reaction in the brain NOT
    to harm you but to aid one through
    very very testing period in their life.

    One should NOT try to get away AS
    escape from the depression rather
    one should embrace the depression
    in doing one will find it being a rich
    deep comforting experience………
    however one must be careful not to
    get too addicted to it / as once one
    through needed brain development
    then what happens is the depression
    but starts to fade as becomes a very
    distant memory. Getting addicted to
    depression then in it’s fading away
    one may find it’s going a concern..
    leading to a funny situation where
    going to the doctor / and informing
    them your depression is leaving but
    you don’t want to lose it / which will
    leave doctor somewhat lost for words.

    Thus enjoy depression but don’t get
    over fond of it / as with one’s brain
    ( needed development ) depression
    simply day by day but fading away.

    It’s what you need do after the brain development / is completed that in
    being of ultra importance / because
    it be your having gone through such
    brain development in preperation as
    then being capable in being granted
    GREATER understanding experience.

    Such being my next comment unto
    you I’ll give the direction as inform
    as how you (with enhanced brain)
    gain far greater understanding as
    experience / of creation & creator.

    I will write further comment soon
    & give the advice you now require
    in your further gain of knowledge.

  4. So, there’s actually three different processes there. In order or increasing severity: Baby blues is something most if not all postpartum women feel. This is a normal reaction to the expectation of baby for months, as well as receiving so much attention for months on the mother. In American culture, once the baby is here, the mom can sometimes be forgotten. This, and the reality of caring for a helpless newborn 24 hrs/day brings on naturally occurring sadness.

    Postpartum depression is a more intense/severe form of similar symptoms and include feelings of self-doubt and potentially self-harm

    Postpartum psychosis is the most severe form, also the most rare. I interviewed one woman whose presenting symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia were during postpartum psychosis. She also believed she was being monitored through the TV, and “they” we’re going to take her baby away.

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