Jessica Porten never in her wildest dreams thought that she would land up in jail for opening up about her symptoms of Postpartum Depression to her doctor. The young mom took to social media to vent about the shitty healthcare system and share the humiliating experience with parents out there in hopes that no other person has to go through it again.
#1 PPD Is Associated With Childbirth And Is Very Common Among Young Parents
Postpartum depression also known as postnatal depression is a mental health issue that is associated with childbirth. However, it is a very common problem that can affect both the sexes but due to the stigma the issue is not openly addressed. The common symptoms include anxiety attacks, sudden bursts of anger, depression and mood elevation but they may vary from person to person.
#2 Only 20-30% Get Treatment For It
According to the Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Robbert T. Ammerman, getting treatment for PPD is a privilege and only 20-30% women get treatment for it in US. While the chances are much lower for low-income mothers.
#3 PPD Is Treatable!
The condition can be easily treated with proper treatment and medications and patients can lead healthy normal lives. A number of healthcare professionals and doctors encourage women to speak up openly about PPD and to never shy away from talking about its symptoms.
#4 Jessica Porten Talks About Her Experience On Social Media
Following the advice, one woman Jessica Porten went to her doctor to talk about her PPD and to get treatment for it. But what this new mom experienced was something beyond shocking and she couldn't help but share her experience with people on social media.
#5 How Little Support Mothers Get From The Healthcare System
Porten in her post wrote that she knows that posting her story on social media won't help much but she wants the world to know how little support young moms get from their healthcare systems, "I had a really hard time deciding whether I should post something about what happened last night, since putting it on Facebook wouldn’t help the situation. But I don’t know, I feel like this has to be said out into the world so you can all see how little support mothers get from our healthcare system."
#6 Porten Opened Up To Her Doctor About Her Symptoms, Hoping To Get Treatment
Porten says she went to the doctor to discuss her options about her treatment as she already knew she was suffering from PPD, "I had an OB appointment yesterday, my first since giving birth 4 months ago (because they kept cancelling my appointments), which is inhumane in my eyes. I went to the appointment alone with Kira. It was at 2:10, and I was not called back to a room until 3:15. A nurse practitioner comes in (one I don’t particularly care for) and I tell her everything my husband told them when he scheduled me the appointment a week ago. That I have postpartum depression that is manifesting in fits of anger, and I want to discuss my medication options. I tell them I have a very strong support system at home, so although I would never hurt myself or my baby, I’m having violent thoughts and I need medication and therapy to get through this. She rushed through my pelvic exam, barely spoke about medication, said she needed to talk to the doctor about my PPD, and left the room."
#7 They Called Cops Upon Her
Recalling the horrifying experience Porten says, "They called the cops on me. They had a staff member sit with me for over an hour waiting for the police to arrive. The cops show up and we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how they’re going to escort me to the ER because I have Kira and her car seat. The cops can clearly see I’m of sound mind and that this whole thing is bullshit, so they allow me to drive to the ER with Kira in my car while one cop drives in front of me and one follows behind. We arrive at the ER and I’m checked in, triaged, blood drawn. I am assigned a security guard to babysit me. I wait for over an hour and Scott is finally able to come down to support me (he was watching Luna and did not have her car seat so he had to wait for my dad to get home before he could come over). They finally get us a room, which they only did because we have a baby."
#8 Going Through Humiliating Experience
Not knowing what her crime is, at the Police station Porten was forced to go through a humiliating experience, "They take me to the bathroom so I can give a urine sample. They make me remove all of my clothes (including my flip flops, which they replaced with socks) and then take them away from me and lock them up. We missed dinner, so a nurse gives us two shitty little turkey sandwiches. I am not seen by a social worker until 10:45pm. She decides she does not need to put me on a psychiatric hold, and they process my discharge. Not once during all of this has a doctor laid eyes on me. Not once. Not even before they decided to call the cops on me. The social worker hands me some papers and discusses the information in them, telling me she thinks these ‘will probably be good resources for you."
#9 Disgusted And Disappointed At The Healthcare System
Feeling disrespected, Porten says she is disgusted at the healthcare system and her spirit is broken then ever because of the nightmare she had to go through, I leave the ER at midnight, my spirit more broken than ever, no medication, no follow up appointment, never spoke to a doctor. This was a 10 hour ordeal that I had to go through all while caring for my infant that I had with me. And that’s it. That’s what I got for telling my OB that I have PPD and I need help. I was treated like a criminal and then discharged with nothing but a stack of xeroxed printouts with phone numbers on them. I’m still processing all of the emotions that are coming with being treated this way. I’m not exactly sure what to do here. I will say I am deeply hurt and upset and above all angry and disgusted and disappointed by how this whole thing went down. Ladies and gentlemen, our healthcare system."
#10 Receiving Love And Support From The Online Community
Porten's post got immediate response and she received love and support from the online community with many people suggesting her to switch her doctor. She responded the public with a thank you post and explained that she won't switch her doctor instead, she will make sure that her doctor gets proper training and awareness about PPD so no mother in future has to go through the ordeal ever again.