“The book, which aptly refers to itself as a “memoir”, chronicles the author’s experiences with mood and anxiety issues after the birth of her child. We are led through the events leading up to the birth, and then the story begins to detail the types of thoughts and emotions creeping into the author’s head in the days afterward. Ms. Rouds does an excellent job painting a picture of the despair and uncertainty she felt, and this is aided by excerpts from her personal journal at the time. She does not simply gloss over things by saying she was “anxious” or “depressed”. Instead, she gives a blow-by-blow account of the kinds of feelings and reactions she was having in the moment.
Once that foundation is established, she guides us through her attempts to get treatment for her symptoms. Although she had prior experience with behavioral health treatment, these new postpartum symptoms were now exposing her to parts of the mental health treatment system she had never seen before. Her general experience with mental
health providers in the book was frustrating and often horrifying, but she is able to recount it in a very relatable and sometimes mildly comical way. Some of her mental health providers apparently had their own mental issues, some were just going through the motions, and some were ignorant of how to treat her condition. All the providers
seemed to contradict one other in their assessment and advice. Communication by the providers and between the providers was shamefully poor. The dynamics of her own family were further complicating the problems.
Eventually things turned out okay for the author, but the treatment system essentially failed her. She was able to regain her balance by trusting her own judgment, relying on her strengths, rallying her family and friends for support, and using medication prescribed by
her primary care provider. The book allows us to follow along through her ordeal, as if we are standing beside her during those rough times. Once we reach the point of her recovery, we are able to look back and appreciate why she has written this book – to help educate patients and mental providers alike about the experience and nuances of postpartum anxiety.
This book provides a strong voice of hope for women dealing with postpartum mental health issues, and serves as a wake-up call for the mental health system that failed to meet the needs of a woman in crisis. It is recommended reading for any woman who may be at risk for postpartum mood or anxiety problems (and their partners/family), as well as for anyone on the front line of behavioral health treatment.”
– Mental Health Insider (mentalhealthinsider.com)
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