I've never experienced postpartum depression.
I've experienced some pretty dark moments as a mother, moments when sleep deprivation and anger and frustration and exhaustion and despair and the stresses of everyday life seem overwhelming.
Moments when I've wished to be anywhere but here with this screaming, endlessly needy infant.
But I've never come close to experiencing postpartum depression. I can't even imagine how truly terrifying it must be for a mother to endure.
And, like Annie at PhD in Parenting wrote, there are other women, women who have been there, whose voices need to be heard.
An article appeared on AOL today about the recent murder of two young South Carolina boys by their mother. It included a comment made by a criminal profiler, a woman named Pat Brown who stated that postpartum depression is a "crock."
And there are some very smart, very strong women who have been very pissed off by this blanket statement about what is a very real illness.
I don't know the specifics of the case in South Carolina, but, in this situation, they don't seem to matter. Pat Brown wasn't just speaking specifically about this one case. She was making a blanket statement about women everywhere.
If you're interested in this story, you can read the AOL article here. Keep in mind, however, that it has already been edited to remove the controversial comments.
If you're interested in some smart, serious discussions from women who have battled depression first-hand, then here are the links that you really need to read.
Read this post from Postpartum Progress.
Or visit Catherine at Her Bad Mother and read her post The Monster In the Closet.
You can also read An Open Letter to Pat Brown (the profiler who made the offensive statement) at the Pretty Babies blog. And the post has been updated to include Pat Brown's response.
These women, and women like them, are the experts. They may not be professionals, and they may not have all the answers, but they've been there.
They've been there. In my mind, that gives them a very real right to a very valid opinion.
The criminal profiler? Maybe, and that's a big maybe, she has a valid opinion in the specific case that she has been working on.
But an opinion on postpartum depression in women everywhere?
No way in hell.
And AOL should know that.