Local mom speaks out about postpartum depression after the FDA approves a new drug to treat it

Updated: Mar. 22, 2019 at 4:31 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - One in nine new mothers struggle with postpartum depression, according to CNN.

While there are lots of depression medications on the market, up until this week, there were none specifically for postpartum depression.

Now, U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Zulresso, which is designed for new mothers suffering from postpartum.

While the drug is expensive and not accessible for everyone, Miranda Cooley, a Deridder mom of six, said she hopes it will bring new life to the conversation about postpartum.

Cooley said being a mom of a large family is her calling.

“It has pulled out of me the things that I need to work on, to become the best version of myself," Cooley said.

She said after giving birth to her first two kids, she felt some sadness, but didn’t have a name for it.

“This just must be motherhood," Cooley said. "This must be life with kids. Sad. And hard.”

With her third child however, she said things got worse.

“It’s just almost like everything that brings you joy, everything that makes you happy, kind of just is carved out of you, and it’s just like emptiness," Cooley said.

She said that’s when she knew she needed professional help.

“That was the first time my doctor said, you know he mentioned postpartum depression. And I said okay," Cooley said.

Dr. Michael Wright is a psychiatrist with the Archer Institute at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

He said postpartum depression is a depressive episode that usually occurs within the first 12 months after giving birth.

“You would want to look for changes in sleep patterns, appetite, certainly thoughts of excessive guilt or worthlessness," Dr. Wright said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms include anxiety, irritability and mood swings.

Dr. Wright said if you’re suffering, there is hope for you.

“Anyone suffering from postpartum depression, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, there are effective treatments," Dr. Wright said.

It’s a development Cooley said she’s thankful for, even if it didn’t get here in time for her, because it shows that postpartum depression is becoming less taboo.

That’s something Cooley echoed, saying you aren’t alone in your struggles.

“You are experiencing something totally normal, do not let guilt overwhelm you for feeling like that,” Cooley said.

As for what gets her through the hard times, it’s just knowing that tomorrow is always a new day.

“And you just try again. That is really the only thing that I have tried to remind myself, for everyday, is let’s do better tomorrow," Cooley said.

There are resources for you if you’re struggling with postpartum depression.

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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