28 states allow medical marijuana for a number of conditions including postpartum depression
1 in 7 women battle postpartum depression. A 34 mother of 3 anonymously told her story to her local Texas news station.
“Let me start by saying that things aren’t the same as they used to be, we have moved fast and we are finding ourselves trying to evolve as parents to keep up and thrive as families,” she wrote in an email to KXAN. “In a society that has changed very much in its understanding and encouragement to mothers rearing the next generation of world citizens, it is easy to lose sight of how overwhelming it can be to immerse yourself in motherhood.”
Her children are 9, 3 and 2. Symptoms of postpartum depression, specifically postpartum rage started after giving birth to her second child. To treat the problem, she turned to something that doctors can’t legally prescribe.
“At the suggestion of my therapist/doctor I began using cannabis to relieve the symptoms of PPD/ptsd,” she explained. After using cannabis for several months, she says the drug is allowing her to look at a stressful situation in a calmer way. “It allows me to slow the reaction process slightly so that I may make a different decision,” she wrote. “It allows me to be present with my children whereas in the past I would be consumed with thoughts of the millions of things on my to-do list. Playing dolls and Legos, reading the same book dozens of times in one day is something I can now do with joy and mindfulness. After doing my research, I determined that this is something that helps me so immensely, that I would be irresponsible to bypass. This is not a decision that I take lightly and I look forward to the day we can study this in more detail and remove the stigma of both PPD and cannabis use.”
One in seven women battle postpartum depression during pregnancy or after giving birth.
Patient Story- Celia Behar
Celia Behar has battled with postpartum depression. She started seeing signs after giving birth to her oldest daughter.
“I couldn’t get out of bed. I was sobbing. I didn’t feel connected to my daughter.” The California mom admits it took her a while to realize what she was dealing with. “I didn’t want to hurt her or anybody else, I definitely wanted to hurt myself and more than anything I just wanted to disappear.”
Behar went the traditional medication route at first, she turned to therapy and got a prescription for Prozac. She said the side effects made her feel numb.
“My hands would shake, which I hated. No sleep. There was definitely insomnia, upset stomach and really bad migraines.” Desperate for help after her second daughter was born, Behar turned to something she doubted at first: marijuana. “It works right away, it’s more natural, there are no lasting side effects to it. My rage was gone, I mean I didn’t have that anymore.”
- Mood Swings
- Difficulty bonding with baby
Dr. Bonni Goldstein, Medial Director of Canna-Centers in Los Angeles and author.
“I’m not allowed to write a prescription like I would be able to do with antibiotics, I’m allowed to approve a patient once I evaluate them, and make sure they qualify, and in addition to making sure they qualify based on the law, I also ask myself the question ‘would this person benefit from the use of medical cannabis? If they qualify and I do think that they would benefit I’m allowed to approve them.’”
“It’s quite safe and it may work and we have this system in our brain that may be imbalanced and this plant may be the answer to put it back into balance,” explained Dr. Goldstein. “Right now, we do not have good pharmaceuticals that could replace what the cannabis plant does.”
Senator Jose Menendez
The democratic senator has filed a bill to cover more debilitating medical conditions with marijuana under the law including post-traumatic stress disorder.
“What I don’t understand is why it is that politicians feel like they can pick and choose which legitimate medicines are available for doctors to prescribe,” said Sen. Menendez, “all I’m trying to do is allow for medical doctors to be able to in consultation with their patients decide which course of medication is best for them.”
Senator Menendez also said postpartum depression should be considered as well
“I’m not a medical professional, but if a medical professional is currently prescribing a medication for someone suffering from clinical depression or bipolar or whatever the issue may be, I’m not going to get in the way,” said Menendez. “Here we have something that’s known to have medicinal benefits for people and we tell people no if you go get that you’re a criminal. Someone has to start talking about it. I think moms have power, a lot more than we give credit.”