Originally posted November 13, 2017.
Ivy Shih Leung, postpartum depression author, activist and award winning blogger, interviewed me for her blog. She is a passionate, outspoken advocate for women, families and social justice.
Some background about Ivy from her blog: Ivy is a PPD survivor. She had her daughter in December 2004 and suffered from PPD about 6 weeks later. Fortunately, with the help of Paxil which she started taking in February 2005, her frightening experience came to an end 4 weeks later. Tom Cruise’s infamous rantings “There’s no such thing as a chemical imbalance” triggered an intense reaction and an overwhelming desire to tell him, and others like him, to “Shut up unless you’ve been through PPD yourself.”
Welcome to the very first of my Journey of a PPD Survivor Series!
I know many, many survivors whose journeys led them to helping other mothers feel less alone and suffer less than they themselves did. These women have gone on to become doulas, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, peer support group leaders, founders of not-for-profit groups, bloggers (like myself), book authors (like myself), fundraisers, volunteers (like myself), etc.
Kathy Morelli, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since we met in 2011 at the Postpartum Support International conference in Seattle, has the honor of being my very first interviewee for this series. Back in 2012, she wrote the most amazing book review for my book. She herself is a book author in addition to being a licensed professional counselor and licensed massage therapist for pregnant/postpartum women.
Thank you, Kathy, for taking the time to provide my blog readers some insight into your journey as a PPD survivor!
Can you please describe your journey to becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor and Director of BirthTouch, LLC and what motivated your passion for maternal mental health matters?
Ivy, lol, this could be a looooong answer! I’ll try to keep it reasonably brief! I came of age in the 1970s when feminism was just starting to impact our society. I was raised to believe that I could go to college and get a good job, just like the boys. But I was also enculturated to stay home with my children. My mom didn’t work outside the home. There was no Title IX, equal funding of boys’ and girls’ sports, etc. when I was growing up. There was no family leave, no daycare centers included on corporate campuses. So, the tantalizing idea that a woman could work equally as a man was out there, but there were no plans for what to do about motherhood. What to do with a newborn during a career trajectory. These things were not in the public discourse at all. So, I never thought about how the integration of career and family is an enormous life challenge. How would I know?