Friday, January 12, 2007

NBC show 'Scrubs' is my new hero

Last night, I fell upon the NBC show 'Scrubs' while channel surfing. I admit to having watched this show a few times - though not much - and mostly because I have a 38 year old-woman-with-two-kids crush on Zach Braff.

But last night the show's storyline centered primarily on character Carla Turk's (played by Judy Reyes) plunge into postpartum depression immediately following the birth of her baby.

I gotta tell you - it was gooood. As a woman who suffered (needlessly in my opinion) from postpartum depression after the birth of my most amazing first child, my son, it was incredible to see such a thoughtful and measured portrayal of PPD.

The storyline essentially followed Carla from the moment she came home with her beautiful baby - you know, the time when we mom's are supposed to be blissed out and beautiful, wallowing in o-so-natural mamahood?
Except she wasn't. She was a bawling, sad pile of mess. And her husband, to the writers' credit, was not clueless and stupid or neglectful and frustrated. He kicked it into high gear - he immediately encouraged her to get help, go see a doctor, and continually told her it was normal to have those feelings. When she protested it was just "the weepies", he assured her it seemed more like postpartum depression.

Ahhh, knowledgeable television. I know I seem overly excited about this. But here's the thing. Towards the middle of the show when she was really, really losing it and clearly could not cope, her husband and his colleague - himself with a wife that had suffered through PPD- conspired to get them together so that Carla could hear firsthand that PPD was not only normal but common - from another mother!!

Yea - 'Scrubs' - you did good. You depicted one mother, suffering terribly from PPD & a society that STILL will not ensure that mothers have the resources they need to be healthy mothers, receiving clear, intelligent advice from another mother - a woman who knew exactly what she was talking about, acted kind & supportive and made sure the suffering mama received the help she needed right away.

I know some folks will protest because the last scene portrayed Carla Turk in the blissed- out-on-baby-love stage because of the anti-depressant assistance she finally received. But, again, as a woman who suffered through PPD and also used anti-depressants to get through that stage, I say GO FOR IT. Anything that will make that stage easier, make the mama feel better, help the woman to be able to truly enjoy those first few months of the most mindblowing, outrageous, difficult and heart-bursting time you will ever experience is fine by me.

Here is a blog devoted to gettin' the word out about PPD:
http://postpartumprogress.typepad.com/weblog/

Feminist Peace Network