New Mom Tells Her Doctor She Has PPD, So Her Doctor Called The Cops On Her
Well, this is absolutely infuriating. It’s hard enough for new moms struggling with postpartum depression to find the courage to ask for help. So when a mom finally does reach out, to her doctor of all people, and the response is to call the cops – that’s a HUGE problem. Jessica Porten knew she was experiencing PPD after the birth of her second child. So she did what you’re supposed to do: she asked for help. But instead of helping her, her doctor called the cops on her, and set into motion an outrageous series of events.
Jessica Porten wasn’t able to see her doctor until 4 months after the birth of her daughter, Kira. She says the office kept cancelling her appointments. By the time she was able to finally be seen, she knew she was struggling.
In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Jessica details the horrible treatment she received at her doctor’s office. She says, “I went to the appointment alone with Kira. It was at 2:10, and I was not called back to a room until 3:15. A nurse practitioner comes in (one I don’t particularly care for) and I tell her everything my husband told them when he scheduled me the appointment a week ago. That I have postpartum depression that is manifesting in fits of anger, and I want to discuss my medication options. I tell them I have a very strong support system at home, so although I would never hurt myself or my baby, I’m having violent thoughts and I need medication and therapy to get through this.”
Jessica did everything right. She saw her doctor, she explained her feelings, and she ASKED FOR HELP. What happened next is absolutely appalling.
After rushing through her pelvic exam, the nurse practitioner excused herself from the room, telling Jessica she needed to discuss the PPD with the doctor. Rather than have the doctor come into the room and talk to their patient, they made the decision to punish this mother who was asking them to help her.
“They called the fucking cops on me.”
Jessica continues, “They had a staff member sit with me for over an hour waiting for the police to arrive. The cops show up and we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how they’re going to escort me to the ER because I have Kira and her car seat. The cops can clearly see I’m of sound mind and that this whole thing is bullshit, so they allow me to drive to the ER with Kira in my car while one cop drives in front of me and one follows behind.”
“We arrive at the ER and I’m checked in, triaged, blood drawn. I am assigned a security guard to babysit me. I wait for over an hour and Scott is finally able to come down to support me (he was watching Luna and did not have her car seat so he had to wait for my dad to get home before he could come over). They finally get us a room, which they only did because we have a baby.”
Jessica and Kira were in the ER for 10 hours. In that span of time, she says, not once did a doctor so much as look at her. She was finally seen by a social worker at 10:45 p.m., and she was handed a stack of papers with resources she might find helpful. She finally left the hospital at midnight.
Jessica’s story is resonating with so many people. The entire ordeal sheds light on the lack of care many, many women experience, especially in the mental health arena. What’s more, Jessica says she realizes that her privilege as a white woman is likely what kept her from being put on a psychiatric hold. She spoke about her fear for mothers of color and LGBTQ mothers who seek help, only to be marginalized and punished for doing so.
“I may be marginalized as a woman, but I am white and heterosexual and hold privileges in these places. I am scared for our mothers of color and our LGBTQ mothers who seek out help in these situations.”
Since her story has gone viral, Jessica Porten has created the hashtag #Action4Jessica, and is encouraging people to take action and lift up the marginalized members of their community. She told ScaryMommy, “We need to lift up our marginalized communities and make sure they are receiving the care that we ALL deserve so we can thrive as a united people. No woman should have to suffer in silence for fear of having her children taken away. There needs to be systems in place to treat this extremely common condition (PMD) without traumatizing families or ripping them apart.”
(Image: Facebook / Jessica Porten)