What you are about to experience is unlike much of what you have seen in the field of postpartum illness — it’s real and it’s honest.

An abundance of thought leaders have offered a steady stream of valuable contributions over the years, rightly addressing maternal mental health issues (PPD and related disorders) and how tough they can be to conquer. At the same time, we have been left with a subtle yet profound gap in information—until very recently there has not been a dedicated book, even a pamphlet, on what lies beyond the pain.

PPD Gone! is a collection of twenty-eight stories from courageous moms who have stepped forward to share not only their battle with postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis but how they have come out the other side Better than Ever.

* Special Note: Most of these stories were collected as far back as 2006. What is very worth mentioning here, is that the recoveries have not only lasted but these women’s lives have become increasingly enhanced over the last many years. You can rest assured that these women aren’t just in the immediate “relief phase” at the end of the crisis—they have continued to grow and enjoy throughout the years.

As a two-time survivor, a clinical psychologist and a pioneer in this field beginning in the 1980’s, my goal has always been to help individuals who are suffering. My aim with this book is to extend that assistance to as many women and their families as possible. In that regard, I have added story-specific commentary to address all those who may benefit from it.

My intention is to inspire, honor, and counsel. The point is to highlight key lessons, takeaways, and silver linings specific to each author and her story, and in turn, maximize the impact of her bravery in stepping forward.

Each story has been handpicked from a generous outpouring of contributions and compiled to give you a varied representation of these conditions. If you “find” yourself in a story, it will help you feel the truth — you are not alone.

Some of the stories will resonate with you more than others, and you don’t have to find a story that you completely identify with. You will likely find bits and pieces that are true for you. What’s important is that you find what you need, those things that speak to you and guide you on your unique path.

Throughout three decades, moms who I’ve worked with have often expressed, “Dr. Shosh, you told me I’d be fine. You told me I could even be better than fine. And I couldn’t really believe you at the beginning.” I don’t blame them. When my PPD was at its worst, I wouldn’t have believed it either. I would have thought, She must not understand how horrible this is.

But I do, and there’s more to the story.

Those same women who were skeptics often follow up their initial words to me with, “Now I see you were right. Not only that, I’m better than ever.”

And with the right help, you will be, too.

As you read this book, I want you to know that I am with you every step of the way. I am here to give you what you need to persevere, even if it’s just a big hug. Many therapists shy away from that, but not I. When you need a hug, I give it freely and without reservation. If I can’t be with you in person, I’m happy to do the next best thing. As you read these stories, seek guidance, and summon your strength, please know that I am giving you a HUGE virtual hug.

I hope you feel it, because it’s ready and waiting all the time. You are not alone, and if you avail yourself of the help that is out there, you’re going to be fine. With time, not only will you find your PPD Gone! you will recover 100% and become Better than Ever.

Epilogue

As you of course know, it is my sincere hope that you not only realize that you will be fine if you get the right help, but that you actually take the next step to get it.

If there is anything I can do to further your health, please feel free to contact me—you can even send me an audio message easily from my website.

DrShosh@DrShosh.com  OR (510) 305-5040 

I would be honored to be part of your recovery. I work virtually through various technologies (including phone) with women worldwide. If, for any reason, you and I don’t end up working together, I’ll be happy to point you in other directions. I have an extensive list of qualified professionals, phone numbers, websites and organizations from which you can choose. Please consider also the various resources found within the stories throughout this book, many of which are included in the free app, PPDGone!, which you’re invited to download.

Whatever you decide, I wish you the best as you look forward to a state of PPD Gone! a return to 100% and a life that is Better than Ever.

Warmly,

Dr. Shosh

photo by Anne Worner CC BY 2.0