Susan Marchioni, LMHC
I am the mother of three adult children.
I am also a survivor of postpartum anxiety and depression (PPD).
In the early 1990’s, after the birth of my first two children, I suffered from PPD. After my first daughter, it was mild. After my second daughter, it was severe. I was a textbook case; two traumatic births, colicky baby who cried constantly, no appetite, was sleep deprived and mentally exhausted. I cried often and kept close to home. I was extremely irritable, and was having scary, intrusive thoughts – I thought obsessively about running away and never coming back. Shortly after becoming pregnant with my second child, we had moved to a new area where I had no family and had no friends. I was isolated and lonely with no support system. My husband worked long hours. I did not feel like myself.
No one noticed. No health professional asked how I was doing, how I was feeling. Was I sleeping? Eating? Scared? Sad? Excessively worrying? I had never heard of postpartum depression and was never screened or assessed for it. I felt as if I was going crazy. And I was terrified to speak up because I feared being considered an unfit mother and feared the unthinkable – my two beautiful, sweet daughters might be taken away from me and I would be placed in a psych hospital. So I remained silent.
Eventually, I did learn about postpartum anxiety and depression; its symptoms, the long-term mental health problems and the potential for devastating results if left untreated. My discovery occurred as a result of the tragedy of a local family who lived in my community. The woman was someone I had quickly met in a playgroup I had recently joined. As the story of her and her family unfolded, reports of the possibility of postpartum depression emerged. I recognized some of the same symptoms in myself. And it had a name and it was real. And left untreated, it could have tragic and heartbreaking outcomes. I immediately reached out for help. The story of this local mom can be found here.
Emotionally healthy moms are essential to emotionally healthy children and families.
- Licensed mental health clinician in the state of Massachusetts
- Complicated Grief-informed clinician. Training completed at The Center for Complicated Grief, Columbia University, New York, NY
- MA in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
- Family and Individual outreach clinician at South Shore Mental Health, Quincy, MA
- Visiting Moms Program Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JF&CS), Waltham, MA
- Infant and Maternal Mental Health trainings at JF&CS with a focus on trauma and PTSD
- Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorder training with Postpartum Support International
- Parenting Journey facilitator training with The Family Center, Somerville, MA
- Member of the Advisory Council for the Milton Early Childhood Alliance, Milton, MA
Maternal Mental Health Matters Because Moms Matter