Miriam Carey, 34, was shot and killed by police following a police chase outside the Capitol building on Oct. 3. Her mother revealed that she had been suffering from postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter. PPD is actually very common — and treatable. HollywoodLife.com spoke to an expert psychotherapist about the forms of this type of depression.
Miriam Carey was killed by police after she hit a security barricade and a police car and sped wildly away from the Secret Service, igniting a dangerous chase. The new mom had her 1-year-old daughter in the car at the time of the car chase and shooting. The girl was safely removed from the vehicle and put into police “protective custody.” After the tragic event, Miriam’s own mother revealed that Miriam had been suffering from postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter.
Miriam Carey, Capitol Suspect, Suffered From Post-Partum Depression
Miriam developed severe depression after giving birth to her baby. “She had post-partum depression after having the baby” in August 2012, Miriam’s mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News. Miriam gave birth to her daughter, Erica and ”a few months later, she got sick. She was depressed … she was hospitalized.”
Miriam was a dental hygienist from Stamford, CT. and was described as “seemingly happy,” about her life and baby by her co-workers, according to The Daily Mail. Authorities also revealed that Miriam had a history of mental illnesses that aren’t publicly known yet, but her mom said that Miriam had “no history of violence.”
“Investigators found two medications in the apartment of Miriam Carey: one used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder; the other an antidepressant,” a law enforcement source told CNN.
Postpartum depression is more common than is widely realized. In fact, as many 10- 20% of new moms experience depression following the birth of their baby — often not showing any outward signs of illness.
Postpartum Depression — Get The Facts
Postpartum depression can occur immediately after a mom gives birth, but it can even occur as late as a year after the baby’s birth. PPD can be treated through a combination of counseling, anti-depressants, and/or hormone treatment. Estrogen rapidly drops after childbirth, which accounts for the dramatic shift in mood and emotions. Nursing moms considering anti-depressants or hormone treatments should talk to their doctors about options that won’t harm the baby through breastfeeding.
Lots of new moms greatly benefit from talking to other new moms and sharing experiences and emotions in mommy support groups. There are three types of postpartum depression: baby blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis. Baby blues develops 1 day to 2 weeks after birth and lasts for 3 weeks or less. PPD is occurs 4 weeks to 12 months after birth and can last up to year. The most severe form is postpartum psychosis, and symptoms include hallucinations, disorientation, confusion, false or bizarre thinking, delusions, fears of the baby being demonic or possessed, and suicidal or homicidal impulses.
“Therapy or medication is not a sign of weakness; on the contrary, it is the sign of a good mother who is willing to do whatever it takes to be a good parent,” said Dr. Jenn Berman, author of Super Baby: Simple Tips, Tools and Techniques for Encouraging a Child’s Optimal Development.
Dr. Jenn cannot specifically diagnose Miriam, but she told HollywoodLife.com from her experience that Miriam’s case sounds like postpartum psychosis, which may have been caused by a change in her hormones post-pregnancy that made her other medications ineffective, or if she stopped taking her other medications altogether during her pregnancy. “Hormone changes and weight changes during and after pregnancy may mean that medications that worked before need to be tweaked, and they may not have been updated,” Dr. Jenn said.
Let us know, HollyMoms — have you or a loved one experienced postpartum depression?
— Kristine Hope Kowalski