my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Friday, January 12, 2007

PPD on Scrubs

I've never really watched Scrubs regularly. I've wanted to because I enjoy it's quirkiness, but it's been a long time since I've committed to a sitcom.

I have to say I had to turn off last night's episode. I didn't see last week's episode, where Carla starts showing signs of PPD. But last night, she and Turk brought the baby home (and knowing medicine today, it's only been a few days since the baby was born), and in a day or so (time is not well-demarcated on this show), she leaves the baby with a neighbor and takes off.

This is an extremely truncated PPD timeline. Generally baby blues set in right away and clear up, but full-blown PPD symptoms don't start until 2-3 weeks after delivery, when the hormone train switches tracks.

I know that PPD needs to be more well-publicized (and you notice how men can now get PPD, even though they have no pregnancy hormones), but I'm tired of TV shows using it as their drama prop du jour. Most of the crime dramas I like have trotted out the psycho-PPD mom and now a sitcom has a PPD storyline.

Maybe I'm being over-sensitive, as a mom with PPD, but I don't like this trend. I was reading a recent article about men and PPD, and it mentioned that there have been many recent cases where mom's have used PPD as a defense. Well, duh. If you're psychotic (and PPD can become a psychosis), you should use a diminished capacity defense.

I just think the way the media handles this illness, and most mental illnesses, is unfair. I hope Scrubs has been pointing people to real information about PPD (I know CBS has been after they had a PPD mom on an episode of Cold Case, the lead actress has been doing those awareness ads).

This disease affects real people. Normal everyday people. With treatment most of us do bond with our children and don't follow through on the compulsive thoughts that are a hallmark of the illness. We continue to be productive members of society and maintain relationships with our spouses and children. I hope Scrubs handles the plotline with dignity (which the show does have although you wouldn't expect it), but I have little faith in Hollywood.


Ruth said...

You're right - Hollywood's treatment of real medical conditions so often does terrible harm, and the whole "awareness" excuse is mostly a smokescreen for exploitation. I suppose the current "popularity" of PPD is an effort to tap into the publicity over the Tom Cruise - Brooke Shields feud.

Julie said...

Tom Cruise should have been shot. But I digress.

I was watched like a hawk for PPD after I had my kid, because I was a chronic pain patient. I don't know if the concern was legit ('cause chronic pain patients DO have screwed-up brain chemistry), or because chronic pain patients are wimps (my cynical self thinks this is more likely).

I find it alternately sad and annoying how ignorant not only the general population is, but medical professionals, when it comes to various brain chemistry disorders.

And I still think Tom Cruise should have been shot. Or perhaps gutted. Brooke Shields could have done it. With a rusty spoon.