Mom Was Escorted By The Police After Opening Up About Her Postpartum Depression During The Regular Checkup

Date June 26, 2018

Can you rely on your doctor? You are definitely lucky if you can confide in your health care provider. What makes us doubt like that? After reading Jessica Porten’s story, you will also become more cautious about visiting your doctor.

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Postpartum depression

Jessica Porten aimed for a regular checkup 4 months after giving birth to her little girl, Kira. Besides having some physical symptoms that were bothering the mother, she was feeling depressed and wanted to express her negative emotions and concerns to her obstetrician. It was her first checkup, as the healthcare institution in Sacramento, California, had already canceled several previous appointments.

Finally, the appointment took place. The mother told nurse practitioner she needed a pelvic exam and told her about her mental state. Jessica was experiencing fits of anger and violent thought due to postpartum depression. The mother simply wanted to discuss treatment options:

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.

READ ALSO: Mother Beat Her 2-Year-Old Son To Death After He ‘Intentionally’ Wet His Bed

Calling the police

However, instead of talking about medication and therapy, the nurse called the police to assess her mental health. Jessica was shocked by the nurse’s decision, as the mother was adamant she would never harm herself or any family member, including her newborn baby. The nurse then explained the protocol, where she was obligated to inform the police. The woman said she had no other choice. Jessica tells in the interview:

It was like once the ball got rolling, no one could stop it. Everyone was just covering their own liability.

To hell and back

The horror began when the police showed up. Jessica was forced to drive to the ER accompanied by two police cars. The police allowed the mother to drive her own car, as it was only Jessica who had Kira’s car seat. Jessica underwent a thorough examination after they had arrived at the ER. She was triaged, had blood and urine taken for tests, and was left for hours with a security guard babysitting the woman. Jessica recalls the fear she was experiencing:

I was afraid that if I had a reaction they would commit me. My goal was to not be separated from my baby.

A social worker saw no evidence of the Jessica was suicidal, unstable, unfit to parent, and determined that no psychiatric stay was necessary. After more than 10 hours of torture, the woman was finally freed. Jessica received papers with information regarding postpartum depression, and that’s all. No medications, no therapy, just papers. According to California Health Care Foundation, 1 in 5 California women face depression during or after pregnancy.

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The woman couldn’t handle such treatment and wrote a post on Facebook to share the story about the health care system that had broken her spirit by treating the mother like a criminal. Jessica hopes the publicity forces positive changes in the approach to maternal mental health. But most of all, she hopes the story won’t prevent other mothers from seeking treatment for PPD.

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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