When Californian woman Jessica Porten asked for help, she was met with an experience that has prompted her to fight for change in the US medical system.
In a post shared to her Facebook page, the mother-of-two related a post-natal check up that went completely awry – and ended with her being escorted to a hospital flanked by two police cars.
Porten told the nurse practitioner tending to her that she had been suffering from postpartum depression, which had manifested in dark, intrusive thoughts, since she’d had her daughter, Kira. She asked for therapy and medicine. Instead, she says the police were called.
"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," she wrote in the Facebook post.
"She rushed through my pelvic exam, barely spoke about medication, said she needed to talk to the doctor about my PPD, and left the room. They called the f**king cops on me.
#Action4Jessica #4Bills4CAMomsPlease read the latest updates 🤗I had a really hard time deciding whether I should post...Advertisement
"They had a staff member sit with me for over an hour waiting for the police to arrive. The cops show up and we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how they’re going to escort me to the ER because I have Kira and her car seat. The cops can clearly see I’m of sound mind and that this whole thing is bullshit, so they allow me to drive to the ER with Kira in my car while one cop drives in front of me and one follows behind."
"They take me to the bathroom so I can give a urine sample. They make me remove all of my clothes and then take them away from me and lock them up. We missed dinner, so a nurse gives us two shitty little turkey sandwiches. I am not seen by a social worker until 10:45pm. She decides she does not need to put me on a psychiatric hold, and they process my discharge."
Speaking to Mamamia, Porten says she was never a danger to her children. "I was angry, irritable, and had intrusive violent thoughts. These are common symptoms of PPD. I was very, very clear, that I was NOT going to hurt myself or my children," she says.
Listen: A couple in the UK might be evicted because of their noisy baby. Is this fair? Post continues below.
The mum of baby Kira and another daughter, Luna Faye, 2, has been inundated with support on her Facebook post, with numerous practitioners offering free services. However she wants to fix what she feels is a broken system.
Porten was released with a handful of pamphlets, and says still has not been offered adequate help. That's something she wants to change, so some good can come of her negative experience.
"I’m working with local community outreach programs and nonprofit organizations to make sure the doctor’s office receives proper training, and has the resources they need to make sure all of their patients receive proper and compassionate care," she says.
If you or someone you know is suffering, for help and advice in Australia, contact:
Lifeline 13 11 14
The Gidget Foundation www.gidgetfoundation.com.au
PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Association) www.panda.org.au