I received The Postpartum Guide to Depression through Tyndale House Publishing blogger review program. Written by Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Todd Clements and registered nurse Lynne Johnson, all three who work at the Meier Clinic, a Christian based treatment center for psychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression and psychosis.
I enjoy reading books that center around birth and pregnancy and since I also worked at a mental health facility this book piqued my interest, especially since it was Christian based. I liked the fact that many Scriptures were given in reference points in regards to certain aspects of healing from depression. There were several first hand accounts from women who have suffered from postpartum depression and psychosis, which brought the issues home, so to speak.
It did seem as if the authors were all for prescribing medications though instead of actively praying and seeking God’s healing. There was some talk of nutrition and supplements (two were mentioned to the point it felt like an infomercial for awhile – they are personally endorsed by Dr. Paul Meier) being used to help bring healing, but for the most part it seemed as if medications were highly recommended. There were a few instances where they agreed that an intensive day treatment and no medication but this also meant the women was away from her children until the evening. I know that depression is a problem with serotonin levels and there are times that medication is called for, but not in all instances. I myself am living proof of that. Also not everyone can afford the vitamins that are recommended to be used.
Two other things that bothered me was the fact that while citing Scriptures we see that the authors don’t see that it is a Biblical mandate for women to be at home, going so far to say that men can be wonderful caretakers (this is true) and that sometimes it is financially better for the woman to work while the dad stays home. Saying that the Bible doesn’t have near the rules from God that we put upon ourselves. If this is true that we can decide that part of the Bible isn’t true, then the rest of it must be lying as well – this isn’t what God tells us in His Word. Also home birth, natural labor and no inductions was put down in a case study, these are valid options just as inducing, hospital birth and epidurals are (he does say this, although with the caveat that complications are more likely to arise in a home birth, I have not read of this proof and have read that the opposite is true). I also felt like the authors made it sound like those who choose to breastfeed past 6 to 8 months are foolish in their decision, maybe this is because all three of my children have nursed passed a year.
I do believe that this book can be helpful when the good is taken and the bad discarded, like anything else that is read. The fact that it has Scripture makes it a better book than one from a purely secular viewpoint on depression. I also know that I don’t have a medical degree but I do have some background in mental health and social service, my opinion can not be taken as medical advice, but I would read this book with caution and discuss it with your Christian doctor or midwife and get their opinion.