How can I start a 200-300 page paper? How do I begin writing the words that will capture an audience that likely never expected to read such a paper? How do I encompass all that is postpartum depression in JUST ONE OPENING PARAGRAPH?
It came to me while I was walking up the stairs for the fifth time, trying to get my toddler to sleep. Five women. Five women in different places, all at the point where they COULD have asked for help, but didn’t. Five women, five mothers, five “liars.” Five unique stories all balanced haphazardly on one common fulcrum: postpartum depression. The lies are why I am here. The stigma is what must be eradicated for any research to truly reflect the experience of maternal mental health. The world does not need one more screening tool that is “good” and “sufficient” but unaccessible. The world needs a screening tool that allows mothers to look inside themselves without feeling like they are “turning themselves in".” A screening tool that allows providers to make truly informed decisions and targeted referrals. The world needs a new postpartum depression questionnaire that looks nothing like what we have today. And I am rising to the challenge.
I begin with mere 86 words, solidifying my intentions. When I return, I will challenge myself to comb over the qualitative data collected over the past few months to create these five composite characters. Postpartum depression is not about clinical materials, it is about humans. So I will start there.
Date/Time: Friday, May 31, 2019 @ 9:12 PM
Word Count: 86