Take Your Award and SHOVE IT


I received an email this morning informing me my blog had been chosen, after careful review by a panel of expert judges, for “excellence due to the contribution its top editorial offers the depression world.”

I’m already skeptical because well, I don’t know the sender.

Then, the second paragraph begins and it gets better. Oh yes, it does.

The award comes from none other than an online pharmaceutical company.

RIGHT. Like I’m gonna link to an online pharmaceutical company from THIS blog because yanno, I have no ethics and it’s clear this is now a marketing ploy to gain more consumers and yadda yadda yadda.

But then, oh then, I decide to go check out the website with my “award” on it. It’s there I find this lovely little nugget once I get to the listing of my blog:

First of all, and correct me if I’m wrong but…when you’re giving someone an award (unless it’s a Roast on Comedy Central), it’s a bit “off-putting” to insult the person to whom you’re giving the award, yes?

Also, there’s a reason my blog is plain visually, thank you very much. It’s because here? Here the WORDS are what matter. Not the graphics, not the bling, not the whatever the hell else this person obviously requires of a blog in order for it not to be “off-putting.” For the record, that header up there? I designed it myself, as is the case with most of the graphics you find throughout my site. And no, I’m not a professional, don’t claim to be but I have been paid for graphics in the past and frankly, am of the school of “less is more.” Clearly this person is of the school which thinks “more is never enough.”

I don’t care if your website has been featured in a zillion places with a zillion readers and endorsed by organizations with a ton of credibility. You clearly don’t give a flying eff about anyone but yourself and increasing your bottom line. Also? You didn’t read much of my blog because if you had, you would know I call people out for this crap – marketing ploys which prey on those with mental health issues ALL.THE.TIME.

So no, I don’t want your stinking award. I don’t want the insults associated with it and I am quite comfortable with the appearance of my blog right now. Yeah, it *could* be organized a smidge better and I am working on that but hey, let’s not get ugly.

My blog has ALWAYS been plain and ALWAYS will be thus. I’m not here to showcase bling. I’m here to provide a safe space for women who feel like I did after I had my girls. To welcome them and let them know they are absolutely not alone. There is nothing off-putting about that, thank you very much.

Grace Awards


Finally! I’m catching up on an entire summer’s worth of stories. I’ve got four good ones here to get us started. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be going through the remainder of my notifications and posting awards here and there. Enjoy!

Grace Award Badge

“Loss of Loved ones reveals powerful strength”

Jackie Friedman, Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota

July 11, 2008

Moving and respectful piece about Becky Lavelle, Jennifer Bankston’s twin sister. Jenny Bankston took her life and her son’s life on December 17, 2007 after developing severe postpartum Depression. Becky went on to clinch an alternate spot on the Olympic Triathlon team. Jackie Friedman does an excellent and respectful job of presenting the relationship Becky and Jenny had and also of the grief Becky has endured.

“Book helped mothers deal with problem”

Memory McLeod, The Leader-Post, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

July 8, 2008

The story behind the book, The Smiling Mask – The Truth behind Postpartum Depression & Parenting. This book tells the story of three mothers and their struggles with Postpartum Depression. My favorite part about the article? One of the authors is quoted as she points out that women with PP OCD are bombarded with negative thoughts but don’t typically do anything about them. THANK YOU Memory, for using that quote.


“Are you ready for your newborn?”

Lisa Martin, special Contributor to Dallas Morning News

August 05, 2008

While this article is not entirely dedicated to Postpartum Depression, the section on PPD is awesome – Lisa includes symptoms, possible treatments, and what really makes me happy is that she mentions PPD can occur anytime during the first year after giving birth. Kudos to you Lisa for not limiting this to just the first six weeks of the postpartum period!

“Birth Trauma: Stress Disorder Afflicts Moms”

Rachel Zimmerman, Wall Street Journal/Health

August 05, 2008

Ms. Zimmerman does an absolutely outstanding job (and what else would be expected from the WSJ?) reporting on Postpartum Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Clearly she did her homework, interviewed experts, and the article shows true respect and compassion for moms who struggle with this disorder as a result of challenging childbirth. Thank you, Rachel, for a wonderful piece and shedding light on this rare and often undiscussed complication of childbirth!

Grace Award


Grace Award Badge

Darren Bernhardt, of TheStarPhoenix.com is honored for his story, “Child care necessary for support groups,” in which he reports on the loss of child care for a Saskatoon (CA) Postpartum Support Group. Darren’s writing dignifies and honors the journey these moms take as they struggle to overcome such a difficult times in their lives.Thank you Darren, for respecting these families and the program that supports them during this time.

New Feature: The Grace Awards for Journalists


After having read that horrid story in the Orange County paper in which the journalist failed to do his homework and mistakenly gave the impression that “Baby Blues” and Postpartum Psychosis are the same thing, my mind has been working to come up with a way to recognize the journalists that DO their homework and indeed pay postpartum depression tragedies with the respect and compassion that they deserve.

I finally came up with the term and graphic to go with it. The badge is simple but my hope is that it will be “worn” with honor by journalists who have shown their true integrity, compassion, and knowledge when they report on any story related to postpartum mood disorders.

If you come across any journalists (or if you are one) who have reported on a PMD story and done so in the manner set forth above, please submit the story and journalist’s name for consideration to sharing.the.ppd.journey (at) gmail.com with GRACE AWARDS as the Subject line.


Grace Award Badge

The first journalist I would like to honor is Anna Velasco for her story, “Shining A Light after Tragedy,” written regarding the Jenny’s Light Foundation I posted about yesterday. Ms. Velasco showed a tremendous amount of integrity, compassion, and knowledge in her writing of the story as well as highlighted her talent for focusing on the positive in light of such a tragedy. Thank You, Ms. Velasco. Wear your badge with honor!