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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Ramberg, LPC

"Why Women Kill" S6E6

If you haven't already seen "This is Life With Lisa Ling" on CNN, I recommend you check it out. One episode was particularly relevant to my work and was suggested in a professional group I am a part of on Facebook. This episode is "Why Women Kill," which originally aired November 3, 2019.

This episode shows the interviews of two convicted female killers to explore what led them to their crimes, and in general, what circumstances connect women who commit murder. It didn't surprise me, but certainly made me feel saddened, to hear that women account for only 11% of murders in the US, yet they almost always get harsher sentencing and have the media describe them as a 'monster.' What if there is more to their stories?

The second of the two women interviewed was thought to have had postpartum psychosis, which is the rarest, yet often the most fatal, of the postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs). In this interview, you get a rare chance at hearing the story firsthand from the women the media described as a monster due to her infanticide. In my opinion, you get a chance to feel empathy for another human being in what is largely misunderstood in our society. Lisa even mentioned a change in her thinking and emotional reactions before and after meeting with this individual.

Most people hear about postpartum depression, but there is so much more than that. PMAD's are the number one complication of pregnancy and birth. I'll say that again for the people in the back: PMAD's are THE #1 complication of pregnancy and birth. This is more than hypertension (high blood pressure), preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Interestingly, the NIH, or National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, doesn't even list mental health issues as a common complication.

I would encourage you to look further into PMADs, because chances are you know multiple women who have or will experience a PMAD. Some organizations estimate as many as 1 in 5 or 1 in 7. Postpartum Support International is a great resource for this.

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