The main issue revolving around this debate is whether The United States Preventive Task Force should declare perinatal depression screening mandatory or not. Like all debates, there are two opposing sides and after researching and discussing these two sides, I have come to conclusion that I think that this perinatal depression screening should not becoming mandatory.
Although there are many benefits toward participating in this depression screening, there are more harmful consequences that can mislead these mothers and damage their confidence and mental health even more.
To begin, I’d like to put yourself in these women’s shoes. You’re starting out as a new mother and you’re already anxious enough for your baby to arrive. You start out by awaiting these long nine months and you’re due date is just around the corner when your nurse asks you if you would like to participate in the perinatal and postpartum depression screening. Worrying and questing yourself, you agree and the results come back positive stating that you are indeed depressed as a young mother. If this were me, there would be an overwhelming amount of horrifying ideas coming to mind. I would just continue asking myself, “What about my baby? What about my family? What is the treatment? Is this permanent? What about work and financial issues? How am I supposed to tell my husband and family?”. All of these questions start to arise in all of these mothers who are confirmed positive within this screening exam.
In my latest post, I talked about how these screening results aren’t always as reliable as we think. Like any technology device, there are accidents waiting to happen. Whether doctors are hopeful in results being always trustworthy, you can’t aways rely on technology to benefit you, even if it’s something as serious as this. If results come back positive when they’re really negative, imagine what the mother has to deal with. She’ll go on imaging that she is confirmed depressed, suffer even more stress than she’s already under, and face all of the consequences against herself, her family and her baby, even when she really isn’t depressed! With this mistake will come more financial issues, inconvenience and negative outlooks on life. No one really wants to hear if their depressed and if a woman is “considered” depressed when she actually isn’t, there is a huge problem in that.
Like I stated before, no one actually wants to hear that their depressed. Once confirming you are depressed, creates even more stresses to arise. Insurance companies are starting to charge their customers more if they fall under the category as “mentally ill” which creates even more costly issues added on to the newly born expenses. The inconvenience with the treatment that isn’t proved to be even effective creates more of a hassle for you, your family and your baby.
Overall, whether The United States Preventive Task Force declares this screening mandatory or not, I wish these mothers and future mothers all the best for the mental health. I know I hope to become a mother in the future and after researching all about this, I will be sure to ask my doctor if it is mandatory while knowing the benefits and consequences after getting results.