A Drug to Treat Postpartum Depression: A social worker says outrage at the cost of Zulresso should be balanced by hope for more affordable treatments.



Image Credit:Chloe Cushman

To the Editor:

Re: “Can a Drug Stop Postpartum Depression?,” by Elisa Albert and Jennifer Block (Op-Ed, March 25):

We do not completely understand the etiology of postpartum depression.

Those of us in the trenches with moms who suffer deeply know only too well that our best efforts to understand and prevent postpartum depression do not always prevent it. We simply cannot isolate the serious and complex origins of this mental health crisis.

So, yes, what we have here is an outrageously expensive result of a small study with rapid and impressive results. We hope that this new drug, Zulresso, leads to better, more affordable and more accessible treatments in the future. The understandable outrage from women who suffer should be balanced by our relentless quest for understanding and improved treatments.

But in addition to the promise of this new biological pathway to treat severe postpartum depression, we must not disappoint families by dismissing the myriad social, cultural, medical, psychological and financial influences that bombard postpartum women.

We can be grateful for this progress as well as attentive and responsive to the enormous challenges that families face after childbirth. Both positions can coexist.

Karen Kleiman
Rosemont, Pa.
The writer, a social worker, is the founder and director of the Postpartum Stress Center.

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