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Old June 23rd, 2001, 04:46 PM   #1
WahmWOW
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Post partum can be a confusing time for the whole family. What things helped you make it through? What problems did you come across, or what are you struggling with now?
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Old June 23rd, 2001, 04:57 PM   #2
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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding was one of the biggest struggles I have encountered with my children. Our son was put back into the hospital when he was 10 days old. He was very sick, and it ended up he hadn't been getting any food. Looking back he had been a bit sleepier than I thought he would be, and I didn't keep track of wet and dirty diapers like I should have. It was a real blow to know that I hadn't been paying attention, and I gave up breastfeeding almost immediately.

With our second child I was determined to do things differently. I joined a support group which did wonders. Experienced mothers were able to help me a lot more than my MALE doctor, go figure! I started taking an herb called Fenugreek almost immediately, 3 capsules 3 times a day. It really boosted my supply. We breastfed for months.

I've learned a lot, but hardly know it all. I hope if anyone has breastfeeding questions that they feel free to leave them here. I know we have many smart roomies that would be happy to try and answer them, me included.
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Old March 17th, 2002, 09:59 PM   #3
KJW
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Quote:
Originally posted by WahmWOW
Post partum can be a confusing time for the whole family. What things helped you make it through? What problems did you come across, or what are you struggling with now?
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 1:39 PM
Subject: feminists failing women WRT fight for Postnatal Depression diagnosis and treatment

The Blind Failure of Feminism

Why is the feminist movement doing nothing regarding a woman's rights to be diagnosed suffering Post Natal or Post Partum Depression which with 100% screening showing 1 new mum in 6 as being a clear sufferer?
Why does this movement standby and allow sufferers who harm their children (through doctor, health service and social worker ignorance and inefficiency) end up in prison at the taxpayers expense when preventative diagnosis and treatment costs so little?

All women have the right to be accurately screened and not suffer needlessly in confused and imbalanced states.

There are over 16 million articles on the internet on the subject, many from women who have luckily been treated before they did the same thing.

World wide failings of medical practicioners, social workers, etc. etc. are leading to prison sentences for women who eventually may harm their children. Should they not serve the sentence instead for their negligence?

Does the feminist movement want to help all these women or just bash men?!?!

Take a look at:-
http://members.aol.com/tahlordawn
www.apni.org
or the discussion pages on:-
www.pndinfo.co.uk

the feminist movement should be made to see the error of your ways and lack of help and pressure in support of women.

Their hands are bloodied with many infants deaths and much womens needless suffering!







Other reference material:-


The Association for Post-Natal Illness
Charity No. 280510. President: Professor Merton Sandler

NOTES for the CARER
(Husband, Partner, Parents, Friends, etc)


Don't try to reason. Mental illness defies logic or reason. Sufferers cannot reason along normal lines.

Don't adopt a smug attitude, so giving the mother a feeling of guilt or ingratitude..

Don't nag. Try to keep your patience even though it may be taxed.

Don't point out shortcomings, unfinished jobs, unkempt appearance.

Don't say "Pull yourself together. You don't know how lucky you are. There are lots worse off than you."

Don't leave her alone with the baby if you feel there is the slightest possibility of her doing harm to the child or herself.

Do try to let the mother express her own true feelings of anxiety and fear.

Do not be shocked by any out of character remarks or profanities.

Do show consideration and sympathy for her in her predicament.

Do encourage and praise when mother makes an effort.

Do encourage her to seek professional help if she has not already done so.

Do try to get out with friends, without the children but do not force the mother to do anything she doesn't feel up to doing.

To HUSBANDS and PARTNERS - Remember she is still your wife/girlfriend, not just the mother to the child.

DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED - Every woman who suffers from PND does recover in time.

(c) The Association for Post-Natal Illness









?Missing Links?
previously entitled
?Musical Fathers? and more.
By

Ed Stone













.






? Ed Stone December 1995
Originally as ?Musical Fathers and more..?,
revised October 1996 and Jan.1997


OVERVIEW:- ?Missing Links? previously entitled ?Musical Fathers? and more.

The child per divorce rate in England and Wales has over the last 9 years been consistently between 0.9 to 1 and 1.1 to 1.

68.8% of all Divorce in England and Wales is at up to 2 years of marriage with 1 or 2 children falling within the age group 0 to 4 years, yet 51% of 200K conceptions were within marriage. Therefore actual figures lead to the conclusion by elementary arithmetic that the parents of 17.42% of all children, conceived within marriage, petition for divorce at less than 2 years of marriage; so therefore with at least one child aged between 3 months and 16 months of age.

Conversely, Divorce with the youngest child aged between 5 and 16 accounts for only 4% of divorce.

The association for postnatal illness strongly assert that not all couples divorce when the wife/new mother suffer postnatal illness. This therefore suggests a higher rate than 17.42% [ perhaps between 25% and 50%? ].

Experts in psychology and postnatal illness say that post natal depression puts enormous strain on a relationship and often results in divorce. Whilst the occurrence rate is at least a known (through treatment and research) 10% they believe this on the low side. 15% has been muted as closer the mark.

W.A.F.E. (Women?s Aid Federation of England) who deal with domestic violence and refuge accommodation [mainly for unmarried couples, they say] released a report in 1996 claiming that domestic violence usually starts late in well established relationships and that triggers are most commonly first time pregnancy and childbirth. They further claim that mental illness is common in victims. Whilst they insist that this is a ?Situational Depression? the symptoms described are concurrent with those for Postnatal Depression.

Whilst solicitors and lawyers cannot follow instructions for a client suffering mental incapacity and must normally do the maximum to help they family stay together they do not recommend specialist treatment for postnatal depression which is in fact a very debilitating mental illness which even eludes diagnosis by many general medical practitioners.

The aforementioned outline of statistics within the fully sourced report entitled ?missing links? and previously entitled ?musical fathers? shows how statistics confirm that the legal profession is in fact failing women suffering a treatable psycho-medical hormone related condition by following a divorce procedure rather than referral to the medical profession because they are judging a clients mental and medical state without the proper qualification, expertise or tools: the latter being an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale Test.

D.A.D.I. (Dads Against the Divorce Industry), F.N.F. (Families Need Fathers), the Cheltenham Group and numerous other groups suggest, in their statistics, the cost of a single divorce to the taxpayer of some ?35,000.

Insofar as that postnatal depression is successfully treated with transdermal oestrogen; can reoccur at menopause and brings forward the commencement of menopause; and that osteoporosis is also treated with oestrogen later in life around menopause, it could be highly likely that unrecognised and untreated postnatal depression will increase the occurrence rate of osteoporosis.

The national health service is currently suffering an annual ?1.9 billion spend on treating osteoporosis with expensive operations such as hip replacements.

If, routinely all new mums were blood tested for oestrogen: progesterone balance [cost between ?3 and ?5 per test = annual cost of ?2 million] at 3 and 6 months after delivery and treated if necessary the spend on treating osteoporosis would most probably decrease by at least 10 times the cost of this early preventative procedure. The additional saving of ?35,000 each on 165,000 divorces and improvements to the quality of life for women suggest this an exceedingly wise measure to implement at the earliest opportunity.

Tangible Links are also outlined between Postnatal Depression, Divorce, Changes in Sexual Preferences, Accidents, Domestic Violence, Prostitution, Emergency Treatments, Taxation and the Perpetrators of crime.

***Edited by sysop- all addresses and phone numbers have been removed. Please contact KJW directly for more information.
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Old March 17th, 2002, 10:08 PM   #4
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Missing Links
by Ed Stone

In the 20 years between 1961 and 1981 only 1% of marriages lasted only up to 2 years. In 1981 this doubled to 2% and subsequently more than quadrupled to 9 % in 1991. 1993, however, saw a decrease of 1% to 8%. {1#}
Over recent 'throwaway' times it seems almost the fashion for women married less than two years, with up to two children aged under 4 years of age, to divorce their spouse, the father of their children. Divorce has actually increased, percentage wise, whilst marriages have decreased. {1#}

Could the increased use of the pill provide an explanation of these increases?
Although the graph in 'General Household survey No.24 of 1993 page 115 figure 7c ?Usage of the contraceptive pill by age group in Great Britain 1986 and 1993 ? {2#} shows little change in usage, the curve of a graph, however, shows remarkable similarity to that of couples divorcing by women?s age, duration of marriage and numbers of young children.

Consumption patterns, Table 8 "Trends in the use of the pill and condoms as a usual method of contraception by age group 1983-91 (% of women aged 16-49)" shows higher usage of the pill in the mid-twenties age group. {3#}
Unfortunately the statistics, being separately categorised in the tables, make a comparison somewhat unreliable for drawing anything more than a conjectural conclusion.

Could diets and dieting be playing a significant role?

Could it be that dieting incorrectly or the increased need to diet, due to manufacturers high powered marketing strategies, is a major contributory factor?

Is it possible that women who have recently given birth are tending attempt to return to their normal weight too quickly?
There have been many articles over recent times which seem to indicate a link between diet and hormone imbalance related problems, notably Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.
e.g. ?I changed my diet and cured my Pre-Menstrual Tension? Best Magazine around Autumn of 1996.

Without concerted and pointed market research these questions cannot be answered satisfactorily. The Association for Post-natal illness publications do quote that there is an opinion amongst experts that Post Natal Depression triggers around the time of normal and natural weight loss after giving birth.
One certainty, however is that the female human gestation period seems to have been overlooked in the equation regarding divorce statistics. It does, however, not require a mathematical genius to realise that:-
2 years (24 months) minus 2 x pregnancies of 9 months duration (total 18 months) = 6 months
6 months divided by 2 = 3 months.
Strangely or coincidentally the precise period of time most common for post natal depression starting to develop.(commonly 3 to 6 months after childbirth; 3 months to 2 years for Puerperal Psychosis the latter being followed usually by a bout of postnatal depression).

In 1993 there were 165,018 divorces in England and Wales of which only 28.8% either did not have or did not report the existence of children.
40% of the remaining 72.2% were marriages of less than 2 years duration and with 2 children both aged under 4 years (Important note 51% of conceptions in UK are within marriage). 14.6% of that same 72.2% were marriages of less than 2 years duration and with 1 child declared under 4 years of age. Therefore 54.6% in total of this 72.2% lasted less than 2 years and had up to 2 children aged under 4 years. i.e. 65,052 divorces out of the total for 1993 of 165,018 in England and Wales. Curiously, however, the percentage of divorce with children, in the broader band, aged 5 to 16 years is only 4% (2603) of the 72.2% where children were reported!!!
In the 5 years leading up to and including 1992 the average number of marriages was 373450.6 per year for the United Kingdom.

Therefore with considerable accuracy we can conclude that 17.42% * of these marriages ended in divorce in less than 2 years with up to 2 children (who were both under 4 years of age at the time that the petition for divorce was raised, most being conceived during that period of marriage).
* (N.B. This excludes Scotland and Northern Ireland divorces)

1993 Divorces (England & Wales) = 165018 100
----------------------------------------------------- ------------ X ------ % = well over 44% of U.K. Marriages
Average of Marriages (United Kingdom) = 373450.6 1 [divorced in 1993]
[preceding 5 years]


The occurrence rate of Post Natal was always said to be 10% of maternity?s but presumed considerably higher and estimated to be more in the region of 15% by many health professionals. It is unclear if Puerperal Psychosis is included in this estimation.
A strange coincidence, perhaps that all these divorces with children under 4 years of age is only 2.42% above that estimated figure.

Post Natal Depression often occurs from 3 months after giving birth and can subside alone in up to 2 years. Puerperal Psychosis can commence anywhere between 3 months and 2 years after giving birth and is frequently followed by a period of Post Natal Depression.(5#) Hormonal problems or post natal depression seem more likely causes than the children coming between a couple. Unless of course there were 65,052 shotgun marriages in England and Wales in 1993 or perhaps the women are marrying in order to have children and profit from their ex-spouse and the system:- Stud purposes only?

Statistically speaking, there is an almost 30% decrease in the risk of divorce when couples have a third child.
The basic symptoms of post natal depression in a relationship are a loss of interest in sex, minor disputes, often due to the woman?s irritability and general feeling of being unwell and a dislike of, even a total hatred toward the father of the children developing.
(N.B. This will subside rapidly with the correct medical treatment for postnatal depression and can even, in milder cases, dissipate alone and normal feelings for the partner return). The confused states and false insecurities often associated with postnatal depression, looked at from a mathematical and statistical viewpoint, is accounting for nearly all divorce in recent times. Women are effectively throwing away good men and stable relationships (stable enough to produce more than one child?) because of an inability with this common illness for the sufferers to recognise the illness in themselves.

The main person capable of diagnosing the illness is the husband: because he is the only person who sleeps with his wife. Unfortunately even if he is knowledgeable of the illness, he is rarely listened to by health professionals or the courts: because a woman cannot be forced to be treated. She can, however, be easily led in the state of depression, which manifests itself in several guises, to make unsound judgements and throw away the future prospects for her children and those closest to the children. She can easily be convinced that she should start afresh. This advice is often given by a member of the legal profession, who only welcomes the proceeds from her business.

Based on these statistics, it seems that the most reliable diagnosis for Post Natal Depression is provided by the act of seeing a Solicitor or Lawyer in order to seek and petition for a divorce. Once any forced or legal separation, of even the shortest duration, is made the marriage is almost certainly doomed.

Filing for a divorce with the youngest child under say 5 years of age, brought about by a recent mothers dissatisfaction in her partner and moans about his laziness, lack of help with the child/children, lack of caring etc. should, perhaps, be considered as a sure proof/diagnosis of post natal depression or Puerperal Psychosis and lawyers should, in all prudence, direct/refer these mothers to a doctor. If these fears held any substance, it is most likely that the husband is suffering from a reactive depression. Reactive to the stress being placed upon him by his partners' attitude and actions which can manifest in the husband or partner a doubt of true fatherhood: he cannot understand how or why his wife or girlfriend cannot tell him that she loves him or show even the most minor signs of affection, a goodnight kiss or a peck on the cheek before he leaves home for work, for example . Close family and relatives often totally misread the situation and only fuel a greater problem, which unfortunately does nothing more than intensify the illness.

It seems somewhat irrational that a mother of young children pursues a separation and divorce because her husband ?is not helping enough with the children? or ?cannot accept his responsibilities as a father? and leaves herself more alone and the burden of bringing up the children all alone. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is a serious understatement.
Often much more quickly than the husband, the wife, who finds it difficult to bring up the children alone, finds another partner (who has probably already suffered the same fate as her first husband) who willingly advises her on elements of maintenance and property matters. The presence of this new partner does nothing but harm to the situation. In some cases the ensuing dislike and even hatred of men and all things masculine sways the woman to Lesbian tendencies and Lesbian Relationships in preference to a Heterosexual Relationship.

Links between the father and the children become (deliberately made?) more difficult. The new partner perhaps even encourages this due to fears of a reconciliation. The children, however, are often very manipulative and may prevent their mother ever establishing a permanent relationship.

The statistic of the 28.8% of divorce petitions not declaring children would need great in depth research to see which of these of the following sub-categories these fall into:-
1. illegitimate children from a previous relationship, perhaps before the marriage.
2. Children conceived and born as a result of an illicit affair and not considered by the person petitioning for divorce as being a part of the own family.
3. Re-composed families with no mutual offspring, but children from either partners previous marriage or relationship. (Note. This figure could be statistically quantified in the future by including a sub category of remarriages with and without common children to the Lord Chancellors Department statistics for divorce).
4. Totally barren couples.
5. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.

The symptoms and stress/communication failures placed upon a couple as a result of Pre-Menstrual Tension (P.M.T.) now more commonly referred to as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (P.M.S.) are also not dissimilar to Post Natal Depression; excepting that the behaviour exhibited is usually limited to a four or five day period, mid 28 day cycle.

12% of women is the current figure disclosed for women suffering P.M.S.

In all cases of depression the ?Adult? required for the affected human beings ability to rationalise is contaminated and therefore becomes inoperative. Hormone imbalance, it seems, has a similar effect and so creates a kind of ?temporary insanity?. In fact it is probably only in the divorces which are genuine and not as a result of a "Psycho-Medical" problem that an adult attitude is witnessed towards visiting and contact with the natural father and in which the natural father therefore willingly attempts to help support his children. Often in the genuine cases the mother/ex-wife does not even ask for or pursue maintenance. The genuine divorcee usually adopts a philosophical adult attitude that if a mother no longer wants the man and prefers to ?go it alone? then she must do it alone and not demand his money. Often they feel that they have hurt their ex-partner enough.

Immigration Officials, Society and Politicians have often talked of ?Marriages of convenience? to gain British Nationality, for example. It is important that one looks differently at cases where small children are involved and that postnatal depression is not totally overlooked as a major factor in the break-down of such a relationship, otherwise the total figure of suspected ?Marriages of Convenience? would be considerably over quantified.

Even if the mother/ex-wife is lucky enough to find another partner/Father for her children after divorce (Which will often take a similar period of time as that for minor degrees of Postnatal depression to dissipate alone and therefore cloud once more the perception of the actual cause of the problem and further reinforce the belief that ?incompatibility? was the cause), it is more often than not that the whole process is repeated with the planning, conception and birth of future children. Furthermore the jealousy of the children from the first union towards this other man's child can be so intense that a dangerous and volatile situation can easily ensue.

The new stepfather also provides a potential hornets nest. Troublesome children, who are not his own flesh and blood, so often become battered and physically abused, often as a consequence or punishment for the manipulation displayed. Little girls from the first union are frequently those who are sexually abused. Most cases of sexual abuse and child rape are perpetrated by step fathers. In Belgium the recent mass child abuse scandal only highlights the endless possibilities.

Often is the case that the natural father is thrown into financial ruin, homelessness, alcohol abuse or suicide. Usually because he was by nature a family man, probably from a stable family background, who dearly loves his wife and children and was totally committed to his new family. Suicide often occurs within months of a divorce being finally granted and can include the father taking his own children's lives too.

To date, 99.93% of the homeless and alcoholics, found living rough on the streets and in the subways of Europe, interviewed, had an ex-partner and a child somewhere.

In almost every case interviewed, the father had been accused by his partner of being "crazy and should see a psychiatrist" and many of the other classic symptoms of post natal depression were described. This comment is in quotes because that is the quote volunteered, without prompt, in all case histories. Often the quote contained profanities which were apparently rarely or never used by the woman prior to having a child. One could almost envisage the new mums passing around a script on a maternity ward.

One notable example is of an Asiatic/Belgian Mother of three children, who had divorced the fathers of her first two children and was married to a caring American University Lecturer who was working in Belgium. She was undergoing treatment for Post Natal Depression in the States after having her third child, who was by this time a year old. The choice of antidepressant made was not so effective in her case. Whilst she was reassured that a relapse was not uncommon and that if the antidepressant made her feel worse she should report this to her doctor who would try to find an alternative more suitable to her personal biological make-up ( Incidentally she scored 12 on an Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale Test in which a score of thirteen is a clear sufferer). Whilst she half agreed, she did not wish to seek an alternative prescription because ?the treatments don?t work?. She still continued to repeat that she ?just wanted to divorce this man!? referring to her third husband, the father of the baby. Although he was earning a high salary, she accused him of spending all her money.

In many cases the men are accused of being violent or having a drink problem. One particular notable example was a tee-total who was regularly beaten by his wife in her bad moments, usually early evening, but was levied the accusation of ?having a drink problem? and was alleged to be ?sometimes violent?.

The result is that the doctors can do little to help if they are not consulted. The lawyers, brought in by the wife, are handsomely paid for totally destroying the family. The legal profession in saying "but we are not doctor's" is taking away the doctors "work" and leading to the destruction of the family.

Rarely are the rifts associated with the separation of a couple with a young child or young children repairable and subsequent divorce becomes purely a matter of time and due course.

As a result of the Police and Legal Profession dealing with Post Natal Depression or the more intense Puerperal Psychosis and subsequent Divorce, the Medical Profession's ?Automatic Epidemic Reporting Procedure? proves absolutely ineffective and useless. The true extent of the occurrence rate of Post Natal Depression remains undetected and therefore grossly underestimated by the Medical Authorities.
It is quite clear that Post Natal Depression has a dramatic part to play in the risk of divorce where young children are involved and that there are knock-on effects possible with serious consequences. Further expert research would be necessary however, to locate the precise cause or catalyst, if any, which evokes such an increase in Post Natal Depression, if indeed there has been an increase, since Hypocrites wrote of Mental illness after childbirth in the ?Third book of epidemics? in the year 4 BC

More recent research by Professor Edward Tronic and Dr Katherine Wineburger of the World Famous Boston Children?s Hospital in Massachusetts, U.S.A., shows aggression and retardation in development found in male children living with a Post Natally Depressed Mother. {4#}

It is not uncommon for the male children of Post Natally Depressed Mothers to be slow in developing relationships with the opposite sex in later life and the occurrence of nervous breakdowns in males in their mid thirties could also have a strong link. Perhaps there is also a link to adolescent and male (a large occurrence is in the mid to late thirties age group #9) suicide. This could be confirmed, to a degree, because the occurrence of adolescent suicide is much greater in males than females and if proportions coincided with percentages discussed earlier it could reinforce the link. Rape perpetrators could even evolve from the same root cause.

Certain Members of Parliament are under the deluded impression that young women are becoming pregnant in order to profit from the system and so obtain council accommodation. This is somewhat hard to swallow when one can easily find women who have three or four children to as many different fathers. One wonders how many council houses they require, when they are already installed in one. The recent result of this deluded judgement has been the reduction of the priority given to pregnant women in council accommodation waiting lists. This conjecture is also contested by the conception statistics which show that 21% of conceptions were outside of wedlock, but both parents were disclosed on the birth registrations. Conversely only 3.5% were declared as ?father unknown?. If there was advance planning to profit the system and gain housing allocation points it is quite obvious that both parents would remain in secret contact and re-establish a ?family unit? some short time after accommodation is allocated.

Apparently there are no less than four Criminological Studies published in different States across the U.S.A. (circa February 1995 onwards) which have found only one common link using computerised research. The conclusion was that 80% of Criminals in the U.S.A. lived only with their mother. It is probably safe to assume that most Criminals in the U.S.A. are male and therefore begs question:- Is there a connection between Post Natal Depression and rising crime statistics over recent years?

Ironic that the initial separation, made perhaps by a Police Officer, who has probably little expertise in the detection of Post Natal Depression or, perhaps holds a personal grudge, or even has a ?chip on his shoulder?, (after his own marriage break up?), on the grounds that ?He believes that there may be a breach of the peace?, ?leave or be arrested?, could possibly increase dramatically future crime occurrence figures. Were such changes in Police powers regarding ?Domestic Violence? such a good idea after all or will they only compound and increase the problem? Should a fully trained Social Worker, preferably with knowledge of postnatal illness, not be appointed to deal with the situation properly and in the best interests of the family.

How much of the alleged domestic violence does exist ?In reality? and is not purely a product of the paranoia and confused states of a bout of Post Natal Illness?

?What causes domestic violence??
?Very often the violence does not begin until the relationship has been well established; the first pregnancy or birth is often a trigger point?.6#

?Effects of domestic violence on women?
? From: Hague, G and Malos, E (1993)?Domestic Violence Action for Change? Cheltenham: New Clarion Press.
??and importantly, in depression, attempted suicide and mental illness. Women may experience high levels of anxiety and panic attacks, or may develop disturbed patterns of eating and sleeping, problems in concentrating and a feeling of hopelessness?.7#

How can we possibly be sure that these symptoms exhibited are a product of domestic violence: because they are also in point of fact identical to the list of symptoms of Post Natal Depression?
Did Hague, G and Malos, E have any knowledge of or even consider Post Natal Depression in the equation?
Were they aware of Reactive depression as a result of the stress endured by the husband or partner, being the likely root cause of any abuse or violence taking place?
How did Hague, G and Malos, E arrive at their conclusions?
Did they interview the co-respondent: the Husband/ partner? Or did they merely take a single sided viewpoint and this without knowledge of behavioural patterns with Post Natal Depression and Reactive depression on the partner created from the same root cause?
Was counselling ever proposed?
Perhaps Hague, G and Malos, E should study the subject of Puerperal Psychosis, Post Natal Depression and Reactive Depression before perhaps continuing their research and provide a more accurate and correctly balanced report.

Unfortunate also, that so many Citizens Advice Bureau?s do not have or provide help or information within their offices, nor did Information for new mothers from The Association for Post Natal Illness ever reach the Maternity Wards from the Area Health Authorities and Trusts in the Last five years. On some Maternity Wards they have never seen information for new mothers at all.

Perhaps all Lawyers and Solicitors should, purely on a point of professional ethics, ensure that his/her client is of sound state of mind, and not suffering some degree of Post Natal Depression, Puerperal Psychosis, General Depression or other mental illness other than the aforementioned, before agreeing to provide legal representation or even intervene. Remembering that Depression itself is a mental illness. That also one should not try to reason out because in mental illness there is no reason.
It would be perhaps a much wiser course of action to immediately refer them to their General medical Practitioner?

Continued in next posting
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Old March 17th, 2002, 10:23 PM   #5
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Continuation....

In the publication entitled ?DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DON?T STAND FOR IT? Published by the Home Office Public Relations Branch it states: ?? You are not to blame -??.?.
?.?Whatever the reason, he is the one with a problem and should recognise it.?
Experts in the psychiatric field know full well that a person suffering any kind of depression, Post Natal or Reactive, cannot recognise it!
Quite true the woman are NOT to blame; but NEITHER are the men by the same token!
It is in fact society that is to blame by not recognising the signs at all too obvious times. For not handling the problem before it commences.
For not informing couples of the risks around child birth, pregnancy and pre-ovulation in the cases of Pre Menstrual Stress.
But never mind the social fund has lots of money to make everything better - just add it to the nations tax bill.

To defend a separation request/restraining order/ouster order/petition that the sufferer is ?not of sound mind? would probably successfully defend a separation request; but will almost certainly ?offend? and therefore further reduce the chances of a reconciliation.

Was the creation of the Child Support Agency a positive or negative move with regard to the family unit and society in general based on the preceding observations and findings?

A disappointment, also, is that the few registered charities providing research and more importantly help and support to sufferers (The Association for Post Natal Illness for example) are unable to raise vital funds effectively (partially due to the National Lottery and Camelot lottery scratch card retailer contracts) and are also denied applications for assistance for ?good causes? from the Millennium Committee and The National Lotteries Commission.

The absence of the little nuances of tenderness and affection soon leaves the husband, who is ignorant of the illness or it?s symptoms, feeling unloved and rejected. The wife/mother who is ignorant of the symptoms of post natal depression often label her husband/partner?s actions and possibly developing reactive depression as being jealously with regard to the new-born child.

It is not uncommon for men living in the previously mentioned types of stressful environments to make pleas for help, in a similar manner to a failed suicide attempt using pain killers or sleeping tablets, for example. Most of these pleas are executed in a manner that the potential victim will surely be found. The common pattern is to start to go out drinking, usually with male friends, to evade the stress and avert the possibility of becoming angry and hitting his wife. This is usually done in cases where the wife does not like excessive drinking and is an attempt at saying ?look what you are doing to me! You are forcing me to drink.

An increased volume of smoking is another similar pattern.
[Common belief is that smoking causes cancer; but smoking and increased levels of smoking are commonly due to stress and increased stress respectively. Perhaps smoking is actually the symptom of stress and not the cause of cancer. Perhaps it is really the stress which causes cancer. Interesting, don?t you think? It could explain the long time fruitlessly pursuing the cure for cancer].

Whilst out drinking with friends the father meets another woman, in all likelihood a divorcee with children, commonly uttering something like ?My wife doesn?t understand me?. Perhaps only a one night stand or sometimes an illicit relationship develops. The next thing someone talks to his wife and she raises a petition for divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Surprisingly, however is that the statistics for divorce on grounds of the husbands adultery are considerably less than for the wife?s adultery. The latter are, however, only very low as opposed to grounds concerning ?behaviour?.

It is also not uncommon for mothers to start going out with the girls or a particular girl friend, usually trusted by the husband, when the baby is aged between 8 and 18 months. A one night stand can very often arise. The mother will usually go for an older man who looks ?definitely married? or is wearing a wedding ring ?to reduce complications?. Is she is perhaps trying to prove to herself that she is still attractive to the opposite sex or testing herself to see if she can feel the feelings which she has lost with her husband. To see if the loss of interest in sex and libido is solely with respect to her spouse.
A total alienation against men is also not uncommon and preferences swaying towards preferences for women. I.e. Lesbian tendencies or relationships.

It is, however, not so common for the men to find out about these elicit one night stands; the wife/mothers best friend/girlfriend is usually the most discreet of people, has probably been filled with all the stories about the husband being lazy and a bad father etc. and perhaps even suggested or encouraged the ?test?, perhaps the friend was even thinking on the lines ?It serves him right the lazy idle good for nothing B******.
If ever the husband did eventually find out, however, the marriage would probably be instantly terminated as far as the man was concerned in the majority of cases, although recent trends show a growing number of more caring men who would rather try and rebuild the marriage and mutual trust, in order to keep the family together.

Every separation and divorce introduces an increased demand for accommodation. Therefore the increase for 1993 is an additional 165018 accommodations solely in respect of previously married couples.

There would possibly also be an increase in the number of vehicles annually on our roads proportionally equivalent to the number of divorces:- Children must be taken to school etc.
In order to work, because ?Must have car and telephone? or ?Own car and telephone essential? are becoming increasingly more common in job vacancy requirements.

It would be fair to assume that the majority of divorces are taken out using legal aid. Each divorce will cost at least ?1000 in legal fees. [Some of the published statistics quote the cost to the public purse as ?37,000, ?Men?s Defence?].
165018 x ?1000 = Total estimated cost of ?165,018,000 in 1993 for England & Wales.
Adding all the associated costs legal, social and economic and multiplying these over a period of time and by a number of countries, perhaps, it would be a major contribution to a world wide financial depression.

To this point we have looked mainly at couples married and subsequently divorced with small children because we can quantify these with actual numbers and concluded that some form of Post-Natal illness is very likely the main influencing factor. We cannot quantify the numbers where the parents were never married or divorced with actual figures, however percentage provides a reasonably accurate estimation.

Furthermore Women?s Aid of England?s report shows such remarkably similar figures that it could be reasonably safe to conclude that the 17.42% occurrence rate of postnatal depression (This figure does not include couples who?s relationship survives postnatal illness). Childbirth statistics have remained constant at 12 to13 per 1000 capita for many years, there being 750000 births in 1994. 17.42% of 750000 is 130650. Minus Divorce involving small children 65052 leaves 65598, less 60000 of unmarried women seeking refuge after being allegedly on the receiving end of violence in the home [a Women?s Aid Foundation of England statistic] leaves only 5598. Actually 0.75% (three quarters of 1% differential. Obviously the lack of figures, to the precise unit, will affect this percentage differential).

If we use the 17.42% as a rate of occurrence and the 20% of the average number of conceptions for the five preceding years up to 1993 (being statistically conceptions outside of marriage). This will provide information to help us calculate approximately the housing, legal and other associated costs which must be met by the state or public purse.

Women?s Aid federation of England report states that due to financial hardship, the victims of domestic violence often turn to prostitution to gain extra income. It is however always possible that the financial hardship is, once more, somewhat detached from reality: we have all seen how the children of single and divorced mum?s, perhaps through guilt or manipulation, must provide all the latest designer footwear and clothing for their children, that their child must have everything requested.

Whilst stable married couples survive and live quite comfortably on lesser incomes and live within their means.
Earlier we discussed the loss of feeling and interest in sex associated with postnatal illness, this lack of feeling changes ?making love? through ?having sex? into ?just sex? and makes it much easier for the woman to sell sex when their natural feelings, urges and desires are suppressed. Sex is completely different from love or a relationship and this suppression of feeling alloyed with the states of confusion removes all guilt. It is just considered an easy way to provide ?essential? luxuries for the children, who often are neglected whilst ?mummy is at work?.

Could it be that the loss of libido and natural enjoyment of sex makes the sex act little more than a ?chore? or a ?job of work? and therefore there is no moral judgement involved in the rights or wrongs of prostitution. That is to say: It is not making love but merely having sex ?and getting paid for it. One wonders how many prostitutes continue in their profession because they like sex?

Conclusions:
The sum total of unmarried women claiming violence in the home and seeking refuge accommodation (Women?s Aid of England Figures which they say are mainly unmarried mothers) added to the annual number of divorces involving one or two children falling into the 0 to 4 years age group calculated at 17.42% of divorce is identical to 17.42% of children born annually with a differential of only 0.75% (three quarters of 1%).

1. Therefore all divorce involving small children is probably hormone related with post natal depression being the root cause.
2. Therefore the root cause of Violence in the home is probably also that of Post Natal Depression.
3. There is a severe deficiency in provision of information and education regarding the likelihood of tiredness, loss of libido and depression to couples planning a family.

The most important point, however, is that Separation and/or Divorce does not cure Post Natal Depression, Puerperal Psychosis, Pre-menstrual Stress Syndrome or indeed any Depression.

Whilst Depression is clearly not grounds for a divorce nor is the fact that one is suffering from a treatable illness, Depression is in fact a mental illness.

A solicitor or Lawyer may not, in fact act on instructions from a client suffering from a mental illness, either permanent or temporary.

Separation and Divorce cost the tax payer dearly every year:-

?9.1bn for England and Wales in 1993 which equals ? of Annual Health Budget or ? of the Annual Education Budget or 18 pence per litre on fuel to recover by taxation.

Surely we should care and start to look objectively at providing education, advice, diagnosis counselling, Hormone balance checks as a matter of course. It would be clearly devastatingly less expensive.

? Ed Stone Jan.1997
? Ed Stone December 1995 Originally as ?Musical Fathers and more..?, revised October 1996 and Jan.1997.






Ed Stone

Statistical and information sources:

1#Office for National Statistics: Divorces Series FM2 no.21
Office for National Statistics from Annual Abstract of Statistics 1996, Table 2.10 Key Data '96 ? Crown Copyright.

2# General Household Survey 1993 GUS No.24 page 114, figure 7c [O.P.C.S. (Office of Population and census Surveys)].

3# Table 9 [source: The Durex report} of Market Survey 4:Contraceptives, EIU Retail Business No.444 Feb 1995 ?The Economist Intelligence unit Ltd Feb 1995

4# BBC Panorama ?Baby Blues? Programme 17th July 1995.

5# Doctors Information Pack: The Association for Post Natal Illness, 25 Jerdan Place, London SW6 1BE Tel: 0171-386-0868.

6#Domestic Violence, service provision and policy research findings and statistics. WAFE (Women?s Aid Federation of England) ?What causes domestic Violence? Extract from report written by Thangam Debbonaire, WAFE National Children?s Officer, 1996.

7#Effects of domestic violence on women. From: Hague, G and Malos, E (1993)?Domestic Violence Action for Change? Cheltenham: New Clarion Press. Domestic Violence, service provision and policy research findings and statistics. WAFE (Women?s Aid Federation of England) ?What causes domestic Violence? Extract from report written by Thangam Debbonaire, WAFE National Children?s Officer, 1996.

8#Men?s Defence

9# The Samaritan?s




Some more useful references and contacts.

A team
http://www.a-team.org/

Coombe Hospital
http://www.coombe.ie/patient/blues.html

Dads Against Discrimination
http://www.teleport.com/~dads/aments.htm

Dad?s Page/Judicial unfairness etc.
http://www.nwlink.com/%7Eparmelee/

Hampshire County Council
http://www.hants.gov.uk/istcclr2/c1568.html

Men and Fathers rights
http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/
http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/stats.htm
http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/organiz.htm

Men?s Defence Organisation
http://www.mensdefense.org/index.html
Postnatal Depression
http://www.koa.com.au/level09/helphand/postnata.htm

Postnatal Depression
http://www.mediconsult.com/noframes/...302009010.html

Reactions to motherhood
http://www.cityscape.co.uk/users/cw29/rtm.html

Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG)
http://www.spig.clara.net/

WAFE (Women?s Aid Federation of England
wafe@wafe.co.uk

Wham (Women?s Health Action Medical)
wham@listproc.net

World health organisation
http://www.who.ch/dir/Email_Dir.html


03/10/97 01713860868 APNI

ASSOCIATION FOR POST-NATAL ILLNESS

LITERATURE UPDATE (ALPHABETICAL BY AUTHORS)

Aderibigbe, YA,. Gureje, O and Omigbodun, O,.
Postnatal emotional disorders in Nigerian women. A study of antecedents and associations.
British Journal of Psychiatry, 1993, 163, 645-650.

Appleby, L,. and Whitton, A,.
Recruitment for post-natal studies.
British Journal of Psychiatry, 1993. 163, 691. (Letter).

Applebv, L., Gregoire, A., Platz, C., Prince, M. and Kumar, R.
Screening women for high risk of postnatal depression.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1994, 38, 6, 539~

Astbury, J., Brown, S., Lumley, J., and Small, R.,
Birth events, birth experiences and social differences in postnatal depression.
Australian Journal of Public Health, 1994, 18, 2, 176-184.

Ballard, CG., Davis, R., Cullen, PC., Mohan, RN., Dean. C.
Prevalence or postnatal psychiatric morbidity in mothers and fathers.
British Journal of Psychiatry, 1994, 164, 782-788.

Barnett, B., Lockhart, K,. Bernard, D., Manicavasagar, V., and Dudley, M.,
Mood disorders among mothers of infants admitted to a mothercraft hospital.
Journal or Paediatric and Child Health,
1993, 29, 4, 270-275. See also editorial, P. 264-5

Bell. AJ., Land. NM., Milne, S and Hassanyeh, F.
Long term outcome of postpartum psychiatric illness requiring admission.
Journal of Affective Disorders, 1994, 31, 1, 67-70.

Boyce. P., Stubbs, J. and Todd. A.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Validation for an Australian sample.
Australian and New Zealand Journal or Psychiatry, 1993, 27, 3, 472.

Boyce, PM., and Stubbs, JM.,
The importance at postnatal depression.
Medical Journal or Australia, 1994, 161, 8, 471-472

Bright, DA.
Postpartum mental disorders.
American Family Physician, 1994, 50, 3, 595-598.

Buist, A.
The management of postnatal depression.
Australian Family Physician, 1993, 22, 11, 2025-2029.

Buist. A., Norman, TR., and Dennerstein, L.
Mianserin in breast milk.
British Journal of clinical Pharmacology, 1993, 36, 2, 133-134. (Letter).

Cismaresco, AS. and Bonnin, F.
Evolution of maternal mood state and of the auditory and olfactory perception of their unborn: preliminary data.
Journal of Psychosomatic obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1993., 14, 1, 65-70.

Coble, PA., Reynolds. Cf., Kupfer, DJ., Houck, PR., Day, NL., and Giles, DE,
Childbearing in women with and without a history of affective disorder. 1. Psychiatric symptomatoloqy. II. Elec-troencephalographic sleep. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 1994, 35, 3, 205-214 and 215-524.

Collins. NL., Dunkel-Schetter. C., Lobel, H. and ScrImshaw, SC.,
Social support in pregnancy: psychosocial correlates of birth outcomes and postpartum depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1993, 65, 6, 1243-1258.

Craddock, N,. Brockington, I., Mant, R., Parfitt, E., McGuffin and Owen, M.
Bipolar affective puerperal psychosis associated with consanguinity.
British Journal of Psychiatry, 1994, 164,359-364.

Edwards. DRL.. Porter, SAM and Stein, GS.
A pilot study of postnatal depression following caesarean section using a retrospective self-rating questionnaires.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1994, 38, 2, 111-117.

Gerrard. J., Holden, JM., Elliott, SA., McKenzie, P., McKenzie, J. and Cox, JL.,
A trainers perspective of an Innovative programme teaching health visitors about the detection, treatment and prevention of postnatal depression.
Journal of Adv. Nursing, 1993, 18, 1825-1832.

Glover V., Liddle, P., Taylor, A., Adams, D and Sandler, M,.
Mild hypomania (the highs) can be a feature of the first postpartum week. Association with later depression. British Journal or Psychiatry, 1994, 164, 517-521

Hannah. P., Cody, D., Glover. V., Adams, D., Kumar, R and Sandler, M.,
The tyramine test is not a marker for postnatal depression: early postpartum euphoria may be. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1993, 14, 295-304.

Harris, B.,
Biological and hormonal aspects of postpartum mood disorder. Working towards strategies for prophylaxis and treatment.
British Journal of Psychiatry, 1994, 164, 288-292.

Harris. B.. Lovett. L, Newcombe. RG., Read. GF., Walker. R and Riad-Fahmy, D.
Maternity blues and major endocrine changes: Cardiff puerperal mood and hormone study II.
British Medical Journal, 1994, 30a, 949-953.

Harris, MJ and Bohane, TD.
Maternal postnatal depression and infant gastro-oesophageal reflux.
Journal of paediatrics and child Health, 1994, 30, 80.

Heidrich, A., Schleyer, M., Spingler, H., Albert, P., Knoche, M., Fritze, J. and Lanczik, M.
Postpartum blues: relationship between not-protein bound steroid hormones in plasma and postpartum mood changes.
Journal of Affective Disorders, 1994, 301 2, 93-98.

Hucktebridge, FH., Smith, MD., Clowe, A., Evans, P., Glover, V., Taylor, A., Adams, D., and Lydyard, PM.,
Dysphoria and immune status in postpartum women.
Biological Psychiatry, 1994, 37, 3, 199-2O6.

Kok, LP., Chan. PS., and Ratnam, SS.
Postnatal depression in Singapore women.
Singapore Medical Journal, 1994, 15, 1, 33-35. see also Tay, WK. Same issue p.3O-31

Kumar, R., Marks. N.. Wieck, A., Hirst, D., Campbell, I and Checkley, S.
Neuroendocrine and psychosocial mechanisms in postpartum psychosis.
Progress in neuropsychopharmacoloqy and Biological Psychiatry, 1993, 17, 4, 571-579.

Logsdon, MC., McBride, AB., and Birkimer, JC.,
Social support and postpartum depression.
Research in Nursing and Health, 1994, 17, 449-457.

Lundh, W and Gyllang, C.
Use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in some Swedish child health care centres.
Scandinavian Journal of Caring sciences, 1993, 7, 3, 149-154.

Pariser. SF.
Women and mood disorders. Menarche to Menopause.
Annals of clinical Psychiatry, 1993, 5, 4, 249-154.

Pedersen, CA., Stern, RA., Pate, J., Senger, MA., Bowes, WA., and Mason, GA.,
Thyroid and adrenal measures during late pregnancy and the puerperium in women who have been depressed or who become dysphoric postpartum.
Journal or Affective Disorders, 1993, 29, 201-211.

Phillips. N' and Dennerstein, L.
The psychiatrist in an obstetric/gynaecology hospital: establishing a consultation-liaison service.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 1993, 27, 3, 464-471.

Ramsay, R.
Postnatal depression.
Lancett 1993, 341, 1358.

Ramsay, R.
The genetics of puerperal psychosis.
Psychiatr. Genet. 1994, 4, 1, 5-12.

Raphael, B and Martinek. N.
Social contexts affecting women's well-being in pregnancy and postpartum. (comment).
Medical Journal of Australia, 1994, 161, 81 463-464.

Schopt, J., and Rust, B,.
Follow-up and family study of postpartum psychoses. Part 1. Overview. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 1994, 244, 2, 103-111.

Shilkin, R.,
Maternal postnatal depression and infant gastro-oesophageal reflux.
Letter. Journal or Paediatric and child Health, 1994, 30, 3, 287-288.

Small, R., Astbury, J,. Brown, S and Lumley. J.
Depression after childbirth. Does social context matter?
Medical Journal of Australia, 1994, 161, 8, 473-477.

Stamp. GE and Crowther, CA.,
Postnatal depression. A South Australian Prospective Survey.
Australian and New Zealand Journal or Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1994, 34, 2, 164-167.

Viinamaki, H., Rastas, S., Tukeva, L., Kuha, S., Niskanen, L., and Saarkoski, S.
Postpartum mental health.
Journal of Psychosomatic obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1994, l5, 141-146.

Webster. ML., Thompson,. JMD., Mitchell, EA., and Werry, JS.,
Postnatal depression in a community cohort.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 1994, 28, 1, 42.

Wjsner, KL., Peindl, K and Hanusa, BH.,
Symptomatoloqy of affective and psychotic illnesses related to childbearing.
Journal of Affective Disorders, 1994, 164, 359-64.

Zeanah, CM., Scheeringa, M., and Boris, N.,
Parenting styles and risks in the vulnerable infant.
Current Opinion in Paediatrics, 1994, 6, 4, 406-410.

Compiled by Ellen Goudsmit, with help from the British Library Medical Information Service. 1994.

***Edited by sysop- all addresses and phone numbers have been removed. Please contact KJW directly for more information.

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Old March 17th, 2002, 10:28 PM   #6
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Continuation (final)

Missing Mothers
Copyright ? Achilles Heel Collective

Rage, love and devotion - the ambivalence of men towards their mothers has created an awkward silence around the issue. Jonathan Rutherford speaks out.

Reading through the books, articles and magazines of Men Against Sexism (MAS) since 1973, there is ample concern with fathers. And since the mid-1980's there have been numerous accounts of fatherhood. Men have written about their relationships to their fathers, about their own sons, about attempting new styles of parenting, sharing and role reversal. But there has remained a startling omission. Men have passed their mothers over in silence.

Men who proclaimed a pro-feminism in the 1970's were wary of discussing such a contentious subject as motherhood. The accusation of misogyny was standard armour in a sexual moralism that was becoming an integral part of men's sexual politics. It prohibited discussion on anything which may reflect badly upon women. But men's silence about their mothers was also to do with their perceptions about who she was. Mothers had provided a mediating role within the family, their conflict management often protecting the son from his father. She was an ally against the unpredictable figure of the father. She provided comfort for her sons disillusion with him, the confidant who understood the feminised sensibilities of her sons. It was this perception of men's closeness to their mothers and their affiliation to her plight as economically powerless, that contributed to her sons' revolt against the patriarchy. How many men carried her torch - their anti-sexism an attempt to rescue her love from the crassness and emotional aridity of their fathers?

If feminists were seeking new forms of identification with their mothers, then surely men too could reclaim their mothers as a source of strength. It was a desire that quickly foundered as small groups of men shifted from consciousness-raising groups into groups using psychotherapeutic techniques. Here the absence of the mother from men's sexual politics ended, often abruptly. Far from revealing a companion and ally, psychotherapy began to reveal the depth of men's fear, hatred and disgust. Impingement, control, invasion - the language of men's dread of their mothers influence and power in their childhoods was released in a torrent. Not surprisingly, she was an extremely uncomfortable subject to grapple with. Particularly for a group of men opposed to misogyny and the everyday sexism that denigrated women.

Humiliation, shame and a fatalistic dependency are memories of mother. Dear mum, that thin line between love and hate begins with her. The problem with anti-sexist men's insistence on denying and displacing these memories is that they continue to exert their influence unconsciously. They may erupt in deep rage and resentment or they may give rise to desperate attempts to be 'nice' to women, to scurry around in a self-effacing attempt to please them and so assuage the anger and the guilt, ensuring that women, like mother will carry on liking her '1ittle boy'. <Picture: editorial image>

Some while ago I had a dream which dwelt on this ambivalence toward women. I was a small child standing in the corridor of a house, my hand hovering over the handle of a door. It shuts me out of the room where my mother is sitting. She is angry with me. I remain standing by the door, neither opening it nor leaving. In truth I am unable to move. I dare not go in because I think that I am afraid of her anger and rejection. But the dread is of my own rage at her and the urgent need to tell her feelings that I do not believe she will be able to cope with. So I am frozen, immobilised by the fear of destroying her. Yet I am also too afraid to walk away and leave, because without her I will feel abandoned. This is an image of men's lives with women, too insecure to speak their feelings, their anger and resentment, and too afraid to leave. It is a contradictory need for women/mothers and the desire to be free of them; impossible to live without them, yet sometimes intolerable to be with them.

After years of his frantic activity and devotion to his career, Frank's wife left him. For Frank it came out of the blue. It knocked him over, because he couldn't really understand why she'd gone. And he lost his children too. He had spent their lives circling his family like a moth to a flame. Needing them, wanting them, but to have given himself to them would have been like a suffocation. He loved his children but he could only give them so much. He loved his wife but wouldn't let her too near, couldn't say no to her, nor say what it was that he wanted. He felt he did all the giving, but he couldn't face any real connection to them, was unable to express his resentment and deflected their anger and troubled feelings out of his own fear. They experienced him as there but not there, present in body but somehow absent. And Frank remained unaware of this because he was locked into his closed world, playing out the scenario of the corridor existence. Because he wouldn't or couldn't move, they did, exposing him to all the old humiliations of childish fear and dependency that he had strived to order and repress.

Frank was a nice man, someone who could earn the title of New Man. But this caring and consideration is born of a fear and compliance, the desire to protect ones own self by sustaining and providing for a woman, for it is only through her that men can be looked after. Beneath this fear of independence lies an intense rage at women/mothers who are blamed for men's feelings of dependency. Here in men's fears is the source of the 'castrating mother' who sucks away her sons independence, tying him to her apron strings and getting him to dance to her tune, humiliating him in this spectacle of failed manliness.

In1987, Michael Ryan rampaged through Hungerford killing fifteen people. The following day the press was filled with local peoples comments; 'Mrs Rowland said that the only person she remembered Ryan with was his mother. "I never saw him with a girlfriend", she said. And Denis Morley described him as 'a real mother's boy, a spoilt little wimp'. And the by-line in the Daily Express gave its conclusion to the cause of Ryan's outrage; 'Doting mother's lavish gifts turned Ryan into a spoilt wimp'. A couple of psychiatrists were wheeled out to pronounce Ryan a 'paranoid schizophrenic' and the matter was settled. But perhaps the most insight to be gained on the cause of his violence was this discourse of masculinity which emerged around the event. Central to it was Ryan's failure to live up to the cultural and sexual expectations of masculinity. A failure which was framed in his inability to be free of his mother. Trapped in his own need of her, perceiving her as a persecutor whom he could neither leave nor live with, and humiliated by a culture which demanded a persona of masculine infallibility and self-sufficiency, Ryan exploded.

After the shootings, he finally sought refuge in his old school. Cornered by the police he repeatedly asked after his mother; 'Is she alright?'. He told the listening policeman that he hadn't meant her any harm. It was she who had been his first victim, the personification of his own desperate predicament. Second had been a woman that he had tried to rape. He failed in his attempt. An attempt at heterosexuality which was a grotesque symbol of his desire to be a proper man. From then on 'the enemy was everywhere.

Anyone who is interested in serial killing, a current and popular fascination, will be aware of the significance of the mother in the men who do the killing and cutting up. Contemporary horror acts out a masculine identity crisis in which the body of the mother is a monstrous maw, threatening to envelop and swallow men into a state of non-differentiation and non-identity, in other words to a return to that infant-mother relationship before the Oedipus Complex, when there was only a fragile distinction between self and other. Perhaps this begins to explain why male identity crises in times of social change are acted out in the literal or metaphoric cutting up of women's bodies.

Writing in MAS publications has tended to overevaluate the role of the father in the making of masculine identities. In this, MAS has been part of a wider social redefinition of fatherhood which has sought to re-establish a paternal authority and presence within the family, albeit different to previous historical models. It has, in this respect, remained within the cultural logic of patriarchal relations. But where MAS broke with this logic was in the recognition, by a small but growing number of men, of the significance of the mother in the making of masculine identities. The idea that the psychodynamics of masculinity is determined by the figure of the father is reversed by arguing that he is a defensive figure, protecting masculinity from the threat of the mother and her symbolic equivalents. The silence that has surrounded her presence has maintained the myth that the male subject is ontologically for himself and his masculinity is derived from his own being and authority. What the psychotherapeutic practices of small groups within MAS revealed was that the beginning of men's sense of who they were began with women, with the mother. And that this is a profound influence upon the making of masculinities.

Jonathan Rutherford is the author of 'Men's Silences, Predicaments in Masculinity', to be published by Routledge in 1992.



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Old March 17th, 2002, 10:43 PM   #7
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KJW,

When you post or email something so terribly long, people tend to not read it.
If you trim it down some, people are more likely to actually read it and what you have to say stands a chance of being heard.

Just a suggestion, of course..
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Old March 18th, 2002, 09:14 AM   #8
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I have to admit I did not have the time to read it either...
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Old March 18th, 2002, 03:05 PM   #9
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Don't waste your time. Imo they are pretty insulting.

And in other news.....2 months+ and still feeling great for me!!

***quietly knocking on wood***
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Old October 30th, 2002, 10:39 PM   #10
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I've got to say, I'm amazed that I didn't get depressed this time around. Having Dennis around was like magic, and breastfeeding is going so well this time too! 9+ months on both! *** knock on wood ***
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