Featured Advocates: Maureen and Jennifer from Dark Side of the Moon 7/25

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dsomMaureen and Jennifer: We are advocates because it’s estimated that 1.3 million women each year will develop a pregnancy or postpartum mood disorder. A large number of those women are not informed about such complications during their child birth education class, screened for them by their doctor, or made aware of the risk factors. We have a medical and moral obligation to address mental health. Screening for and treating mental health complications in pregnant and postpartum women should not be an option. Our hope is that our film will not only show why it’s so important, but to also break through the stigma.

Dark Side of the Full Moon is a feature length documentary telling the intimate story of pregnancy and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders as well as psychosis and the complicity within the medical community to effectively screen, refer, and treat the 1.3 million mothers affected each year in the United States.Dark Side of the Full Moon follows two moms on a life-changing journey, revealing the inconsistencies of care when maternity and new motherhood meet madness; exposing the complicated web where no one is asking, no one is listening, and help is not available.
Maureen, a mother of two, found herself in the world of a newly inducted mad woman the moment she conceived her son. Desperate to put a name to what happened to her and find out why she went untreated for so long, she finds Jennifer, another mom, fighting a one-woman campaign to bring maternal mental health services to women in five Southern States and who also suffered from the same debilitatingdisorder when she was pregnant.Together, Maureen and Jennifer begin a life changing journey, documenting their common story with women from around the country, Maureen looking to the past, asking why this happened, and Jennifer looking to the future, wanting to find a system that protects mothers from this happening again.The film will highlight inconsistencies of care, questioning the system and doctors as well as ourselves, asking who should be held accountable for the staggering number of women still suffering in silence, facing barriers to treatment, where professionals and the general publics lack of knowledge when mixed with fear can create fatal consequences.Maureen and Jennifer will uncover the history, the origins, and mythology surrounding the dark side of mother, and will attempt to reconstruct the idea of “motherhood”, while forging a way to find the best system of care for women to find the help they need with ease, without shame, and a quick recovery.Resolution comes when the women have faced their fears and answered the question for themselves, “Did they find the answers they were seeking? Is change really possible? Is there a best system of care? Will there be a day when women no longer have to face this and would they choose to go through this again?”

The film will highlight peer-to-peer support groups, relevant policy, research, and treatment. The film will tell the story through interviews with survivors, family members, therapists, psychologists, doctors, scientists, nurses, midwives, researchers, lawyers and scholars.

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