The following post shines a light on The Emily Effect, which is a movement to end the shame behind perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Emily’s story was written by her husband Eric. The video was produced by Stiry.
“In March of 2015 Emily Dyches gave birth to a healthy, blue-eyed, bouncing baby boy—Trey Hudson. Immediately following the delivery however, Emily experienced a traumatic event which caused her great fear and concern. Due to the capable care of the competent clinicians caring for her at the time, Emily made it through this scary event physically unscathed, but likely carried with her some negative emotional effects upon leaving the hospital and returning home two days later.
Upon arriving home, to take care of her newborn and start her new life as a mother of five and wife of a busy husband, she experienced difficulty nursing Trey. This caused great alarm to her. I immediately sensed something was quite different about her. Her sensitivity to small matters was overly heightened and her ability to reason seemed impaired. We decided to seek professional assistance.
From there Emily was diagnosed and treated for postpartum depression and anxiety. She was treated for the illness for several months. During the process we found pockets of very good help, but as a whole the journey was frustrating and the resources seemed disjointed. In short, there were many times I felt like we had exhausted every one of our options and I simply didn’t have anywhere else to turn. Thus, we have created this website to raise awareness and coordinate local resources.
All of Emily’s suffering came to a climax on the afternoon of February 24, 2016. While riding as a passenger in a car on the interstate, she experienced a major panic attack. This panic attack ended up taking her life. Not knowing how to fully respond to what she was experiencing, Emily exited the vehicle and fled to what she perceived was a safe place. Unfortunately, that panic led her into the path of oncoming traffic. She sadly was struck and killed on impact, leaving my children without the mother they loved and needed so much, and me without the girl who made my world turn.”
Mothers suffering with mental health can deteriorate the ability to live their truest identity. From a story of tragedy and loss, the story of Emily shines a light on the reality of mothers with mental heath and effects of postpartum. The Emily Effect provides the space and ability for mothers everywhere to heal and get help.
The end goal of The Emily Effect is simply to end the shame behind perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It’s not a result of something that they did or didn’t do, but they are just having a common experience like many other mom’s do.
There is one question to which every person can always provide a meaningful response. That question is, “Where does it hurt?” – Truman G. Madsen
If you are reading this article and need help, here is a list of resources. Please know that you are loved and there is hope and help. “When we bring something into the light, it also automatically diminishes the darkness and shame.” To read stories from moms who have found the courage to speak out and share their stories because of Emily, you can read those here.