Many a time, depression in women is either dismissed/ignored/undermined or understood and attributed as madness. if it is post-partum depression, the woman is more likely to be called possessed and taken for “healing”. I would think the multiple understandings of depression by different people in different positions have to be taken into consideration to analyse the reception and representation of a woman with postpartum depression.
2. How does the affected woman understand her condition? Who gives her the clues to mould her image as a mother? Who gives her the yardsticks to measure her norma-abnormal identity and how does she use them?
3. Medical construction of depression: there is a need to explore how the trained medical doctors perceive pregnancy, motherhood and depression. Even today we get to see the gynaecologists (definitely not all) who do not speak to the woman concerned but explain “her condition” to the man and leave the decision to him. The medical industry for which the woman is a passive sample, becomes judgemental about her state of mind and body.
4. Cultural construction of depression: Cultural constructions of motherhood have no place for post-partum depression, for motherhood is a natural and smooth transition, according to the traditional cultural systems.
5. What would be the stand of the family about a woman with postpartum depression, whether it is clinical or circumstantial? Therapy or abandonment? If it is healing, what kind of methods and what kind of knowledge systems? How do they fight the societal stigma, is it by concealing the woman’s condition or by de-stigmatising depression?
6.if the woman has to go for treatment for clinical depression, what would be her place in family and society when she returns “normal”?
These are only some of the points that I would think are very important in the collection and analysis of data. Above everything, it is the woman’s response, even if it is silence, that would be central to a research like this.