ARY Ruswai’s portrayal of Post-Partum-Depression is something we should’ve seen ages ago

ARY’s TV drama Ruswai had viewers hooked from the start. The drama was discussing really hard and taboo topics such as love marriages, divorces, rape and marital abuse.

As time passed, the story dragged on and seems to have drifted away from the main plot of the series – Sameera’s journey as a survivor of rape.

This has left many viewers upset, that they’re straying too far away from what the show was about.

Although this week, they did something that we’ve barely ever seen on Pakistani TV. A portrayal of a woman going through post-partum depression.

Post-partum depression was something that was pretty much unknown to Pakistani society until recently. Most mothers in Pakistan are expected to give birth and snap right back into “normal life” and do everything on their own. We have one of the worst post-natal care systems in the world with only about 50% of women ever even getting a post-natal checkup.

The series has shown this time in a mothers life beautifully. Warda, (played by Minna Tariq) who has just given birth to her son is surrounded by extreme stress and lack of proper support by her husband and family. We see her from being happy at the birth of her son to slowly deteriorating.

She’s shown to not eat well, starts to look tired and seems to not sleep very much. At one point she refuses to hold her baby and asks for him to be taken away.

Later, we hear her say that she’s almost started to hate her baby. Soon after, we learn that she forgets him in the bathtub, she doesn’t even hear him cry out. Thankfully he is rescued by his grandmother.

Although these scenes are not integral to Sameera’s journey as a survivor they are powerful. “Ruswai” has just shown us a first look at what post-partum depression may look like and that it is in fact – very real.

This is a topic that needs to be discussed more often. PPD is something that many mothers (and in some cases, fathers) may go through. We need to know what it is to be able to identify it if it happens to us or those around us.

It’s amazing to see these topics being presented as well – it’ll end up reaching masses and taboo topics might end up being not so taboo anymore.

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