In 700 BC Hippocrates wrote about women suffering from emotional difficulties during their postpartum period, but it was not until the 1850s that medical professionals first recognized postpartum depression as a disorder.
During the 19th century when women experienced depression, many did not divulge their symptoms and those who did were often diagnosed as “neurotic." Women who sought help for their symptoms were often subjected to a variety of unusual treatments.
During the 1950s electroshock therapy was often the recommended treatment for a “neurotic" woman or they were occasional prescribed valium. Women did not recognize their symptoms as those of depression, nor did they discuss their thoughts and fears regarding their symptoms. Their silence was most likely out of shame that others would think they were "neurotic" or insane.
In more recent years, several celebrities have discussed their battle with the disorder. Through books, being quoted on blogs and publicly speaking about their experience with the disorder, these celebrities have helped to establish that postpartum depression is no longer a "dirty little secret" for women to be ashamed of.