Postpartum depression is classified as a “serious mental illness that involves the brain and affects your behavior and physical health.” The illness ranges in severity with some cases of it being worse than others. Unfortunately, postpartum depression isn’t uncommon among women after childbirth. In fact, the Office on Women’s Health estimates that one in nine new mothers suffer postpartum depression.

When a mother begins to show signs of postpartum depression they are always encouraged to seek medical help so that they can address the illness and overcome it. Sadly, seeking help seemed to have backfired on one family after an Alabama mother recognized the signs within herself and shared her concerns with her healthcare provider.

It was in September 2019, when the thought that prompted Hayden Graham to seek medical attention popped into her mind. The 24-year-old stay-at-home mother told that it was on a Friday afternoon when an image of her newborn baby lying on her chest came into mind. That image was then tainted by the thought of her shooting through her baby’s body and killing both of them. Horrified by the thought, Graham began researching the symptoms she had been experiencing, and then called her doctor.

During her visit with her obstetrician, Graham explained how she’d been crying often and feeling hopeless. She then shared the gruesome image. Her OB then left the room and returned informing her that the staff at St. Vincent’s East, a psych ward, wanted to evaluate her. After being evaluated, the doctor said that Graham displayed symptoms of depression but noted that she was not suicidal. Although physicians wanted Graham to be admitted as a psych patient, she decided to accept the other option that was afforded to her—to leave the hospital while being supervised by family.

Unfortunately, medical staff had ordered a psych hold which prohibited her from leaving, but Graham says she was never told this prior to her departure. It was after this that the Grahams’ temporarily lost custody of their two children. The court petition stated that she “left the hospital without hospital knowledge and that she had a plan to shoot her children.” While the court did grant custody to a cousin of the family, it wasn’t until five months had passed that the couple was finally given back their parenting privileges.


Are you going through a custody battle in AL?


If you recently lost custody of your children in AL or worry you will lose them after your divorce is finalized, don’t wait to contact the Alabama family law attorneys at Hill, Gossett, Kemp & Hufford, P.C.


Disclaimer: No representation is made that quality of legal services provided is greater than the quality of legal services provided by other attorneys.


Hill, Gossett, Kemp & Hufford, P.C. can be reached at:


Moody Office

2603 Moody Parkway, Suite 200

Moody, Alabama 35004

Phone: (205) 640-2000



Leeds Office

7900 Parkway Drive

Leeds, AL 35094

Phone: (205) 699-5500


Springville Office

6441 U.S. Highway 11

Springville, Alabama 35146

Phone: (205) 467-2225

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