Celebrities including Alyssa Milano, Serena Williams, Chrissy Teigen, and Adele have openly discussed their struggles with postpartum depression after the birth of their children. The topic has been brought to the forefront in recent years, with many women hoping that by revealing their stories, they will remove the stigma attached to the subject.
Most recently, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette revealed that after the birth of her third child, she is dealing with postpartum depression again having already battled the condition twice before. She recently described how this time around is different and shared her story in the hopes of helping other women.
According to Yahoo! Entertainment, Morissette gave birth to son Winter Mercy on August 8. Being completely transparent, she posted an essay on her website detailing her latest battle with PPD. “I wasn’t sure if i would have postpartum depression/anxiety this time around. or, as i like to call it: postpartum activity. or, also: postpartum tar-drenched trenches. there are so many tentacles to this experience. i will break them down in time,” she shared.
The singer went on to reveal some of the symptoms she’s trying to navigate. “hormonal. sleep deprivation. fogginess. physical pain. isolation. anxiety. cortisol. recovery from childbirth (as beautiful and intense as mine was at home, dream birth.),” she wrote. “integrating new angel baby with older angel babies. marriage. all kinds of PTSD triggers. overstimulation. this body. attempting to crawl back to some semi-recognizable configuration.”
Differences the third time
In an interview with CBS News, Morissette revealed how her third time with postpartum is manifesting itself differently than the first two. “This time around, it’s less depression, it’s more anxiety and a little more of the compulsive, obsessive thoughts,” the mom of three said. “I mean images that are horrifying, just a lot of times about safety about the people you love, your loved ones, your children … and then me just having to remind myself, ‘Oh no, this is just postpartum depression swooping in again. Stop.'”
The “Jagged Little Pill” singer is hoping that by journaling her experience, the condition will be greater understood and less stigmatized. “There is something about chronicling the experience in real time,” Morissette said. “If the goal is a stigma-free perception of any mental illness or any mental health conversation, understanding and giving the details of what it really looks like from the inside is important.”
Morissette admitted that with the birth of her first child, she thought she could overcome the condition on her own. “My survival strategy is to just push through … and then I spoke with a professional who knew all about postpartum depression,” she explained. “And I asked her, ‘Does this go away if I just white knuckle through it?’ she said, ‘No, it actually gets worse.’ So as soon as I heard that, I thought, it can’t get worse than this … so then I went on medication right away.”
‘Present sacrifice for future gain’
The singer-songwriter uses meditation and support from loved ones as part of her recovery, and also turns to her natural talent. “When I’m in any state, emotionally sad, angry, freaked out, lonely, isolated, depressed, I can write. Thank God for that,” Morissette said.
Experiencing ups and downs, Morissette realizes she may be in for a long journey. “There are moments where I think it’s gonna be kind of easy, or I do get a little cocky,” she admitted. “But I don’t think of it in terms of cured because I know that postpartum isn’t something that lasts a week. You know, for me, it’s at least two years, maybe a little longer.”
Though Morissette has been through postpartum before and knows how emotionally overwhelming and difficult it can be, she didn’t allow the threat of its return to stop her from wanting more children. “I’d experienced the other side of postpartum depression and having this relationship … I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “I’d be willing to go through it again. I know that sounds a little insane but, you know, I’m willing to – present sacrifice for future gain. I’ve done it a million times.”
To follow Morissette’s story, go to https://alanis.com/.