This mum shows what postnatal depression really looks like

The pictures are so relatable that they have now gone viral

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

When someone you know has a baby, what sort of photos do you usually see cropping up on their social media accounts? Cute pictures of them snuggling a snoozing newborn? Maybe a sweet snap of the baby pulling a gummy grin?

But do you ever see a candid picture of the mother looking dishevelled, stressed out and on the verge of tears? Celebrities have come forward to discuss their experiences with postnatal depression – Chrissy Teigen admitted she never thought it would happen to her, and Adele confessed that she was left frightened and questioning everything after the birth of her son.

We try and pick the moments we want other people to see when it comes to sharing things online, and so many mothers will suffer from postnatal depression in secret, behind closed doors and definitely away from the prying eyes of Facebook friends.

So when mum-of-two Kathy DiVincenzo uploaded two side-by-side picture of herself and her children to highlight the reality of postnatal depression, it resonated with so many people that it has now gone viral.

‘Chances are, you’re feeling pretty uncomfortable right now,’ she wrote alongside the Facebook image.

In the first picture, Kathy is fully dressed and made up, smiling in a spotless nursery with her two children by her side. However, in the second, she is surrounded by toys, wearing just a bra and jogging bottoms and looks exhausted.

‘I’m going to challenge you to push past the discomfort society has placed on postpartum mental illness and hear me out. May has been declared Postpartum Depression Awareness Month and as someone with diagnosed postpartum depression, anxiety and OCD I feel like it’s time to show you what that can really look like, not just the side of me that’s ‘Facebook worthy’.’

Kathy DiVincenzo

Chances are, you’re feeling pretty uncomfortable right now (trust me I am too). I’m going to challenge you to push past the discomfort society has placed on postpartum mental illness and hear me out….

She continues: ‘The truth is, both of these pictures represent my life depending on the day. I would only ever comfortably share one of these realities though and that’s the problem.

‘The only thing more exhausting than having these conditions is pretending daily that I don’t. I work twice as hard to hide this reality from you because I’m afraid to make you uncomfortable. I’m afraid you’ll think I’m weak, crazy, a terrible mother, or the other million things my mind convinces me of and I know I’m not alone in those thoughts.’

Kathy shared these images to remind other women who suffer from postpartum depression that they’re not alone, and to encourage people to talk about how they’re feeling.

‘We need to break the stigma and #EndTheSilenceby sharing our stories and letting others know they’re not alone. If you have had a postpartum mood disorder please share your story below, or simply post to show you can relate. Let’s show others that they don’t have to suffer in silence,’ she writes.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised, you can call the PADNAS Helpline on 0843 289 8401, or email them at: info@pandasfoundation.org.uk

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