Kathy DiVincenzo has spoken openly about her ongoing battle with postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD.

The mum of two from the US shared a photo on Facebook which she captioned,

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.

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.”

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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.

We need to stop assuming that the postpartum period is always euphoric, because for 1 in 7 it’s not. We need to start asking new parents how they’re doing in a deeper way than the normal, “so how are you doing?” that triggers the knee jerk, “everything’s great!” response. We need to learn the signs, symptoms, risk factors, and support plans for postpartum conditions.

We need to break the stigma and #EndTheSilence by sharing our stories and letting others know they’re not alone.

In case no one has told you, you’re doing an amazing job. You are loved and you are worthy. You’re not alone. I know how unbelievably hard it is to reach out, but I promise you it is worth it. YOU’RE worth it.”

Her post has gone viral with over 74,000 shares. She obviously touched the hearts of many other women also struggling.

If you need support please contact PANDA National Helpline Mon to Fri, 10am – 5pm AEDT on 1300 726 306 OR Lifeline 13 11 14.

Share your comments below.

Image via Facebook, Credit to  Danielle Fantis Photography

  • Thanks for sharing, many many women can relate to your story. I dearly hope you have all the support and understanding you need.
    It can be so hard sometimes battling these feelings. I struggle myself with one of my children (she’s 8yrs old, neglected till she was 3,5yrs old and adopted into our family since she was 4), she suffers severe kleptomania and denies and lies everything together. Kleptomania is also a compulsion, but because of the content of it (stealing), it’s hard to freely share without the guilt and shame factor. Beside that it has a huge impact on our family.


  • it would be hard to admit that you are experiencing this even though no-one would really judge you. it is very brave of her


  • Good on you for sharing your story – you will help many with your story.


  • What a brave woman, so important to reach out, I contacted PANDA myself and they were a great help.


  • I suffered with PND after having my 4th baby, it was a daily struggle to even get out of bed, l went from an outgoing, bubbly person, to not even wanting to get out of bed, let alone go out in pubic.
    It is important to reach out for help when you need it, even when it’s hard to admit you have an issue, no one is there to judge you, only to help you :)


  • It’s so important that we all share our PND stories so we know that we’re not alone. And we should never be too proud to seek help. I know, easier said than done. But there is help available and there is light at the end of the tunnel.


  • Thank you for sharing what it’s like with PND. So many of us think that it’s all peachy and rosy having babies and don’t realise the day to day struggles let alone for those with PND.


  • I actually like the first one more, because that’s what motherhood looks like for so many of us. I also struggled with PND. After years of infertility it took 3 cycles of IVF before we got our miracle. Then at my 34 week scan we found out my placenta had stopped working and I was sent to the hospital for a c-section. We had the scan at 9am and at 5.31pm welcomed our boy to the world. He weighed 1.6kg so was in special care nursery, but as I couldn’t move after the surgery it was almost 2 days before I could hold him. We had to go home while he stayed in the hospital. And my milk never came in. I felt so hopeless, like my body had let me down at every step of the way, but oh-so guilty because he was IVF so I shouldn’t be sad, I should be cherishing this special time.
    The best thing I ever did was see my GP and get a referral to a psychologist, who helped me immensely. Yet few people outside my family know I had it, because it’s just not something we want to talk about. The stigma around it really needs to be lifted so women aren’t afraid to reach out for the help they need.


  • Thank you Kathy for letting us into your life and showing us that it is okay to let people know the truth about PND. Keep your chin up and always know that there are many people there for you. Most of us know what it is like and you give us the confidence to no longer hide our thoughts. Stay strong.


  • It goes deeper than the post partum period too. I didn’t start struggling until my son was 18 months old. Now those two picture sum up my life.


  • Thanks for sharing your experience and feelings. Think the Postpartum Depression Awareness Month is a great initiative and can be helpful for many mums who struggle with these feelings and have the feeling they need to fake and keep up for the outside world. Hope it encourages to openness and seeking help when needed.


  • Thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully It will encourage others to realise they can seek help instead of struggling along in a black cloud. The photos clearly show the change in her since her treatment.


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