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.
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Image via Facebook, Credit to Danielle Fantis Photography