This article is part of the Here. Now. essay series, which seeks to de-stigmatize mental health treatment, and improve accessibility to treatment and support for teens and parents in metropolitan New York.
One mom from New York recently opened up about her battle with postpartum depression in such a starkly honest way, it’s bound to make the tiny hairs on your neck stand up. In a post on the Facebook page Love What Matters, Rachael Burow opened up about her struggle with postpartum depression after the birth of her son, 4-month-old Isaiah.
Burow’s descriptions of her anxiety and depression ring eerily true. She began her post with a poignant question:
“Have you ever felt that dark sinking feeling?” she wrote. “Like weights holding you down beneath water? Like your heart being ripped out of your chest? Like your stomach dropping? I felt all that and it changed me.”
Burow told The Huffington Post that postpartum depression has been “one of the scariest things” she’s ever experienced, explaining how she sometimes thought of “terrible scenarios” happening to her son–and sometimes even thought of her own death. She went on to say to the magazine:
“I remember driving home from work to pick up my son one day and I was driving really fast on the highway. I drove past this big metal sign and remember just having the urge to crash into it. But it was almost like something pinched me to stop me from thinking that. I quickly remembered that I was on my way to pick up my son.”
Luckily, she sought medical treatment for her depression, also noting how hard it was for her family, explaining that “postpartum depression is really hard to understand from the outside looking in.”
In her post, Burow reminded other moms that experiencing postpartum depression does not equate to failure:
“I’m not sure why some go through this and some don’t. Either way it doesn’t make anyone more or less of a mother. It doesn’t make anyone more or less of a human. Depression is real. Anxiety is real,” she said. “It can be treated. You can get better. You have to.”
Read the rest of her post below:
This post is part of the Here.Now series, which seeks to destigmatize mental health,
and is made possible by UJA-Federation of New York and The Jewish Board.
You can find other educational mental health resources here.