Postpartum mood disorders are pretty common. However, new parents affected by postpartum depression and/or anxiety are often hesitant to reach out for help. They might feel embarrassed or ashamed. (Because having a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life, right?) Or they might not even realize what they're feeling isn't normal and write it off as the "baby blues." Whatever a new parent's hesitancy happens to be, suffering in silence can be so incredibly isolating — and may even make the problem worse. Which is why Rachel Platten opening up about her struggle with postpartum anxiety is so important.
But first, let's back up a bit. On Jan. 26, the "Fight Song" singer welcomed her first child — a daughter named Violet Skye — with husband Kevin Lazan, according to People. Since then, Platten has kept her Instagram followers updated on her motherhood journey. She's shared monthly photos of Violet, breastfeeding photos, pumping photos, shots of her returning to work, you name it. And although she's remained fairly transparent about how simultaneously wonderful and difficult parenthood can be, Platten recently got super candid with her followers.
As Today reported, Platten took to Instagram on Sunday, May 26 to reveal her secret struggle with postpartum anxiety since getting back on tour.
"I’ve cried a lot in green rooms, cried through feedings, cried huddled on the bus knowing I have months of this to go wondering what on earth i got myself into with an infant?" the singer wrote. "She sleeps through the night and im up with insomnia. So I can’t even blame the baby haha. And when I’m feeling the absolute lowest I tend to isolate. It feels too big to share with a friend and I feel like no friends really want to deal with all of my big feelings anyway. But this time I didn’t."
Platten went on to share that she reached out to a couple of people she knew would understand and who would help "guide me back to me." She continued:
Friends are our life support when you feel like you are drowning. If you’re like me, hiding when things get too dark, please don’t, please REACH OUT. please believe me, your friends want to be there for you and even just sharing your feelings will take some of the weight off and help you make a plan.
Platten's message clearly resounded with her followers. One Instagram user commented, "❤️this so much. It took me years to figure out my anxiety wasn't a normal thing. I thought it was a new aspect of motherhood I needed to navigate on my own."
Another fan wrote, "Thank you for this 😍❤️ I’m 4 weeks PP and have so much anxiety just leaving my house to go to the store. I cannot even imagine the anxiety I’d face doing what you do girl! Postpartum anxiety is NO joke and can really take over your whole life 😩."
Yet another person chimed in with, "PPA is no joke. I have struggled with it with all three kids. What helped me most is talking about my fears with someone I trust. Hormones really know how to screw with us. I’m so sorry you are going through it. It’s absolutely awful!"
Considering postpartum depression and anxiety is actually more common than most people might think, it seems odd that more women aren't talking about it. Which is why Rachel Platten's message is so important. Because behind an often put-together exterior, plenty of new moms are hurting. Those who are brave enough to reach out for help — like Platten — have learned that with proper support/treatment, new motherhood doesn't have to feel so impossible.
Really, though, we should all be checking up on all our new mom friends and family members. Because from personal experience, PPD and/or PPA has a way of sucking its victims into a pit of despair so deep, they don't know even know how to begin ask to ask for help. Thank you for this reminder, Rachel.