Tess Holliday is outspoken about many things: From body image to motherhood, there isn't much the model won't speak about, and this week, she opened up to Cosmopolitan about her struggles with postpartum depression.
Holliday gave birth to her son, Bowie, in June 2016, but she didn't begin experiencing the symptoms of PPD until January 2017. According to Holliday, "[I]t felt like the water was boiling over and things were coming to the top again," and this feeling didn't go away.
In fact, Holliday struggled with postpartum depression well into the spring of 2018.
"I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie and I thought to myself, 'I wish I could just disappear," she told Cosmopolitan. "I wish I could vanish.' It felt at that point like I was causing everyone around me so much pain. It felt like a never-ending black hole. I was so tired of hurting… I just didn’t want to be here any more."
The good news is Holliday is still here, and she was able to get help. In fact, in May, Holliday wrote an Instagram post crediting friends, family and antidepressants for helping her get through:
"I’m grateful to have support in my life, friends to talk to, but it got so bad that I had to take action & by doing so it potentially saved my life…I guess what I’m saying is, moms/parental figures: you have to take time to care for YOU. Don’t let it get to the point mine did where you feel like you’re losing your mind. Don’t think because your child isn’t a 'baby' that you couldn’t still be suffering from PPD, because I’m here to tell you, you most definitely can. Ask for help, talk to someone, find a support group or hell, message me. You aren’t alone & you don’t need to suffer alone."
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Does this look like someone who is suffering? This was taken a year ago today and up until about a month ago, everyday since this photo was taken I thought in my head: “I wish I could just vanish.” I’ve never had suicidal thoughts, or self harm, but the thoughts of just wanting to stop hurting and feeling helpless were new & frankly overwhelming. I’ve been open about my struggles with Postpartum Depression, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized I had extreme PPD. I stopped talking about it as much because a few people told me I was coming across “too negative on social media”. (Well frankly, 🖕🏻) My “baby” is almost two, & some days are still filled with sadness, anxiety & helplessness… like today. . . As I write this, I’m in the bath with a mask on, crying to my life coach @ceramickitten via text wondering how my life is full of so many amazing things but the good bits seem hard to reach. When I get out the bath I’m going to eat something so I can take my anti depressants (I’m on month 2 of them), then I’m going to mediate & take Bowie to play with friends. . . Moms are expected to “bounce back” physically & emotionally. We are expected to “stay strong” for the family. Yet most of us (myself included) still have days where we feel like a stranger in our bodies, unattractive to ourselves (& partners), lonely because friends stop inviting you to stuff, etc. I’m grateful to have support in my life, friends to talk to, but it got so bad that I had to take action & by doing so it potentially saved my life. . . I guess what I’m saying is, moms/parental figures: you have to take time to care for YOU. Don’t let it get to the point mine did where you feel like you’re losing your mind. Don’t think because your child isn’t a “baby” that you couldn’t still be suffering from PPD, because I’m here to tell you, you most definitely can. Ask for help, talk to someone, find a support group or hell, message me. You aren’t alone & you don’t need to suffer alone. ❤️
And Holliday is right. You are not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 1 in 7 women will experience some sort of perinatal/postpartum mood disorder. As such, it is important to know the symptoms — which include sadness, anxiety, irritability, changes in eating and/or sleeping behaviors and scary racing thoughts to name a few — and to know how to get help, i.e., talk to your friends, your family, your doctors.
Talk to anyone who will listen.
Because there is help. There is hope, and you are worth it.