OLMSTED FALLS, OH -The beautiful sights and sounds of motherhood.
But for many, becoming a parent can also have an ugly side.
“I’m looking around, I have dirty dishes and crushed up Cheerios in my carpet and I know other mothers experience that, but I felt like nobody was being real about this is how intense this can be.”
Kathy DiVincenzo, mother to daughter Gianna, 3, and son Dominic, 3 months, says she struggled with postpartum anxiety after having her daughter, but didn’t address the issue head on until two months after giving birth to her son.
“Not finding joy in the things you used to find joy in. Feeling extremely overwhelmed, extremely anxious.”
On May 1, the 27-year-old from Olmsted Falls shared two photos taken by her friend, who is a photographer.
While one picture shows the mom appearing to have it all together, dressed up and smiling with her children in a clean home…the other shows her looking disheveled and unhappy in a messy home.
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DiVincenzo says after officially being diagnosed with postpartum depression, anxiety and OCD, it was time to push past the discomfort society has placed on the condition.
This Facebook post has received over 43,000 likes and close to 70,000 shares.
Dr. Sheryl Kingsberg with University Hospitals says postpartum depression can strike women on a wide spectrum, from mild to severe.
But most importantly it is treatable, mainly with psychotherapy.
Dr. Kingsberg adds, “Another option is pharmacologically, using an anti-depressant, for example the selective serotonin uptake inhibitors are very often used. ”
Kathy DiVincenzo is currently seeing a psychiatrist, and says while she has received some negative comments, she has been overwhelmed by the positive.
“The negative comments that I’ve been receiving only further my point that this is a stigma.”
The most severe, postpartum psychosis affects, 1 in 2,000 women and in worst case scenarios, mothers harm their babies or themselves.
May is National Maternal Depression Awareness month.