Mom’s Facebook Post Shows Reality of Postpartum Depression

Kathy DiVincenzo showed the reality of PPD in a powerful Facebook post.postpartum-depression2Postpartum depression often hides behind a seemingly picture-perfect family. Kathy DiVincenzo took matters into her own hands, showing off her realities in a daring two-picture share on Facebook.

More than ever, we see the terrible consequences of undiagnosed postpartum depression. Mothers take their lives or their child’s life, leaving behind baffled family and friends. Most of the time, these well-meaning friends say that there were no warning signs — everything looked normal. But there is always more than meets the eye.

Depression is a dark spiral. The weeks after your child is born, you expect to feel immense joy. When the feelings of dread and guilt start to overtake your life, you wonder what is wrong with you. Then, you are too ashamed to let anyone know something is wrong. Why shouldn’t you be happy? Motherhood is supposed to be joyful, or so they say.

Related: 6 Tips to Minimize Postpartum Depression

Kathy DiVincenzo, the mother of two kids, faced the reality of postpartum depression. Her viral post on FaceBook features two pictures. One shows a well-dressed mother with her two children, enjoying playtime with her young daughter. The other shows a disheveled mother, with messy hair and a glassy-eyed look on her face.

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Part of the caption reads:

“…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.”

Related: iPhone App Collects Data in Largest Postpartum Depression Study

As a mother who faced postpartum depression, Kathy’s words resonate with me. The pictures and posts you may see on social media never show the true feelings taking place in a mother’s life. We tend to hide the rawness, opting to portray happiness, which is sometimes a lie.

Postpartum depression affects 1 out of 7 women. That means a few of your close mom friends are likely to skip the joyful stage after having their new child. Instead of believing the pictures they share, remember to reach out — postpartum depression can hide behind a big smile, polished outfit and cute haircut.


9 thoughts on “Mom’s Facebook Post Shows Reality of Postpartum Depression”

  1. Are you sure that’s “postpartum” depression and not just “oh hell, 2AM feedings were easier with only one tiny baby” depression?

  2. Definitely so true, it’s hard to be open about these things and it’s also hard to tell when it’s just normal or if it’s crossed over into postpartum depression/anxiety/etc. =/

  3. I, too, suffered from post partum. I still do. My baby is four months old. I have an older child as well. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that my four month old hardly sleeps. I am exhausted all the time and that feeds into my depression.

    My depression manifested itself differently this time than it did last time. This time, I found myself just so ANGRY all the time. I couldn’t understand why I was so mad. I’d never been like that before. I spoke with a psychologist who put me on medication and I have since chilled out considerably.

    1. I really feel connected to this article. So exhauting “trying” (and thats the operative word here TRYING) to be happy day in and day out and wondering why the hell im not genuinely happy. I am a 34 y.o single mum of one toddler boy however i am extremely lucky and grateful to live with my parents who help me immensely with taking care of my son but sometimes i worry that this isnt doing me any favours as it might give me more time to stress, worry, have anxiety all the damn time about EVERYTHING. I have screamed at my son probably about 4 times in his life really badly. I feel instant regret and always say sorry and give him a hug (if he lets me. Cant blame him if he doesnt want to go near me) He was all i ever wanted and imjust so sad and down all the time. Hardly anything gives me joy anymore. My son is healthy and displays the typical two year old behaviour they all do at his age…. boundary pushing, tantrums…. etc. His language was a little lagging but in the past few months he has really come along in leaps and bounds after a brief speech therapy session. He attends daycare two days a week so its also not like i dont get a break from him. Im so scared my anger and screaming is doing irreversible damage to my baby. I love him but in those moments when the anger takes over all i see is red and i start screaming and slamming doors. I walk away before more happens but THIS should not be happening. The last person on earth a child needs to fear is the one person who should protect them from anything hurtful and im the one hurting my son by screaming at him. I failed.

      1. You’re last line is what has me concerned the most – “I failed.”
        NOT YET YOU HAVEN’T!
        You feel that what you are experiencing isn’t right for you and your family. You still have the opportunity to seek out some assistance to get yourself in a better place so you can be the mom you really want to be. I don’t know where you are, or what resources there are in your area, but start reaching out and you will find the help you need. It takes courage to get help, and you are strong and brave enough to face this and move forward. There isn’t a pill that fixes it, it takes time and practice and support to change your mindset. If you haven’t tried it yet, look for a church that feels like the right fit for you. Turning your anxiety over to God can help too. You haven’t failed. You are not alone. You can do this.
        I rarely read any comments, and never post anything. But something had me scrolling on this page… Being able to admit that there is a problem shows your strength. Build on it and continue to grow.

      2. Dear Lissa,

        I have been there. I too am blessed with 2 “spirited” boys. I raised them with no help, a part from the times my own parents were visiting for a few weeks at the time. I loved being pregnant the first time around and felt blessed and in love with my baby, even if the intensity of it all was something I was not prepared for. I found my self yelling at him when he was a toddler and constantly testing limits. I was exhausted and lonely, but still inspired to be the best mom I could be. When my second boy arrived, I skipped the whole pregnancy and new baby bliss. I was continuously depressed and worried and even more exhausted. I hid my postpartum depression from my close family members because I felt ashamed and guilty, even if they probably could see it for themselves. By the time my second son was a toddler, I too was no longer yelling but screaming, to both of them. I felt too that I was giving them permanent damage and was a failure as a mother and my whole life was a failure and was swinging between feeling furious and desperate. As he grew things got better, I did finally begin to get what I kept hearing since I first became a mother: you have to take care of yourself first. You are deprived. I sort of had to touch bottom but I got it. When I look back now -my boys are 5 and 11, I see all that I have described but I also see that the immense love for my children was there all along, even when I could no longer remember what an emotion like joy felt like, as you mentioned. And if you are thinking that I probably didn’t do the things you did, believe me, I probably did and so maybe other moms too, even if I never believed it myself. Every other mom looked so good and in charge and everyone had it together so well but me. Oh, and by the way, this whole time no one ever suspected what I was going through. My life looked pretty successful from the outside. I myself no longer consider it a failure at all – at least most of the times. So it can be for you, I’m sure. I still yell and scream sometime, even if I feel emotionally much better than in those years. I guess that’s just the way I am, but I also am the sweetest mother at the same time, go figure, as you seem to me. You love your boy and care so much about him and yourself, or you would not feel guilt for what you perceive as faults of yours – and THAT is healthy. Parenting is not easy, not even when you are lucky to have help from your parents as I did, on and off.
        I hope my words and the words of the other moms will help you a little bit, maybe bring some perspective and hope. Some moments are worst than others. Feel free to write back if you’d like to talk more.

  4. I never suffered from postpartum depression, but still as a mother of 3, I completely related to this post. Even without clinical depression, we all tend to lead that dual life. Outside all is calm and order, but actually it is barely managed chaos and exhaustion. Only another stay at home mother understands this, and the demands ithe society places on us to be thin, active, engaged, with a perfect house, … it’s freaking impossible!
    Your house has to look like House & Gardens, because after all you are home all day, right? And you are suppose to provide positive enriching activities for your child all the time: read, sign, play music, dance, go to the park.., and shop only at organic stores and make make cooked meals? But who is watching the kids when you are shopping , cooking, cleaning, and exercising to keep your perfect shape? It’s freaking impossible!
    First you have to tear up this impossible magazine image. Just love your children and do the best that you can do.
    Find or create a network or new mothers. Be gentle and honest with each other. share your frustrations and disappointments as well as your highs. Know that you are not alone. Motherhood is the toughest job that you will ever love, and NO ONE ever tells you how hard it is.

  5. So…. when you have post partum depression your house looks lived in, you dress more comfortably for breastfeeding and baby spitup, and don’t bother doing your makeup because babies don’t care about that shit…? Hmm.

    I get what she’s trying to demonstrate, and it’s an incredibly serious subject that deserves attention. But the only thing wrong with the “depressed” photo is that she’s not smiling. I think it sends a bad message about what you need to be doing if you’re not depressed, what your life should look like when things are “good”. Life is messy and screwed up and I’m not playing mom to impress anyone so sitting around in a bra with messy hair and no makeup is absolutely fine, even for a non-depressed person.

    I say this as someone who has had severe bouts of depression off and on for over 20 years. I was/am at increased risk of postpartum depression compared to most women, and I was terrified I’d get it because I know what depression does. Depression is no joke. But I don’t like the implications of the “spot the difference” photo game here.

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