OLMSTED FALLS, OH (WOIO) - An Olmsted Falls mother's brutally honest Facebook post about the reality of postpartum mental health is making waves across the U.S.
In more than a week, Kathy DiVincenzo's post has been shared more than 70,000 times and received 12,000 comments.
"Nobody was showing their real life behind the scenes, and I was guilty of it too," DiVincenzo said.
DiVincenzo wanted to change the conversation and focus on a part of motherhood no one talked about: postpartum mental health. Her friend helped, by taking two pictures of DiVincenzo, which she shared to Facebook.
"As a society we are supposed to, especially as mothers, have it all together, and I think that does such a disservice to other new mothers," DiVincenzo said.
Two weeks ago a psychiatrist told DiVincenzo she had postpartum anxiety, postpartum depression and OCD.
"I was overly worrying about my son, thinking about every possible scenario that he could be injured in to the point it affected how I parented, it affected my day-to-day life," she said.
About 600,000 moms, just like DiVincenzo, deal with postpartum depression every year.
According to WebMD, signs include:
- Avoiding family and friends
- Having trouble taking care of your baby or yourself
- Fearing you're not a good mom
- Having severe mood swings
"It shouldn't be terrifying for me to say what's going on, even if you're struggling," DiVincenzo said.
Thanks to DiVincenzo's post, which keeps gaining traction, tens of thousands of mothers now have a platform to share their struggles and know they're not alone.
"I'm able to scroll through thousands and thousands of primarily women, postpartum mothers who can relate to where I am right now," she said.
If you think you have postpartum depression, talk to your doctor. In almost all cases, once you're aware you have it, it can be treated with therapy or medication.