Mom Speaks Out Against Postpartum Depression on Social Media
On May 1st, Kathy DiVincenzo rang in the summer months by shining light on an often-misunderstood condition. Postpartum Depression (PPD) affects, to some degree, between 11 and 20 percent of women who have recently given birth. Despite these huge numbers, PPD remains one of the least talked about mental health issues in the nation. Motherhood is supposed to be a happy time in a woman’s life, but it carries with it an exhausting workload, stress, and hormonal shifts that can have a big effect on mental health. Kathy DiVincenzo is a young mother who wanted to raise awareness after suffering from this debilitating condition. She decided to share her story in a unique way with the Facebook community. People often say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so she posted two side-by-side photos to illustrate what PPD was like for her. One shows the ideal of motherhood — including a clean house, a well-groomed mom, and happy, well-behaved children. The other shows motherhood with PPD: the child is fussy, the house is a disaster zone, and mom looks like taking care of herself is the last of her priorities.
While Kathy worried that people would slam her as an unfit mother, the response has been largely positive. Many families recognized the exhausted look on her face and sympathized; those first few months with a new child can be a huge challenge. Her story has been shared nearly 70,000 times. This has inspired others to speak up and talk about their experiences with PPD.