Adele Opens Up about Her Postpartum Depression

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British singer Adele arrives at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 12, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

“I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son,” she said, “and it frightened me.”

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, 10-time Grammy winner Adele opened  up about her experience with postpartum depression following the birth of her now four-year-old son, Angelo.

In her own words, Adele explained that postpartum “is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life … It can come in many different forms.”

According to the journal JAMA Psychiatry, up to 1 in every 7 women suffer from postpartum depression. Some women seem to be more predisposed to developing postpartum disorder than others, but the reason for this is uncertain. Likely factors include genetics, hormonal fluctuations pre- and post-pregnancy and lifestyle. The added physical stress and sleep deprivation that comes with caring for a newborn baby can also be an amplifier.

Despite her suffering, Adele noted that she did not take any antidepressants for the condition. Instead, she found counsel in other pregnant women and women with children.

She explained raw and candidly, “I found they’re a bit more patient. You’ll be talking to someone, but you’re not really listening, because you’re so fuckin’ tired.”

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According to Postpartum Progress, symptoms usually emerge within a year of giving birth and manifest in ways such as:

  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you just can’t handle being a mother. You question why you became a mother in the first place.
  • Feeling guilty for a myriad of reasons – that you should be handling it better, that your baby would be better off with someone else, etc…
  • Feeling resentment toward your baby, or your partner, or your friends who don’t have babies. You feel out-of-control rage.
  • Feeling sadness to the depths of your soul. You can’t stop crying, even when there’s no real reason to be crying.
  • Feeling hopeless, weak, and defective, like a failure.

Many women feel too embarrassed or guilt-ridden to admit they feel bad. Giving birth in our culture glorifies that mythical mommy bliss as the ultimate joyous life event; therefore, they don’t get diagnosed or treated. The reality is that postpartum depression is out of your control. Isolating yourself is the last thing you should do as a woman suffering from postpartum symptoms.

Treatments for postpartum depression are highly effective, and doctors agree that reaching out for help or screening for the disorder could help women sift through their feelings.


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