Postnatal Depression, Raising Awareness, Uncategorized

Why Celebrity Mental Health Stories Matter

This week we have seen another celebrity open up about their battle with mental illness. Adele revealed to Vanity Fair her

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Image:Adele.com

experience of postnatal depression and how taking time for herself helped.

I always feel a sense of pride and I’m grateful when someone tells their story. I’m proud because I know how hard it is to tell someone how you’ve been feeling no matter who you are; and grateful because each and every story contributes to breaking down stigma.

But why is it important when a celebrity shares their experience? Firstly it gets the subject into the public eye, which raises vital awareness. This is so important, I didn’t even know the symptoms of depression & anxiety so sharing this knowledge is a obviously a good thing. Secondly, and I think most importantly; it helps people feel less alone & gives them hope.

Learning that someone you admire has been struggling and made it through the darkness is a powerful thing. This was something I experience when I was unwell.
I always loved ‘Sister Sister’ growing up but it was during their reality show ‘Tia & Tamera’ that Tamera Mowry-Housley inspired me.
I had just had my son, Ryan & was battling with severe postnatal depression; I’d just come through my lowest point where I had very nearly ended my life. My anxiety was really high & I was seriously struggling to even leave my home. I spent most of my days alone at home with my toddler & baby, while my husband was out at work.
I was finding it difficult to come to terms with what I was going through and how much postnatal depression had changed my life. I couldn’t imagine how my life could ever be happy again. I

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Image: TameraMowry.com

was lacking motivation to do anything, so found myself watching TV, trying to escape from my reality, while the babies napped. One of the shows I would watch was’ Tia & Tamera’.
During one episode Tamera was pregnant with her baby son, Aden, and she opened up about her previous experience with depression. It really resonated with me, to see a woman who I found positive and inspiring talking so openly about her battle instantly made me feel less ashamed. She spoke to someone about postnatal/postpartum depression and prepared herself with knowledge before having her baby.

To this day I’ve never forgotten that episode and the way it made me feel. If she had experienced depression, and was now recovered and enjoying life then so could I.
I had really struggled to accept I had depression and to be honest I felt ashamed. But that show was the start of my acceptance to what was happening, but more than anything it gave me so much hope.

That is why it’s important when celebrities share their stories. Every time someone in the public eye opens up they’re being the

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Celebrity stories: Offing families like ours hope

voice for hundreds and thousands of other people. They show that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or how much money you have; mental illness can affect anyone. They’re helping stamp out stigma, raising awareness and giving so many others struggling the greatest gift of all – Hope.

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