Ashley Darby has been transparent about her experiences with postpartum depression since she welcomed her son, Dean, last year. She described the experience as “crippling” and it didn’t improve until she sought professional help. For this reason, the “Real Housewives of Potomac” star was deeply disturbed when a Bravo fan page shared a poll asking fans to weigh in about whether they believed she was actually dealing with postpartum depression or a case of the baby blues.
“I recently saw that a Bravo fan page did a poll about whether I was experiencing postpartum depression or just newborn blues,” Darby shared in a video published to her Instagram stories on Tuesday morning. “Now, there are a number of things you can talk about and I know a lot of it is fair game, but my mental health really just isn’t one of them. I had thoughts of suicide and I was more down than I’ve ever been in my life.”
The new mom went on to point out that it’s harmful to trivialize postpartum depression or any other form of mental illness.
“It’s not fair and it’s nor right for you to put my mental health as a poll on Instagram to get public feedback,” added the yoga instructor. “It minimizes what I experienced and what so many other women have experienced. Part of the reason that so many women don’t come forward is because their feelings are minimized to being just newborn blues. No, stop doing that. I shared my story. That’s the truth.”
Darby’s postpartum struggles are well documented.
“I’ve dealt with quite a bit of postpartum depression after Dean was born, and I had a hard time seeing that it was going to be better in terms of feeling more comfortable with Dean being around people and not worrying that everyone or someone was gonna hurt my child,” Darby told The Daily Dish back in June. “It was the most crippling fear for me.”
It wasn’t until the reality star started having dark thoughts that she began to seek help.
“Well, I didn’t even recognize I had postpartum. I thought I was normal. I thought every single mom feels like this and it wasn’t until I started having some really dark thoughts about myself and feeling overwhelmed. I started feeling like I wasn’t capable of protecting Dean. Very weird. Looking back on it, I’m like, gosh, I can’t believe I really felt like that, so I did have to get professional help,” she said.”
These days, things are looking up for Darby. She and her husband celebrated Dean’s first birthday last month.