On camera, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta star Rasheeda Frost has been going through it with husband Kirk. But behind the scenes, she’s struggled with emotional turmoil that she hasn’t really shared with the public — until now.
Writing a parenting blog for PEOPLE, Frost got frank about her experience with postpartum depression after having her second son, Karter. (She and Kirk also have a 16-year-old named Ky.) She’s sharing this particular story in the hopes of helping other mothers who are or have suffered in silence.
Frost said that she was more than thrilled to welcome Karter, who is three now. Unfortunately, soon after his birth, she fell ill with pneumonia. Frost wasn’t able to breastfeed while on medication for her illness, and despite eventually recovering, things went downhill from there.
“When I was finally released from the hospital, a few days went by and I began to realize that something wasn’t exactly normal with me,” she wrote. “I wasn’t that fierce, strong, happy Rasheeda that I used to be. My mind was cloudy. I was tired. I felt down and lost, and would cry all the time. It came to a point that I would retreat away from my family and avoid my friends.”
She continued, “As a woman, I was trying to cope and be a great mom and wife. I didn’t look or feel my best. I was over 200 pounds and there were days I would tell Kirk, ‘Listen, you need to take care of Karter,’ and I would just lie around. I was in such a weird space and he didn’t understand what was going on with me.”
Frost said her feelings of sadness and desire to isolate herself would go on to have a very big impact on her marriage to Kirk.
“My husband became collateral damage,” she said. “He was left confused and feeling alone. He could not figure out what happened to his wife. In 20 years, he had never witnessed me in distress, and I had never been in such turmoil. All of a sudden, there was a significant reduction in the quality and frequency of couple time. I was in complete social isolation, and withdrew from personal interaction. My husband did not know how to handle what I was going through, and I did not understand what was happening with me enough to tell him what I needed or even know what I needed.”
While Frost didn’t want to look or feel weak, she knew something was wrong. She eventually went to a doctor when she realized “that sleep deprivation, hormonal changes and stress after giving birth had a drastic impact on my brain chemistry.” She was diagnosed with postpartum depression and took the steps to heal after that. What worked for Frost, though, were natural remedies.
“Now let me be clear: There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking anti-depressants or any other medication prescribed by your doctor for postpartum depression or any other illness,” she said. “And just like there is no one-size-fits all postpartum-depression diagnosis, there is no one-size-fits-all cure. Each woman must do her due diligence to determine her best treatment option for her personal road to recovery. For me, it happened to be natural. Choosing natural remedies meant a lifestyle change; I had to become more aware of both my triggers and the activities that helped stabilize my mood. I learned to set boundaries, both personally and professionally. Paying attention to my moods forced me to recognize my need for spiritual growth; I found myself in constant prayer, and even established a habit of mediation.”
She also started making it a priority to be outside, which she found gave her peace. Not only that, but she also found peace, and shed a few pounds at the same time, by getting into walking (five miles to be exact) and doing gymnastics classes (which she said she’s actually done since she was a young girl). Frost changed her habits, including how she ate, and sooner than later, she noticed that she was feeling like her old self again.
“Finding out that I had postpartum depression and understanding what that meant became more freeing than I realized,” Frost said. “I learned what was going on with me and knew remaining isolated would only make matters worse for me mentally, so I began to communicate with my family and close friends.”
She added, “My mom and Kirk immediately stepped in, and not only did they take care of baby Karter, they allowed me to get the rest I needed through the night. I was able to create the routine I needed to balance life so I could do everything I desired, to feel like the Rasheeda I recognized.”
Check out her full story over at PEOPLE.
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