Tess Holliday On Postpartum Depression: I Wished I Could Disappear

By David Konow 09/06/18

The model has been open about her struggles with postpartum depression on Instagram.

Tess Holliday
Photo via YouTube

Plus-sized model Tess Holliday opened up about her battle with postpartum depression to Cosmopolitan UK.

The 33-year-old, who launched the body positive movement (#effyourbeautystandards) in 2013, struggled with postpartum depression after giving birth to her son Bowie, which lasted from January 2017 to the spring of 2018.

“It felt like the water was boiling over and things were coming to the top again,” she recalled in a May post on Instagram. “I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish.’”

Holliday also confessed on Instagram, “I’ve never had suicidal thoughts, or self harm, but the thoughts of just wanting to stop hurting and feeling helpless were new and frankly overwhelming. I’ve been open about my struggles with Postpartum Depression, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized I had extreme PPD.”

Holliday was afraid to turn to her family for help because she didn’t want to burden them. “I felt at that point like I was causing everyone around me so much pain,” she continued. “It felt like a never-ending black hole. I was so tired of hurting… I just didn’t want to be here any more.”

Yet it was with the help of her family and antidepressants that she finally got out of the black hole. “Ask for help, talk to someone, find a support group or hell, message me. You aren’t alone and you don’t need to suffer alone.”

Holliday confessed she still has tough days. “Some days are still filled with sadness, anxiety and helplessness,” she adds. “As I write this, I’m in the bath, crying to my life coach via text wondering how my life is so full of so many amazing things, but the good bits seem hard to reach… Moms are expected to ‘bounce back’ physically and emotionally. We are expected to ‘stay strong’ for the family. Yet most of us (myself included) still have days where we feel like a stranger in our bodies.”

Holliday concluded, “I’m grateful to have support in my life, friends to talk to, but it got so bad that I had to take action and by doing so it potentially saved my life.” 

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.