In recent years we’ve seen lots of comments from celebrities who have opened up about postpartum depression and difficulties they’ve experienced after giving birth. But Canadian star Shay Mitchell has just opened up about a “severe depression” she went through early in her pregnancy, and says the feelings surprised her because she didn’t expect them.
Shay is expecting a baby girl with her partner, former MuchMusic VJ and ex- Entertainment Tonight Canada contributor Matte Babel. She announced the happy news on her Instagram account in June, but before that, things weren’t so rosy and it took a while for her to become comfortable enough to share her news, she told HATCHland.
“The first five months of pregnancy were super isolating, and I went through a severe depression. I previously had a miscarriage and that experience gave me anxiety about sharing the news of this pregnancy with anyone outside of our parents.”
Earlier this year, Shay opened up to her fans on her Instagram, revealing she had suffered a miscarriage the year before. She told HATCHland during her first pregnancy, she told everyone eight weeks in. But the miscarriage changed her approach this time – and made the first few months difficult emotionally.
“I hid it for nearly six months and became very anti-social,” she said. “Usually, I’m incredibly active and outgoing, but instead, I mainly stayed home to avoid stares and questions. I was extremely lonely.”
Shay pointed to a hole in the conversation about pregnancy: prepartum depression is not widely discussed. She said once she started telling others how she felt, they opened up to her about feeling the same and said she felt relief, and also felt the same when she finally announced her news in June.
“Pregnancy can be a hard time, especially if you’re having to hide it,” she told the blog.
“As long as I can remember, I’ve heard about POSTpartum depression,” she continued. “However, to be depressed at the beginning came as a shock. The isolation and anxiety I experienced was crippling. I thought I was going out of my mind and questioned why nobody ever talked to me about this phase.
“I’ve been fortunate since sharing the news of my pregnancy to have some amazing conversations with other pregnant women and moms and know that all these feelings are ‘normal,’ so we just need to normalize them by discussing more openly!”
As far as physical symptoms during her pregnancy, Shay says she’s been “super lucky” in that she didn’t have many of the ones people typically associate with carrying, such as morning sickness or cravings.
“For months, my hands have been extremely swollen with constant pins and needles,” she said. “Physically, I have been very fortunate.”
Shay poked fun at her physical symptom in a recent Instagram post, in which she shared old pictures of herself and wrote, “Posting these photos as a reminder that my hands and feet won't be this swollen forever