Mom’s tearful cry for help goes viral: ’I could use some friends’
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For Juana Witty, it was supposed to be a joyous time in her life. The 28-year-old mom of three had just given birth.
But after being diagnosed with postpartum depression, Witty had nowhere else to turn after the struggle to look after three children became too much.
Taking to TikTok, the Kentucky woman poured her heart out in a teary confession, saying: “Postpartum depression is real. I didn’t know I had it. But I could use some friends.”
The mom’s desperate plea struck a chord with many moms and reached about 3 million views.
Her video spurred a group of parents to form a support group on Facebook, giving Witty the support she needs.
"My phone just kept going off," she told Fox News. "People were commenting and telling me that they’re there for me and if I need anything to call them."
Witty, who has three children aged 9, 2 and 3 months, told the news channel that she didn’t really know what postpartum depression was and didn’t think she suffered from it until June.
About 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental illness, primarily depression and anxiety.
“The birth of a baby can trigger a range of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety. It can also result in depression,” said Dr Bavi Vythilingum, a psychiatrist at Akeso Kenilworth Clinic.
“Many new mothers experience postnatal depression, a clinical condition affecting women soon after childbirth.”
Vythilingum said there are additional signs to indicate that you or someone you know might be depressed:
- lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the outside world
- lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- trouble sleeping at night and feeling exhausted during the day
- difficulty bonding with the baby
- withdrawing from contact with other people
- problems concentrating and making decisions
- frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting the baby or harming yourself
- thoughts about suicide
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult your medical practitioner or contact Sadag on 0800 21 22 23.