Alanis Morissette has given birth to her third child, after being refreshingly candid about her depression and worries throughout the pregnancy.
Alanis Morissette is best-known for her generation-defining first album Jagged Little Pill, which continues to help young women around the world navigate through their 20s. The relatable lyrics on hits including Ironic, You Learn and You Oughta Know have spoken out on behalf of many a woman.
Nearly 25 years later, the singer has given birth to her third child, Winter Mercy Morissette-Treadway. She shared the news on Instagram on Monday (12 August) with a photograph which shows her hand as it strokes Winter’s head.
“He’s here! Winter Mercy Morissette-Treadway. #8/8/19 #mywholelifeidreamedoflovingyouthree,” Morissette captioned the shot.
The lovely news came after the singer talked openly about postpartum depression throughout the pregnancy.
In an interview with SELF magazine, Morissette spoke candidly about postpartum depression, ahead of giving birth to her third baby. After living with onf-and-off depression her whole life, she experienced a “new kind” of depression after each of her first two pregnancies.
“For me I would just wake up and feel like I was covered in tar,” she said. “And it wasn’t the first time I’d experienced depression so I just thought, ‘Oh, well, this feels familiar, I’m depressed’.”
Revealing that she waited four months to get help last time, she now says that “not singularly relying on myself to diagnose is key” and that she will seek help straight away if depression hits again.
Morisette then commented on how she thinks friends and family can help ensure that post-partum women close to them are ok.
“This time I’m going to wait four minutes,” she says. “I have said to my friends, ‘I want you to not necessarily go by the words I’m saying and as best as I can, I’ll try to be honest, but I can’t personally rely on the degree of honesty if I reference the last two experiences’.”
In a video linked to the interview, she adds, “I’m just gonna be like, ‘OK, everybody, even if I say I’m OK, I want you to resist believing me at first’. I’m actually gonna need support and I’m not gonna push it away.”
This raises the interesting question: should we persist in asking a friend if they are ok during a tough period when they’ve already said they’re “fine”. It’s certainly something to consider.
Jo Loughran, director of director of Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma movement led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, recently spoke to Stylist about how to help a friend with a mental health issue.
1. Starting a conversation. If you’re worried about a friend or colleague then simply asking them how they are feeling is a good start. You don’t have to set aside hours to chat and it doesn’t need to be formal, or even face-to-face. Often people find it easier to talk while doing something else – like on a walk or while cooking, or watching TV.
2. What should I say? The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to be an expert. Your friend doesn’t expect you to solve their problems:just being there will mean a lot. Take the lead and ask questions – don’t be afraid to ask how they’ve been.
3. What shouldn’t I say? If someone has opened up to you try not to brush their problems under the carpet and avoid clichés like ‘it’ll pass’ or ‘what have you got to be depressed about’.
4. Listen. Listening without judging can be as important and significant as talking. The fear of being judged is a huge barrier for many people speaking out about mental health. You might not understand what they’re going through but that’s OK.
5. Support. There are professional support options out there. Reassure your friend that it’s OK to ask for help.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health issues at work, you can find more information on Mind’s website here.