Table Manners podcast: Alanis Morrisette details the postpartum anxiety she experienced in lockdown

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Postnatal depression affects more than one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth in the UK alone, making it one of the most common mental health disorders. That’s why Alanis Morissette’s candid words on her experience of it are so important.

Iconic musician Alanis Morissette, who of course gave us generation-defining album Jagged Little Pill, has always been very open about her mental health. 

Before giving birth to her third child last year, the singer openly discussed the postpartum depression she experienced from her previous pregnancy. “For me I would just wake up and feel like I was covered in tar,” she said in a SELF magazine interview.

Now, Morissette has talked about the postpartum anxiety she felt during lockdown.

Speaking on the Table Manners podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware, the artist explained what postpartum depression is. 

“I had postpartum depression after the first and second [babies], and postpartum anxiety after Winter – my son who’s 11 months – was born,” she said.

“Basically, I’m not myself for two years […] I think the least amount of time it is is two years, probably more when it isn’t treated.

“I remember when I didn’t treat it I called the doctor asking, ‘Does it get easier? If I white knuckle through this and soldier through can I grind my way through?’ That’s like I do with most things in my life.

“And she said ‘No, it’s going to get worse actually, you might want to address it.’”

Morissette said she did address it by seeking help and instantly felt a lot better.

However, she revealed that she still feels postpartum anxiety and doesn’t feel completely herself today, adding: “It’s worth it because I look at my kids and think, ‘There’s going to be a day when I won’t remember this – won’t remember my state – so it’s worth it.

“It’s no joke. It’s hard to explain it, unless someone has been through it too, it’s hard to put into words.”

Asked if she still experiences postpartum anxiety, Morissette replied: “Yes, especially with the timing of lockdown.”

She continued: “Collectively as a planet, we were all in ‘fight, flight, freeze, tend and befriend, and collapse’.

“So I think a lot of us were in the freeze mode, or we were, and some of us are thawing out and getting into the beautiful protests and some of the anger and how do we want our new normal to look – we don’t want it to go back to how it was but what do we want? What’s important to us? What’s our value system now?

She added: “The other part is traumatic and unusual: we’re social animals, we need each other, and we don’t have each other as much right now.”

You can listen to the full interview on the Table Manners podcast.

If you or someone you know would like advice on postnatal depression, visit the NHS website here or Mind’s website here.

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…