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Alyshia Miller Powell, model and wife of the retired, Jamaican track star, Asafa Powell, revealed that she experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her first child, Ameike.
In a recent sit down on the podcast Fast Lane Lifestyle, Miller Powell revealed that it was her best friend, Eva, whom she turned to for help because she didn’t know what she was going through.
The mother of two stated, “I remember even when I moved to Jamaica and I was going through a lot of tough times, a lot of, like, dark times and even after I had….Ameike I went through, I don’t even know what I was going through.”
She talked about a phone call with her friend Eva in which she felt “sad” and not like herself which prompted her friend to push her to see a therapist.
Her husband, Asafa Powell, said that he also didn’t know what his wife was going through.
In the podcast, Miller Powell, thanked her best friend for suggesting therapy to her and noted that “you saved my life”.
Although Alyshia didn’t go further into her experience with postpartum depression or revealed if she had gone to see a therapist, her admission of her postpartum depression has been well-received by her followers.
Black Mothers, Postpartum Depression and Mental Illness Stigma
Mental illness is still taboo in Black and Caribbean communities. Many studies show that due to historical hardships like slavery and colonialism, structural racism, and poverty, Black people are at a greater risk for mental health issues.
In the US, Black people are more likely to feel sad, hopeless and worthless than white people. Yet, studies reveal that many Black people struggle in silence with mental illness because of their fear of being judged by others.
In the case of postpartum depression and black mothers, Black women are at a greater risk of the illness than white mothers. Black mothers are also less likely to get the proper treatment they need.
In Jamaica, the prevalence of postpartum depression is significantly higher than the global average.
Being a public figure, Alyshia Miller Powell openly talking about her struggles with postpartum depression is a step in the right direction. Perhaps this will encourage more influential mothers to speak openly about their mental health struggles and tear down the wall of silence.