Actress Alyssa Milano is opening up about her battle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in a penned piece for Time in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. The mother of two believes that her anxiety was most likely an effect caused by the postpartum depression she experienced when her son, Milo, was born and therefore says, “my journey with mental illnesses began with my journey into motherhood.” Everything ran pretty smoothly throughout most of her pregnancy as the Charmed actress claims she didn’t experience any morning sickness, and she was able to attend prenatal yoga on a weekly basis.
“I walked two miles a day, and I took naps in the afternoon,” she added.
However, her pregnancy took a turn for the worst when she started to experience complications 10 days before Milo was scheduled to be born. As a result, Milano had no choice but to forgo her original, intended birth plan and underwent a C-section instead. After 18 hours of labor, Milano and her husband, Dave Bugliari, welcomed their first son into the world. And this was when things went south for the actress.
“That first night, after we returned from the hospital, I suffered my first anxiety attack. I felt like I had already disappointed my child. I felt like I failed as a mother since I was not able to give birth vaginally or nourish him with the breast milk that had not come in yet. My heart raced. My stomach seized up. I felt like I was dying.”
Milano also says that the fact that she was a working mother did not help her anxiety, but instead actually made it worse.
“I was overwhelmed by guilt for leaving my son during work hours,” she said.
She had started to work on another TV show and was working 16-hour-long days before she was able to go home and hold Milo in her arms. However, by then her anxiety would grow into a full-blown attack.
The Mistresses actress finally decided enough was enough.
“Finally, I hit a wall. One early morning, I went to the emergency room at 2 a.m., asked for a psychiatrist and got help. I felt as though I had no choice: I asked to be committed; I stayed in a public psychiatric ward for three days.”
Although it was by no means easy, Milano began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The mother of two does not feel ashamed for admitting that she battles mental illness and even went on The View to talk about her struggles.
“I have a mental illness. I’m going to say it just like that, because I feel like there is such a stigma around mental illness.”
She even took a stand against President Trump’s tax plans where as many as 13 million Americans stand to lose their health insurance. President Trump has blasted the suspects of mass shootings, including the Parkland High School shooter, as being “mentally disturbed.”
“We see this administration blaming these mass shootings on mental illness…. If that’s what you are going to blame it on, you have got to step up to the plate and do something,” Milano declares.
Milano is not the only actress who shared her story about postpartum depression. Fellow mother of two Gwyneth Paltrow also opened up about how she went through the same thing after the birth of her son Moses and went into a “dark place.”
You can watch Milano discuss mental illness on her appearance on The View below.