Sometimes it's the people who are closest to us who know us better than we know ourselves, and that's exactly what country singer Maren Morris experienced in the months after giving birth.
In a new interview with PEOPLE, Maren Morris talks about life after welcoming her son Hayes in March 2020. She says her husband, singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd, helped her recognize that she wasn't as okay as she deserved to be, and that she might have postpartum depression.
"I do check-ins all the time [with] therapy, which I've done for years, and my husband was a huge help diagnosing that too," Morris explained. "Sometimes it's just someone really close to you saying, 'Are you OK?' It's so simple, but it kind of snaps you out of whatever fog you're in that you think is normal, but isn't."
The experience of postpartum depression during the onset of the pandemic helped influence Maren Morris' new album, Humble Quest, which drops Friday. She says she believes people are more in tune with their mental health than ever due to the events of the last two years, and that knowledge helps her to feel less alone when she's struggling.
"I'm pretty sure everyone in lockdown and this pandemic has had to do a temperature check on their mental health, and maybe it'll become a more perpetual practice going forward because of these two years — I hope it is," she said. "I just think there's not a stigma as much around talking about it and reaching out for help. It's been such an amazing thing to know that I haven't been alone in this, that other women have all been dealing with the same exact fears and anxieties; even just knowing that if I wake up in the middle of the night with a panic attack, I know that I'm not the only one."
Unfortunately, even now, postpartum depression symptoms are underreported and undertreated, because of the stigma that surrounds mental health struggles. But the data that is reported shows just how common it is for people who have recently given birth, according to postpartumdepression.org.
- Approximately 1 in 10 women will experience postpartum depression after giving birth, with some studies reporting 1 in 7 women.
- Postpartum depression generally lasts 3 to 6 months, however, this varies based on several factors.
- It is estimated that nearly 50% of mothers with postpartum depression are not diagnosed by a health professional.
- 80% of women with postpartum depression will achieve a full recovery.
When you've never experienced the postpartum period before and are going through the enormous upheaval of having a newborn while recovering from birth for the first time, being able to recognize what's normal vs. what's not can be so difficult. I know how badly I struggled with wondering if it was "just hormones" or if something deeper was wrong. I eventually realized I had severe postpartum anxiety and had never experienced anything like it before. Luckily, I got the help I needed and a few months later I felt a million times better.
Morris says her husband's help with getting her the PPD diagnosis has made their relationship stronger, both as a couple and as parents.
"This was the most time we had ever spent with each other, and we had a kid, so we were getting to know each other in a deeper way," she says. "We definitely got stronger."
The couple married in 2018. Hurd also helped influence songs on her new album, she says.
"I wouldn't have made it through with my head this high without him."