Adele's words about postpartum depression are profane, raw, and honest.

In the December issue of Vanity Fair, music icon Adele opened up about her own personal experience dealing with postpartum depression after her son's birth in October 2012.

Like many new moms dealing with postpartum depression, she didn't even realize that's what she was feeling at first.

"My knowledge of postpartum — or post-natal, as we call it in England — is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life. ... It can come in many different forms."

Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images.


An estimated 900,000 new mothers in the U.S. experience postpartum depression every year — and an alarmingly low 15% of these women actually receive treatment for it.

There's still a huge stigma surrounding postpartum depression (PPD), and a lot of misconceptions about what such a diagnosis means. Society places high expectations on mothers and motherhood, and women often feel guilty if they don't take to their new role naturally. This means that many new mothers are hesitant to admit if motherhood isn't everything they're told it should be.

For mothers experiencing postpartum depression, symptoms can range from unexplainable sadness to uncontrollable anger, and asking for help can feel like admitting you're a bad parent.

Adele said she was also reluctant to seek help, though eventually, she found comfort in talking to other new moms.

Of course, she described it to Vanity Fair in true Adele fashion — bluntly and with lots of raw emotion and f-bombs:

"I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant ... My boyfriend said I should talk to other women who were pregnant, and I said, 'F**k that, I ain’t hanging around with a f**kin' bunch of mothers.' Then, without realizing it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient."

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

Postpartum depression, of course, has many layers to it and presents differently in different people. But it was through these conversations with other mothers that Adele said she realized she wasn't alone.

"One day I said to a friend, 'I f**kin' hate this,' and she just burst into tears and said, 'I f**kin' hate this, too.' And it was done. It lifted."

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images.

By using her powerful voice to shine a light on the issue of postpartum depression, Adele is empowering mothers to recognize that they aren't alone and shouldn't be ashamed or afraid seek the help they need.

Too often, mothers are expected to sacrifice everything for their kids and to do so without complaining and at the expense of their own mental health. There's a lot of pressure on moms to be perfect and to be incredibly hard on themselves if they take any time away from their kids, especially when their kids are still young.

At the end of the day, you shouldn't need to justify what you need to feel good or to force yourself into a box of what you think a perfect mother looks like. The best way to take care of your kid and to be a great mom, especially if you're experiencing PPD, is to make sure you're taking care of yourself.

Which is exactly what Adele did:

"Eventually I just said, I'm going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f**k I want without my baby. A friend of mine said, 'Really? Don’t you feel bad?' I said, I do, but not as bad as I'd feel if I didn’t do it. Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it; they thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it's not the case. It makes you a better mom if you give yourself a better time."

GIF via CBS.

PREACH.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less