'Pretty Little Liars' Actress Tammin Sursok Reveals Brutal Postpartum Anxiety Experience, Recounts Recovery Process
Tammin Sursok, best-known for her role as Jenna Marshall on "Pretty Little Liars, revealed she had a brutal postpartum anxiety experience. The actress, who gave birth to daughter Phoenix in 2013, recounted what she went through, including her recovery process, in a self-written piece.
Sursok, 33 and a native of Australia, remembered feeling numbed as she looked at her growing newborn. She also wasn't eating much and she couldn't cry or have any feelings. She was detached from motherhood and realized she needed help. She was afraid to approach someone, if not for her own mother's prodding.
"I felt like my entire body was made of glass and a mere touch would create hairline fractures that would slowly break, like pieces of a puzzle, and take my soul away with it," Sursok wrote via News Corp Australia. The doctor diagnosed her condition six months after giving birth as postpartum anxiety.
Sursok confessed it took her three years to completely heal from her ordeal. She was given pills at first but she ditched this and did "meditation, yoga, therapy, mindfulness, prayer, nutrition and reading and connecting with others who had been through the same experience," she said. "I somehow slowly, inch by inch, rebuilt myself," she added.
Married to Aussie producer Sean McEwan, Sursok recently revealed about having another baby but confessed her fears of going through another zombie-like experience postpartum, as per Bottle and Heels. The actress said she's hoping mothers like her will see how it's important to get help if they are experiencing postpartum anxiety as well.
"We need to break the stigma," Sursok said. "We need to speak up about our tales of sadness and hope and joy."
Some 15 to 20 percent of mothers who have given birth experience postpartum depression or anxiety, where four or five percent go through a major ordeal, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Treating postpartum anxiety involves medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as interpersonal therapy. Learn more from the video below.