It's hard to find a photograph or see a performance where Marie Osmond is not smiling.
But when Osmond gave birth to her son, Matthew, in 1999, she went into a place of darkness. She said she felt as if she were an alien in her own body, and losing her sense of self.
“I had a talk show at the time, and I had put on 60 pounds, and the television producers were saying I had to drop it all in four weeks, and be perky and cute and happy — I couldn't even wash my face and pick something to wear,” the longtime entertainer said Monday in a visit to Oklahoma City to speak to Chesapeake Energy Corp. employees.
Osmond was experiencing postpartum depression, a form of depression an estimated 11 to 18 percent of
Overall, an estimated one in 10 adults in the U.S. suffers from depression, according to the CDC. Additionally, about 12 percent of adult Oklahomans have some form of depression, with about 6 percent experiencing major depression, according to the CDC.
Regardless of whether a person is suffering from postpartum depression or any other type of depression, it's important to recognize that it's OK to ask for help, Osmond said. From there, people can figure out what's causing them to feel like they're not themselves.
“Depression comes for a reason,” Osmond said. “It can be a gift — to shut you down and make you stop and be still enough to say, ‘Good grief, what is going on with me?' and to make you evaluate all areas of your life that you might just be dealing with instead of loving.”
One way people can seek help for their depression might be through their place of work.
Companies should provide resources for the health of their employees, investing in not only employees' physical health but also psychiatric health, Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein told the Chesapeake employees. He is the medical director of Holliswood Hospital, a 125-bed private psychiatric hospital in New York.
People suffering from depression often have problems concentrating at work and have low levels of energy. Severe insomnia is also another symptom.
“Someone who normally might interact in a very positive way with their colleagues might be irritable or antsy with their colleagues, whereas prior to being depressed, that wouldn't show up,” Borenstein said.
Companies that provide resources for their employees to receive psychiatric help save money through reductions in absenteeism and increased productivity, he said.
It's important for people who are depressed to know they can get help. But most people, because of stigmas about depression and mental illnesses, don't seek help, which is significant, given how effective treatment can be, he said.
“The key thing is, people should not suffer in silence,” he said. “They should seek help, and with help, there is hope.”