Alanis Morissette Speaks out on Postpartum Depression

Just two months after giving birth to her third child, Alanis Morissette is getting candid about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety. In an essay posted to her website on Sunday, the musician opened up about the “many tentacles to this experience,” which she is struggling with for a third time.

“I wasn’t sure if i would have post partum depression/anxiety this time around. or, as i like to call it: post partum activity. or, also: post partum tar-drenched trenches. there are so many tentacles to this experience,” the mother of three wrote, going on to list just a few of the things she is struggling with, including “Hormonal. sleep deprivation. fogginess. physical pain. isolation. anxiety. cortisol.”

“Recovery from childbirth (as beautiful and intense as mine was at home, dream birth.), integrating new angel baby with older angel babies,” she continued. “Marriage. all kinds of PTSD triggers. overstimulation. this body. attempting to crawl back to some semi-recognizable configuration.”

“Reaching this point again where the sleeping giants of my survival strategies are being roused….the persevering. the soldiering. the show-up-no-matter-how-broken-things-feel-ing. yes, the addictions. in my case…work addiction—over-giving. over-serving. over-do-ing. over-over-ing. all lovely qualities without the ‘over,’” she wrote. “At worst: beautiful human qualities that are on 11 in a way that the body ultimately can’t sustain. The #invisibleload with today’s normalized cluttered lifestyle taking on epic proportions.”

Recognizing that she had "been here before,” the Jagged Little Pill artist wrote that she knows “there is another side. and the other side is greater than my PPD-riddled-temporarily-adjusted-brain could have ever imagined: as a mom. as an artist. as a wife. as a friend. as a collaborator. as a leader. as a boss. as an activist.”

The Grammy winner also acknowledged that she has “so much more support this time” and that she took steps to “set it up to win as much as I could beforehand."

“But for all of this preparation—PPD is still a sneaky monkey with a machete—working its way through my psyche and body and days and thoughts and bloodwork levels,” she continued.

Morissette went on to acknowledge that “this culture is not set up to honor women properly after birth."


“I see it changing, which is so heartening … but the general way is bereft of the honoring and tenderness and attunement and village-ness that post partum deeply warrants,” she wrote. “The new mom, the new parent(s) is creating the foundation for the circumventing of so much of the pain and divisiveness that we see in the world.”

“Wouldn’t it be cool if we treated all post partum moms and families with this awareness and honor. even if the treadmill of the quickening of our culture didn’t change pace,” she asked. “That there might be a life raft of empathy toward the feminine life-givers who bear it all and give more than words can even begin to touch on.”