Produced by UK site Channel Mum, the viral clip aims to destigmatize mothers' mental health struggles like anxiety and panic attacks.

October 25, 2018

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Every now and then, discussion around postpartum depression, anxiety, or baby blues reaches a fever pitch, before dying back down. It's an issue we could stand to talk about much more, as mothers' mental health struggles are all too often brushed under the rug and stigmatized. In an attempt to help these moms feel less isolated and raise awareness on the subject, U.K.-based mom site Channel Mum has released a video called "What A Panic Attack Really Looks Like." The clip features heart-wrenching footage of a mother of two named Sophie Mei Lan in the throws of an actual panic attack, crying, struggling to breathe, and admitting, "I just don’t want to be here – I just can’t cope."

The video was created to promote an Anxiety Course and Toolkit, created by The Channel Mum psychologist in residence, Emma Kenny.

On YouTube, the site notes, "Parents particularly are vulnerable to suffering from anxiety, even if they have never had issues with mental health before. Our research has revealed that 85 percent of mums say they suffered from some form of anxiety or mental health issue while pregnant or since becoming a mum. More than half didn't even get a warning that this could happen!"

Other alarming statistics, according to Channel Mum: 

  • Three in ten moms have suffered at least one panic attack and more than a quarter of these have had multiple stress-related episodes.
  • 23 percent have had a panic attack when their child was present.
  • Half of moms hide their attacks and have never told anyone they suffer.
  • Two in five worry they will be judged for having panic attacks while a quarter fear their children could be taken away if they admit to suffering.
  • The most common trigger for panic attacks is feeling "I can’t cope," suffered by 48 percent of moms reporting attacks, alongside 37 percent who fear "I’m not a good enough mom."
  • The most experienced symptoms include being unable to breathe, suffered by seven in ten and 63 percent who broke down crying uncontrollably.
  • Three in five describe the feeling as "overwhelming dread" with 22 percent even contemplating suicide.

The powerful message of the video is no doubt extremely needed. Promoting further conversation could stand to reassure many moms that they are not alone, but that there are resources that can offer much-deserved support and peace of mind.