Breaking the Silence

Wilmington blogger writes about women’s mental health


Depression is more common than you may think. However, more than 50 percent of women believe it’s normal to be depressed after childbirth, during menopause and while aging, according to a survey conducted by Mental Health America. As a result, few women receive treatment.

Wilmington wife and mother of two, CHRISTINE MOTTRAM has suffered from anxiety and mild depression as far back as she can remember. After the birth of her second child in 2010, her anxiety intensified and she developed a panic disorder.

She tried for months to control the overwhelming anxiety and panic attacks.

“I reached a point where I wasn’t able to function properly in my day-to-day life. By the time I sought help, I was so desperate to get better I was really willing to do whatever it took,” she said.

Like many women, she suffered silently for a long time because she didn’t want to be seen as “crazy” or different. Eventually, when Mottram reached what she said was her “low point,” she decided to write about her struggle on her blog, The Real World: Wilmington.

“I was tired of trying to pretend I was doing fine…it was difficult, but then when my anxiety and depression became really severe I couldn’t even pretend anymore so I just wanted to put it out there. I was feeling frustrated by how taboo mental illnesses are and since I was feeling so low I wasn’t really concerned at that point what people would think about me,” she said. 

According to Mental Health America, about 12 million women in the U.S. experience clinical depression each year. Fortunately, clinical depression is a treatable illness and more than 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. But, fewer than half of the women who experience clinical depression seek help.

When Mottram began to see how her illness was affecting her family and realized she could not control her illness, she sought help.

“Any skepticism or fear I may have had in the past about opening up to a therapist went out the window,” she said.

Since seeking treatment, the severity of her anxiety is now manageable. She is no longer depressed nor does she suffer from regular panic attacks.

“I am able to enjoy my life again and do all the things with my family and on my own that I was longing to do during that dark time,” she said.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Source: National Institute of Mental Health