Alyssa Milano is publicly sharing her secret struggle with anxiety.
The 45-year-old actress told in an essay for Time published on Thursday that she was diagnosed with the anxiety disorder following the birth of her son.
“My Generalized Anxiety Disorder was most likely triggered by my postpartum depression, and my journey with mental illness began with my journey into motherhood,” she told.
Two years after having a miscarriage Milano gave birth to son Milo in 2011. She was left in “excruciating pain” after delivering through C-section and felt that she has failed as a mother when she was not able to immediately breastfeed.
“That first night, after we returned from the hospital, I suffered my first anxiety attack. I felt like I had already disappointed my child,” the star told. “My heart raced. My stomach seized up. I felt like I was dying.”
Milano told her anxiety worsened following her return to the work. She developed the “irrational and obsessive fears,” including about Milo’s safety, however, found others did not take her pain seriously.
The former Charmed star ultimately got admitted herself into the psychiatric ward for three days. She ultimately found a psychiatrist and a therapist who helped her find “the bravery to face [her] illness, the value to seek help and the strength to recover.”
“Let’s rededicate ourselves to talking about mental health,” the actress asked. “Let’s demand that our lawmakers pass policies that open — not restrict our access to mental health services. Let’s remind each other that no one should have to face these challenges by themselves.”
Milano told in an Instagram post on Thursday that she shared her story to connect with other people who are also experiencing mental illness like her.
“I have a secret. I hope my story helps those that suffer from a mental illness feel less alone. I hope my story helps erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. #ThisIsMe,” she scribbled.