You may know Arielle Charnas as the brains behind the fashion blog, Something Navy. But her super stylish Instagram posts aren't all she's sharing this week.
Recently, in one of her Instagram stories, Charnas candidly revealed to her 1.1 million followers that she has been experiencing postpartum panic attacks and anxiety.
The 31-year-old blogger and mother of two, including a 1-month-old, shared that after some "weird symptoms like shakiness, nervousness" and a racing heart, she thought she was suffering from something far more serious.
"[T]he fear of dying only heightens my anxiety," Charnas wrote, adding that one of her recent bouts with anxiety was so bad that she thought she was having a heart attack.
"I wanted to share this because while I'm loving this time and my pictures are perfect, I am trying to deal with this on the other side," she explained. "I hope by saying this out loud it will calm me but also open up the conversation of postpartum anything. I always love hearing and chatting with other moms who might be experiencing similar situations and hope it will encourage other women to open up as well."
Charnas' story garnered support from her many followers who thanked her for her honesty and offered their own tips for coping.
"My tips are exercise and maybe talking to a therapist," one follower wrote. "It’s helped people I know and will definitely help you! I know that sometimes it feels like 'I have everything, why do I feel this way?' -- and that can be overwhelming."
"I too dealt with PPA [postpartum anxiety] and really had no idea until just recently. I just started becoming myself again (my daughter is 2 and 9 months old) and I can't believe I was living with such intense anxiety all this time. It had become my new normal," another person wrote.
"It does get better, I am dealing with ppd anxiety, panic attacks and the shame of talking about it aggravates the situation, please be strong you are amazing."
"I went through the same thing, talking about it so helped! Thank you for using your platform to spread awareness, build community and authenticity! We are all in this together."
Dr. Elizabeth Albertini, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told "Good Morning America" in a statement that that perinatal mood and anxiety disorders may include symptoms of depression, as well as anxiety, with some experiencing feelings of classic postpartum depression like sadness, guilt, lack of interest or pleasure, low energy or feelings of being an inadequate mother.
Others may have increased levels of anxiety, excessive worry about the health of the baby, difficulty sleeping and concentrating. Some woman may also "experience panic attacks during either depressive episodes or anxiety episodes" as Charnas described in her Instagram story, Albertini noted.
Albertini said that tips to help relieve anxiety in the postpartum period include taking time for yourself, mindfulness exercises, deep breathing and going on short walks if you've been cleared for physical activity by your obstetrician.
Although it may seem difficult with a newborn in the home, Albertini suggests short naps to help ease anxiety symptoms.
"Finally, I think that it is helpful for mothers to understand that life may not look as organized and structured as it did prior to the baby," Albertini said. "If dishes are cleaned immediately, or laundry isn’t done, that’s OK. Prioritizing their own health and the health of the baby are the most important areas."
Albertini says that woman can benefit from discussing the transition to motherhood as well as the symptoms they're experiencing with a licensed therapist.
If you're having thoughts to harm yourself or your baby, please reach out to a mental health professional, Albertini said.