Alanis Morissette breastfeeds on magazine cover, opens up about ‘postpartum experience’: ’It was mostly depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety’

Kerry Justich
·2 min read

Alanis Morissette has long been open about her mental health, including what she expresses through her songs. But in one of her most candid interviews, the 45-year-old is sharing details about how some of her most vulnerable moments came after the birth of her children.

“My first two children, it was mostly depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety,” Morissette told Health magazine for the May issue. “But the depression was so in my face that the anxiety was just background music.”

Morissette’s postpartum experience with her 8-year-old son, Ever Imrie, and 2-year-old daughter, Onyx Solace, is something she refers to as “depression-plus,” acknowledging that she’s dealt with a baseline depression throughout most of her life. “I’ve had depression, but I wouldn’t have those invasive thoughts as much,” she said. “It’s invasive thoughts of these horrible, horrifying images, and they often come at night. So it’s depression, plus you’re panic-attacking every 10 seconds.”

Morissette breastfeeds son, Winter, on the cover of "Health" for the May issue, on sale April 10th. (Photo: Kayt Johns)
Morissette breastfeeds her son Winter on the cover of Health for the May issue, on sale April 10th. (Photo: Kayt Johns)

Fortunately, with her youngest son, Winter, born just last summer, she said she hasn’t dealt with as much darkness, saying, “It’s mostly anxiety and almost no depression.” And just as she is open when it comes to talking about her feelings, Morissette said that she’s teaching her children to do the same about theirs.

“We talk about therapy all the time,” she said. “And then with feelings, it’s a big deal for me to let them feel all the way through. I want to give them the feeling that they’re not alone, that I’m right here and they can feel it all the way through.”

By speaking about her experience as a mother — along with being photographed breastfeeding — Morissette hopes to provide support and understanding to other moms. “I love women. I love moms so much,” she said. “I just think moms are so selfless day in and day out — women are just killing it all the time. And they are so often quietly suffering, or not-so-quietly suffering, and still going —functioning sufferers.”

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