Sometimes the hardest stories to tell are the most important ones to share. Steven D’Achille can speak volumes on this. The dad has made it his life’s mission to share the tragic story of how his wife, Alexis, suffered from postpartum depression (PPD) and ultimately took her own life. Since her death, he’s devoted himself to his Pittsburgh-based charity, the Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation, to honor her memory. To celebrate Maternal Mental Health month Steven took to Facebook to share his wish for moms currently suffering from PPD.
In a heart-wrenching post, he shares the last picture ever taken of his late wife with their daughter Adriana. The morning after the photo was taken, Alexis took her life. “My Wish For Moms is that no mom has to feel like Alexis did, [and] that every mom gets to watch their babies grow up,” he says. “My wish for moms is that no mom feels like their loved ones are better off without them here. That no mom feels they are a burden.”
The post was inspired by Chrissy Teigen’s recent social movement to share her wish for moms currently suffering, and to raise awareness on postpartum depression and anxiety. The problem is, while more than 500,000 new moms develop PPD, only 15 percent receive treatment, according to the American Psychological Association.
“My wish for this post is that everyone, male or female, that reads it posts their own #MyWishForMoms for a woman they know and love,” Steven writes.
He and his wife welcomed their baby girl Adriana into the world back in August of 2013. He describes Alexis as her “usual, happy self” during pregnancy and “so excited to meet her daughter.” But everything changed when Adriana was born. “Once home, she felt out of control, with anxiety beyond the ‘normal’ new mom worries,” he explains on the foundation’s website. “Though she sought help, she was not able to get the relief she needed from what was now obviously postpartum depression.” Six weeks after their daughter’s birth, Alexis took her own life.
“My wish is that mamas everywhere have access to care with their babies next to them. Care they deserve. The care my wife never got,” Steven says in another Facebook post. “My wish is that women are evaluated by doctors who listen to them, instead of looking at them and their words falling on deaf ears.”
The dad encourages others to share their stories and put an end to the stigma.