Feature

Marie Osmond’s darkest hour

Following the birth of her son Matthew, Osmond succumbed to a case of postpartum depression so severe that she sometimes couldn’t get out of bed.

Today, Marie Osmond is a devoted mother of eight—three biological kids and five adopted. But there was a time, says Richard Barber in the London Daily Mail, when motherhood became a burden too great to bear. Following the birth of her son Matthew, in 1999, Osmond succumbed to a case of postpartum depression so severe that she sometimes couldn’t get out of bed. One day, she walked downstairs and handed Matthew over to his nanny. “‘I can’t stay here,’ I told her. ‘There is something terribly wrong with me.’” With that, Osmond says, “I turned away from her, away from my life, and walked out the door. I have no idea how my feet carried me to the car. My body was racked with hysterical crying. I began to understand for the first time why a person would want to take their own life.” Filled with grief and sadness, she drove 250 miles and holed up in a motel. But soon, she was rescued by a phone call from her mother, Olive, who had raised nine children of her own. “‘I’m going to tell you something I’ve never told anyone,’ said my mother. ‘I went through exactly the same thing when I had my last child.’ That’s my brother, Jimmy. Isn’t that extraordinary?” With medication and therapy, Osmond, now 50, recovered her equilibrium. But she’s not sure what would have happened had her mom not tracked her down. “That call,’’ she says, “helped me turn a corner.’’

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