In a new Vanity Fair cover story, singer Adele discusses fame and also opens up about her struggles with postpartum depression, a disorder that strikes hundreds of thousands of women each year.
“I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life,” the star said of the birth of her son, Angelo, now 4.
Born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, the 28-year-old has won 10 Grammys as well as an Oscar for the title song from the James Bond film “Skyfall.”
“You can’t talk about the downside of fame, because people have hope, and they cling to the hope of what it would be like to be famous, to be adored, to be able to create and do nice things,” she told Vanity Fair.
The singer and Angelo’s dad, Simon Konecki, her boyfriend of the past five years, also co-parent his daughter from a previous marriage.
Inadequacy following birth
“My knowledge of postpartum — or post-natal, as we call it in England — is that you don’t want to be with your child,” Adele tells Vanity Fair. “You’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job.”
According to the magazine, she struggled with these feelings of inadequacy for a time after giving birth to Angelo.
“I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she said. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant.”
Though Konecki suggested she confide in other women, Adele initially refused. Still, she found herself “gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient.”
She did not take antidepressants for her condition, instead finding help by talking about her feelings with other women. “Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it.”
“Eventually, I just said, I’m going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f**k I want without my baby,” Adele said. Though questioned by her friends, she did it anyway.
“They thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it’s not the case. It makes you a better mom if you give yourself a better time.”
Adele also acknowledges that she’s “very available to depression” and can slip in and out of the dark mood quite easily.
“The music I’ve always been drawn to is sad. I’ve always been pretty melancholy. Obviously not as much in my real life as the songs are, but I have a very dark side,” she told Vanity Fair. “It started when my granddad died, when I was about 10, and while I never had a suicidal thought, I have been in therapy, lots.
“One day I said to a friend, ‘I f**kin’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I f**kin’ hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted,” Adele said, adding that she hasn’t felt so poorly since she “snapped out of” her postpartum depression.