Sharna Burgess, a professional partner and troupe member on Dancing With the Stars, is opening up about her struggle with what she calls ‘dark’ and ‘intrusive mom thoughts.’ She originally introduced the topic in an Instagram post on December 9th, which featured a video of her and her 5-month-old son.
“This is a real thing. Honestly, I thought it was something wrong with my brain at first. These super dark thoughts of all the things that could go wrong. All the ways I or life could accidentally hurt my baby,” she wrote on Instagram, referring to the intrusive mom thoughts she feels often while raising a newborn son.
Everything from falling down the stairs while holding her child to getting sick or being involved in a car accident – these thoughts would take away from her happiness and overall quality of life. “I still get them but I have learned to tame them and understand them and most of all.. realized I am not alone,” she said.
Sharna Burgess recently sat down with Good Morning America to talk about her ‘super dark thoughts’ and how she has learned to combat them – despite the thoughts resulting in panic attacks, which she had never experienced before. “I’m a new mom, and all of a sudden, I was in this full-blown panic attack.”
While she said she didn’t feel she was struggling with postpartum depression, she was struggling with those postpartum intrusive thoughts. Burgess went on to explain some of the thoughts she would have about her son, Zane – more specifically, the fear of falling down the stairs or getting in a car accident.
“So walking downstairs, and not just a fall on your back, slide down the stairs, but a full-on tumble, and me ending up on top of him,” she said. “It would become such a very real vision of a car slamming into me and the car rolling and the jaws of life coming to get him out of the car. It’s so real that it’s paralyzing.”
Despite these thoughts, Sharna Burgess has had a big year. Aside from announcing her pregnancy in February 2022 and giving birth to her son in June 2022, she officially became a citizen of the United States in October 2022. She’s currently in a happy relationship with actor Brian Austin Green.
How Did Sharna Burgess Overcome Her Intrusive Mom Thoughts?
During her interview with Good Morning America, Sharna Burgess discussed some of the tactics and methods she utilized when overcoming – or at least managing – her intrusive-mom thoughts. She found it important to share her experience with others after discovering how common these thoughts really are.
“I think it is powerful for women to know that they aren’t alone. When you think your issues, your problems, or your thoughts are singular, you feel very isolated. And to know that there is a community of people that are like, ‘I feel you, I’ve been there,’” said Burgess, before sharing some coping mechanisms.
One thing she says helps is taking deep breaths in the heat of the moment – allowing yourself a moment to analyze that thought and let it sink in before asking yourself if the thought is real or not. She also added that therapy has helped her regain her self of confidence and helped her better manage her thoughts.
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“And for me, a really big one is a deep breath and holding it in. And as I blow out, imagining those words just being released out into the universe and saying, ‘I release all thoughts that do not serve me,” she said, adding that you have to understand ‘how crazy and chaotic those thoughts are.’
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