My name is Maryam and I am a clinical psychologist with special interests in Maternal and perinatal mental health. I started my Instagram page, psychedmama_, in November 2020, to address different issues that pertain to maternal and perinatal mental health in South Asian communities – this is where I am from, and this is where I have most of my audience. Given that the topic of maternal mental health is not commonly addressed in South Asian cultures, I use my platform as a means to bring awareness to this topic and to also advocate for moms and their mental health struggles. My vision is to somehow change the narrative of motherhood to include all parts of motherhood – not just the beauty of it. So that this narrative reflects all of us.
In December 2020, I launched the real talk campaign on the page. This campaign shares stories of real women, with real experiences in their own motherhood journeys’. Real Talk aims to encourage women to share their stories in order to facilitate their healing through writing and eventually promote healing in the mama community by making other women feel less alone. By encouraging women to share their own stories, we #breakthesilence – the silence which constantly reinforces said expectations and ideas of motherhood – that is more detrimental than it is supportive. Real Talk reminds women that they are not alone in their pain, struggle and hardship. Real talk reels us in and connects us all in the community. It helps us acknowledge that women have struggled – in similar ways to us. It helps us acknowledge that women have been silenced about their struggle, by a standard that is too perfect to achieve. It helps us acknowledge that we are not alone. We know that with more conversation, and more challenging, we can make changes to the narrative – for ourselves. For the women who will come after us. Real talk is hope and healing.
Real Talk is featured through the black and white images on the Instagram page.