Israeli actress opens up about depression during pregnancy

Her husband, musician Shlomi Shaban, helped her cope, especially during a period in which she couldn’t walk for three weeks.

By
July 21, 2019 23:22
2 minute read.
McMafia

ACTRESS YUVAL Scharf: ‘The show is not about Israel, it’s about the way crime touches the core of everything.’. (photo credit: BBC/AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)

One of Israel’s leading actress/models, Yuval Scharf, posted thanks on her Instagram account to all the well-wishers who have contacted her following her speaking out about the depression she suffered when she became pregnant with her second child.

“I wanted to share with you... thanks to all the amazing women who never stop writing to me (trying to answer them all!) about their pregnancy experience and motherhood and thank me for reinforcing them and raising awareness of less pleasant things. So you should know you’re reinforcing me in return. It’s not easy to be exposed like that. And each one of you is a real superwoman,” she said in the post.

Scharf, who starred in the acclaimed BBC series McMafia, opened up to the magazine Pnai Plus last week about her struggles with depression after she became pregnant with her second son, Luka, who was born last spring.

“At the beginning of my pregnancy, I became depressed and discovered that there was such a thing as ‘pregnancy depression.’ I always thought that there was only postpartum depression, and I was really afraid that I would have depression after childbirth and luckily it did not happen to me. On the contrary, when the baby was born, I felt tremendous relief... but when I was pregnant I became depressed... and did not recognize myself that way,” she said in the interview.

Scharf has acted in some of Israel’s highest profile films, including Joseph Cedar’s Oscar-nominated Footnote, Avi Nesher’s The Wonders, Amos Gitai’s Ana Arabia, and is currently appearing in the acclaimed HOT series Nechama, which Ynet predicted will be the next Israeli series remade abroad.

She said her depression lifted after the sixth month of her pregnancy, but then she was struck with a rare condition that causes severe back pain, and the depression returned.

Her husband, musician Shlomi Shaban, helped her cope, especially during a period in which she couldn’t walk for three weeks.
In Israel, where children so often are the center of family life, depression around pregnancy and after a birth are often difficult for mothers to talk about, Scharf said.

In the US, several high-profile actresses have opened up about their postpartum depression, notably Brooke Shields, who got into a spat with Tom Cruise over whether taking antidepressants is justified.

Scharf said she is feeling much better now with the support of her husband, family and friends, but noted that although Shaban has had “an amazing and magical and creative year, for me, no, it’s been hard,” especially after several high-profile acting jobs for HBO and Netflix fell through for various reasons.

“I would like to continue this way” as a working mother, “and not give up on myself and not give up my dreams and my relationship and my pleasures, and continue to be a good mother.”


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