Sharna Burgess is looking back on an experience in her motherhood journey that came as an unexpected hurdle.
The Dancing with the Stars pro got candid about her postpartum struggles nearly five months after welcoming her first child, a son named Zane, with Brian Austin Green. While welcoming the baby boy brought on a wave of many happy firsts, Sharna shared that she had also gone to a darker place she didn't expect to be following his birth.
"I was doing great with postpartum and I definitely couldn't say that I was struggling with postpartum depression," she told Good Morning America in a Dec. 20 interview, "but I certainly struggled with those intrusive mom thoughts."
For Sharna, some of those thoughts involved involuntarily picturing the "worst-case scenario" when it came to her baby's safety. "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 explained, adding that she'd also have "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."
Looking back, Sharna noted that her thoughts felt "so real that it's paralyzing."
"I felt myself having this panic attack, which I've never had a panic attack before," she recalled. "I'm a new mom and, all of a sudden, I was in this full-blown panic attack."
Since then, Sharna said she’s sought help with the intrusive thoughts, including learning mental exercises, practicing breathing techniques, and attending therapy. She is also looking to help others by sharing her experience—something she did earlier this month by posting a candid message about her struggles on Instagram.
"Intrusive mom thoughts…This is a real thing," Sharna wrote alongside a Dec. 9 video, which showed her abruptly stopping in her tracks during a walk with Zane. "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."
Sharna added she has since "learned to tame them and understand them" and recognize that she's "not alone."
The sentiment was echoed during Sharna's sit-down with GMA.
"When you think your issues, your problems, or your thoughts are singular, you feel very isolated," she said. "And to know that there is a community of people that are like, ‘I feel you, I've been there.'"