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Sharna Burgess Says She Struggles with ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ Thoughts Since Becoming a Mom

Dancing with the Stars’ Sharna Burgess is opening up about her dark thoughts and mental health struggles since becoming a parent in hopes of getting others to start talking about the often difficult topic.

“You have these visions of the worst-case scenario happening,” the 37-year-old tells PEOPLE exclusively while partnering with Movember and their #hope4theholidays campaign which aims to break the stigma around men talking about their mental health. “You’re driving a car, and you have a vision play out of a car hitting you and then the jaws of life opening up the car to get your baby out of it. It is the biggest and most dramatic of situations that your brain can come up with, and it’s shocking and paralyzing even.”

The professional dancer and Brian Austin Green, 49, welcomed son Zane Walker, 5 months, in June. The couple met when the actor was partnered with the Australian native during season 30 of the Disney+ dance show.

Burgess admits she’s dealing with some extra anxiety that she’s trying hard to process since joining the motherhood club.

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Brian Austin Green Celebrates 2 Years with Sharna Burgess

Brian Austin Green Celebrates 2 Years with Sharna Burgess

Sharna Burgess and son Zane.
Brian Austin Green Instagram

“When you come into motherhood and you’re not ready for those thoughts, you don’t know they’re coming because we don’t talk about this enough,” Burgess says. “You suddenly get hit with them and you think, ‘Is this just me? Is there something wrong with my brain, or am I really somehow seeing things that could possibly happen? Or am I making this stuff up? What is this?'”

Having good communication with loved ones has helped the mirrorball champion deal with her unwanted thoughts.

“You feel like you’re going a little bit crazy with it,” Burgess says. “You learn that you’re not alone —just from talking to my mom or other girlfriends. I go to therapy and by sharing it there, you understand, ‘Oh, I’m not alone. This is my brain not so much playing tricks on me, but doing things that I do have the ability to observe and not let them control me and allow them to pass without them feeling like they’re so very real,’ and knowing that that’s okay. But it’s a process.”

“Sharna is, thank God, really good at communicating,” adds Green, who also is father to sons Journey River, 6, Bodhi Ransom, 8 and Noah Shannon, 10, with ex-wife Megan Fox and son Kassius, 20, with Vanessa Marcil.

Brian Austin Green Celebrates 2 Years with Sharna Burgess

Brian Austin Green Celebrates 2 Years with Sharna Burgess

Sharna Burgess with son Zane and Brian Austin Green’s sons Noah, Bodhi and Journey.
Brian Austin Green Instagram

“So we have constant conversations just about little things. That she has a fear of tripping, walking down the stairs, or walking into doorways, it’s pretty normal, but it can be pretty consistent just in dealing with something that is so new and it’s a love that she’s never experienced,” he says.

Burgess has also learned healthy tools to help her cope when she’s having anxious feelings.

“Am I better at it? Absolutely,” Burgess says. “I’m better at taking those deep breaths and releasing the thoughts that do not serve me and understanding that my baby is safe and I am safe and my family is safe.”

“But it doesn’t stop them from coming. It is still a very real thing, and as I hear, it never goes away when you head into parenthood,” she continues. “You’re always going to worry about those babies, and I relate to everyone. I think men and women, it’s not just a female-driven thing, that feel these intrusive thoughts and struggle with them daily.”

DANCING WITH THE STARS - "Disney Heroes Night" and "Disney Villains Night" - The magic of Disney Week will transform the ballroom as the remaining 13 celebrity and pro-dancer couples take on iconic Disney characters across two nights with "Disney Heroes Night" airing live on MONDAY, OCT. 11 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), and "Disney Villains Night" airing live on TUESDAY, OCT. 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images) SHARNA BURGESS, BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN

DANCING WITH THE STARS - "Disney Heroes Night" and "Disney Villains Night" - The magic of Disney Week will transform the ballroom as the remaining 13 celebrity and pro-dancer couples take on iconic Disney characters across two nights with "Disney Heroes Night" airing live on MONDAY, OCT. 11 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), and "Disney Villains Night" airing live on TUESDAY, OCT. 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images) SHARNA BURGESS, BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN

Sharna Burgess and Brian Austin Green.
Christopher Willard/ABC/Getty

This holiday season, the couple has teamed up with Movember to get people talking about their mental health, especially men.

“Men are just so behind the ball as far as really taking care of themselves,” Green says. “And there’s this stigma and this thought of, if you’re a man, you’re supposed to be the rock, and you’re supposed to be the real emotionally and physically secure one and then hold everyone together and be the glue.”

“To just step outside with someone else and talk about things, whatever arises, is so healthy,” Burgess adds. “I would love for that to be the way for more people, and there is access to that with things like Movember for men. They do have access to be able to do things like this.”

For 24/7 free and confidential support, please call 988 to access the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S.