From our friends at BabyCenter.com! By Carolyn Robertson.
Most new moms experience the so-called baby blues in the days after their babies are born, their joy temporarily dampened by mood swings, anxiety, irritability, sadness. For the majority of women these feelings soon fade, but some moms find themselves sinking down to some place dark and deep and hard to escape.
According to BabyCenter statistics, up to 15% of mothers suffer from postpartum depression, and those numbers include some of Hollywood’s A-list mamas. Actress Brooke Shields was among the first to go public with her struggle with ppd, penning a book about her experience titled Down Came the Rain. Since then several stars, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Marie Osmond, have opened up about their own difficult post-baby days.
Here’s what some of them have had to say about their periods of postpartum depression…
Alanis Morissette: “The degree and intensity of my post-natal depression shocked me…. I hadn’t realized the depths to which you can ache — limbs, back, torso, head, everything hurt — and it went on for 15 months. I felt as if I was covered in tar and everything took 50 times more effort than normal. I wished I could have cried but there was no relief during that time.”
Kendra Wilkinson: “It got pretty bad, [but] not to the point where I would harm my family. I was a great mom and did what I needed to, but I was definitely very depressed,” she told PEOPLE. “[Motherhood is] a big change in life and it happened overnight.”
Gwyneth Paltrow: “I couldn’t connect with my son the way that I had with my daughter and I couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t connect to anyone. I felt like a zombie. I felt very detached. I just didn’t know what was wrong with me…. My husband actually said, ‘Something’s wrong. I think you have postnatal depression.’”
Marie Osmond: “When I had postpartum, I remember vividly driving that car and thinking … how people would be better off without me,” she told Oprah Winfrey. “I really believed that.”
Courteney Cox: “I went through a really hard time – not right after the baby, but when she turned six months,” she told USA Today, admitting to having had suicidal thoughts. “I couldn’t sleep. My heart was racing. And I got really depressed. I went to the doctor and found out my hormones had been pummeled.”
Amanda Peet: “I had a fairly serious postpartum depression. I think it was because I had a really euphoric pregnancy,” she told Gotham magazine, adding, “I want to be honest about it because I think there’s still so much shame when you have mixed feelings about being a mom instead of feeling this sort of ‘bliss.’”
Bryce Dallas Howard: “It is strange for me to recall what I was like at that time. I seemed to be suffering emotional amnesia. I couldn’t genuinely cry, or laugh, or be moved by anything. For the sake of those around me, including my son, I pretended, but when I began showering again in the second week, I let loose in the privacy of the bathroom, water flowing over me as I heaved uncontrollable sobs.”
Melissa Rycroft: “I was just going through the motions and I just couldn’t figure out why if I had everything in the world to be happy and thankful for, I just couldn’t feel happy,” she told Celebrity Baby Scoop. “The doctor actually said that was classic postpartum depression but we just don’t hear about it.”
Brooke Shields: “Rowan was a complete stranger to me. I had always thought there would be an instant bond, but no matter how long I stared, I couldn’t seem to feel one…. I began to dread the moment when Chris would bring her to me. Although I didn’t dislike her, I wasn’t sure I wanted her living with us…. I didn’t feel like I wanted to get too close to Rowan.”
Lisa Rinna: “It’s very, very scary and vulnerable. I had visions of knives and guns. I made Harry hide all the sharp knives and take the gun out of the house because I had visions of killing everybody. Now how horrific is that? I wanted share it because I think women are so shamed by this and feel so horrible… I found help and got through it.”
Having been through ppd myself, I give huge kudos to all of these fabulous famous moms for being so forthright about their experiences. It can only help all of the other moms out there in the midst of something similar to know that they’re not alone.
Did you suffer from postpartum depression?