One thing I truly admire about many celebrities is the way they use their voice and power for good. This is especially true when it comes to celebrity moms who got super real about postpartum depression. That may sound like an intimate subject to broach, especially when so many celebrities value their privacy, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 11 to 20 percent of women who give birth each year experience PPD which means it's more than time to talk about it.
Too often, postpartum depression is either ignored or stigmatized against, making it even more traumatic for moms to suffer. In August of this year, one woman's battle with postpartum depression ended when she took her own life according to NBC12. Her family said they had no idea she was suffering and that there were no red flags. Reading their daughter's email detailing why she wanted to die, it doesn't seem that she knew what she was suffering from either. All she knew was that she was hurting, she was in pain, and she saw no other way out.
Celebrities are idolized for a lot of things — their fame, their success, their bodies. But these 11 celeb moms who got super real about postpartum depression should be admired for bringing light to such a dark moment in many mothers' lives. Their stories not only educate those around them, but can also be a beacon of inspiration for other moms who are suffering, especially those who don't know why.
It's no secret now that Brook Shields battled depression, but I truly believe she paved the way for education when she first spoke out about it. According to People, Shields opened up about her PPD, noting that she didn't want to hold her child and dreaded her husband bringing the baby to her. She also spoke out about her fear of being alone, the visions she had of her daughter being hurt, and her own thoughts of committing suicide. Shields went on anti-depressants to help and eventually saw the light, but her story is very similar to so many women across the world and hearing her unashamed account is incredible. She has continued to be real, honest, and open about her struggle and how no one should feel shame in getting help to feel better.
Another mom who proved that there is no shame in asking for help if you're struggling with PPD? Hayden Panettiere. The actress has sought treatment for her postpartum depression twice according to Us Weekly and has spoken out about refusing to let it dictate her life or affect any more aspects of it. She has been an advocate for talking about PPD, seeking help, and educating people on the broad spectrum of postpartum depression.
3Bryce Dallas Howard
Writing for GOOP, Bryce Dallas Howard shared her postpartum depression story candidly and honestly. In her story, she wrote that she felt as if she was suffering from emotional amnesia. There was no joy, no crying, and she felt as if she couldn't feel moved by anything. Even when she was breaking down, however, she refused to acknowledge her feelings. She lashed out at her husband, felt overwhelmed at the thought of fixing herself something to eat, and wanted to disappear. In short, she felt that her PPD meant she wasn't living up to the ideal mother she had in her head. She wanted to be the mother her child deserved, but felt like she couldn't be, something that many women suffering with postpartum depression feel. Speaking out about her postpartum depression has been huge for Howard's recovery and those around her who may be suffering.
Gwyneth Paltrow is also a mom who suffered from postpartum depression, but hers actually came about after the birth of her second child, Moses. According to Entertainment Tonight, Paltrow has called her PPD a "very debilitating thing." She also noted that it brought out other issues she had under the surface and enabled her to take care of herself and all of the things she was hiding underneath.
Marie Osmond's account of her battle with postpartum depression is devastating to hear, but so important to remember. NY Daily News reported that Osmond had suffered from baby blues before, but knew that what she was battling after the birth of her son Matthew was different. She recounted leaving her child with a nanny, walking outside, and breaking into hysterical sobs when she realized that she could understand why a person would want to commit suicide. So many people think PPD is just made up of a few dark days, but Osmond's story of how terrifying and drowning it can feel is really opening up society's eyes.
Any story about postpartum depression is important, but Courteney Cox's is especially necessary as it happened to her six months after the birth of her daughter according to People. Cox noted that she had trouble sleeping, her heart was always racing, and that she had suicidal thoughts like driving off of a cliff. With the steroid hormone progesterone, she was able to get help, but her story is still one of strength and perseverance. Many moms expect to feel a little down after the birth of their child, but to struggle with it even months later should be talked about, too.
According to People, Drew Barrymore didn't suffer from postpartum depression for long, but she definitely experienced that feeling of being overwhelmed. Her account of PPD helps shed light on the fact that it varies from mother to mother. For Barrymore, it happened after her second child and she was completely blindsided by how much she craved balance and how "under the cloud" she felt.
A huge part of postpartum depression is not feeling that "new mom bliss" everyone raves about. Actress Amanda Peet knows firsthand what that feels like according to Baby Center. Peet said that she didn't feel fulfilled in her life as a mother and that she suffered from fairly serious postpartum depression.
Back in 2005, Carnie Wilson spoke openly about her struggles with postpartum depression in an interview with People. She shared that she cried all day and that the feeling was so physical, she wasn't sure how to describe it. She was overwhelmed with a baby that depended on her for everything, terrified she was going to fail her child, and constantly wavered between love and joy and fear and sadness. For many moms suffering from PPD, the anxiety and worry of caring for a child can be as debilitating as being overwhelmed and Wilson's story proves that no mom is alone in those fears.
Lisa Rinna's feeling of shame over her postpartum depression was just as overwhelming as the PPD itself. In an interview with Dr. Drew, Rinna said she felt worthless, her self-esteem was gone, and she was so ashamed to tell anyone that she kept it secret for ten months, letting her husband assume she had just "gone crazy." She also noted that part of her fears about talking to her spouse stemmed from the worry that he would leave her if he found out. These types of anxieties and worries are totally normal with PPD and Rinna's story can encourage others to go out there and seek the help they need.
Like so many others, Alanis Morissette didn't realize she needed help for her postpartum depression. According to People, Morissette simply thought this was a "swampy" chapter that she could pull herself out of until she realized the longer she waited, the worse it would get. Unfortunately, many believe that PPD is something you can simply get over and push through, but Morissette's story proves that there is way more to it than that. It requires professional help, treatment, and support to fully get out of the trenches.