Postpartum depression is not as visible as it should be. According to the American Psychological Association, up to 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression, yet we don't talk about it. In fact, a mere 15% of women with postpartum depression seek professional treatment. Recently, several celebrities have spoken honestly about their struggles with it, starting a much-needed conversation. Hayden Panettiere, who has been vocal about the issue before, talked about beating postpartum at the Critics' Choice Awards. Here are six celebrities, including Hayden Panettiere, who have spoken up about their postpartum experience.
1. Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere voluntarily sought treatment for postpartum depression after her daughter Kaya was born in December 2014. In September 2015, the actress wrote about postpartum depressoin in her article “25 Things You Don't Know About Me” for Us Weekly as part of a regular column the magazine collaborates on with celebrities. She declared, “I suffered a bit of postpartum depression. You’re not alone or crazy, ladies!”.
She also opened up about her experience on Live with Kelly and Michael, saying, "There’s a lot of misunderstanding and I feel like there’s a lot of people out there who think that it’s not real, that it’s not true, that it’s something that’s made up in their mind.” She continued, “It’s something that’s completely uncontrollable and it’s really painful and it’s really scary and women need a lot of support."
Her Nashville character Juliette also experienced postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter. She recently told E! at the Critics’ Choice Awards that she was greatful for the support she received after speaking out about postpartum. She said that opening up has “made [her] life better.” She also commented, “I didn’t realized how much of a stigma it had.”
2. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow experienced postpartum depression after giving birth to her second child, Moses, in 2006. She told ET, "It's a very debillatating thing and I think there's so much shame around it and there shouldn't be." She writes about postpartum depression frequently on her site goop and recalled her experience in her introduction to a goop piece by Bryce Dallas Howard on Howard's experience with postpartum.
3. Bryce Dallas Howard
Bryce Dallas Howard opened up about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her son Theo on Gwyneth Paltrow's goop. She recounts, "In those moments after giving birth, I felt nothing. Someone encouraged me to sit up, and slowly, one by one, friends and family visited. Some were crying, others bursting with joy. Glassy-eyed, I politely listened to their impressions of our new son. I had no impression of my own."
4. Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields struggled with postpartum depression after giving birth to her first daughter, Rowan, in 2003. She wrote a whole memoir about the experience, Down Came the Rain. She told People, "We think and we feel that we should just be able to handle it on our own...If I had been diagnosed with any other disease, I would have run to get help. I would have worn it like a badge...I didn't at first—but finally I did fight. I survived."
5. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore grappled with postpartum after the birth of her second daughter, Frankie. She said the experience taught her to stay present during her daughters' childhoods. She told People," I was in the kids’ class with Frankie and Olive this morning and I started fretting about some piece of work news that was just stressful. You know, in like the Broadway Babies class and it’s the one-hit wonders day, and they’re singing I don’t even know what song, and we’re all doing our lollipop drums and I just thought, ‘Save it until after class.’ One thing at a time.” She also devotes a chapter to the topic in her memoir Wildflower.
6. Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morrisette told The Daily Mail about her struggle with postnatal depression (otherwise known as postpartum depression) after her son Ever was born. She writes:
"The degree and intensity of my postnatal depression shocked me. I am predisposed to depression, but what surprised me this time was the physical pain. I hadn’t realised 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; my version of depression is almost below crying where there is just despondency. Amazingly, it didn’t hinder the creative process and I wrote the album. I had various therapies and now I feel all light and springy. Thankfully, it didn’t interfere with the bond with my son, although I think that has strengthened since I got better in April."
Images Via Hayden Penettiere/Twitter, Gwyneth Paltrow/Instagram, Bryce Dallas Howard/Twitter, Brooke Shields/Instagram, Drew Barrymore/Instagram, Alanis Morissette/alanis.com
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Madeline Raynor is a New York City-based writer. She is a Blog Editor at BUST. She has written for Splitsider, The Billfold, Death and Taxes, Mashable, Indiewire, and Time Out New York. She loves all things Tina Fey. Word to the wise: her first name is pronounced with a long “i,” like the red-haired girl from France. Follow her on Twitter @madelineraynor_.