5 Quotes From Celebs With Postpartum Depression
One in seven women experiences postpartum depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Symptoms vary but possibly include a loss of pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable, anxiety and panic attacks, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, disinterest in or a fear of being left alone with the baby, irritability, mood swings and more.
In an effort to lessen the stigma surrounding postpartum depression, a handful of famous mothers have utilized their platforms to share their own experiences. Singer Adele, Amy Poehler, Drew Barrymore, Chrissy Teigen, and Hayden Panettiere all open up:
“I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me … But also, I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant. … My boyfriend said I should talk to other women who were pregnant, and I said, ‘Fuck that, I ain’t hanging around with a fuckin’ bunch of mothers.’ Then, without realizing it, I was gravitating toward pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient. You’ll be talking to someone, but you’re not really listening, because you’re so fuckin’ tired. My friends who didn’t have kids would get annoyed with me, whereas I knew I could just sit there and chat absolute mush with my friends who had children, and we wouldn’t judge each other. One day I said to a friend, ‘I fuckin’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I fuckin’ hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted.” — Vanity Fair, December 2016
“It was [hard to deal with postpartum depression while preparing for a new show]. I mean, I look back now and realize that I was unprepared for what my emotions and body and energy level would, you know, consist of. And I had to go to LA and start this show, and, you know, my baby was only a few months old. … I think I tortured myself a bit in that first year about what kind of mother I was. And could I do this thing well and also kind of, like, give birth to this new show? … There’s not enough, in my opinion, not enough working mothers who kind of talk about who they leaned on and how they got through that difficult time. There’s this thing where, you know, nobody likes to talk about how difficult things are. Everybody likes to talk about how easy it is, or can be, if you only do X, Y, and Z. But it’s difficult to be away from your baby and to be working hard and also want to be working. And it’s difficult to be staying at home after you’ve been a person who maybe wasn’t.” — NPR, October 2014
“I didn’t have postpartum the first time so I didn’t understand it, because I was like, ‘I feel great!’ The second time, I was like, ‘Oh, whoah, I see what people talk about now. I understand.’ It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud.” — People, October 2015
“Before the holidays I went to my GP for a physical. John sat next to me. I looked at my doctor, and my eyes welled up because I was so tired of being in pain. Of sleeping on the couch. Of waking up throughout the night. Of throwing up. Of taking things out on the wrong people. Of not enjoying life. Of not seeing my friends. Of not having the energy to take my baby for a stroll. My doctor pulled out a book and started listing symptoms. And I was like, ‘Yep, yep, yep.’ I got my diagnosis: postpartum depression and anxiety. I remember being so exhausted but happy to know that we could finally get on the path of getting better. John had that same excitement. I started taking an antidepressant, which helped. And I started sharing the news with friends and family — I felt like everyone deserved an explanation, and I didn’t know how else to say it other than the only way I know: just saying it. It got easier and easier to say it aloud every time. (I still don’t really like to say, ‘I have postpartum depression,’ because the word depression scares a lot of people. I often just call it ‘postpartum.’ Maybe I should say it, though. Maybe it will lessen the stigma a bit.)” — Glamour, April 2017
“When [you’re told] about postpartum depression you think it’s: ‘I feel negative feelings toward my child — I want to injure or hurt my child.’ I’ve never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal … There’s a lot of misunderstanding — there are a lot of people out there that think that it’s not real, that it’s not true, that it’s something that’s made up in their minds — ‘Oh, it’s hormones.’ They brush it off. It’s something that’s completely uncontrollable. It’s really painful and it’s really scary and women need a lot of support.” — Live! with Kelly and Michael, September 2015