Gwyneth Paltrow Details "Debilitating" Post-Partum Depression

Celebrity Moms Jul. 22, 2010 AT 10:47AM
Gwyneth Paltrow Details "Debilitating" Post-Partum Depression Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Stella McCartney; Brian Killian/WireImage.com

Gwyneth Paltrow opens up about her crippling battle with post-partum depression following Moses' birth in her newest GOOP newsletter.

"When my son, Moses, came into the world in 2006, I expected to have another period of euphoria following his birth, much the way I had when my daughter was born two years earlier," Patrow, 37, says of her son's April 2006 birth. "Instead I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life."

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Paltrow says she later found out: "For about five months I had what I can see in hindsight as postnatal depression."

New Moon
star Bryce Dallas Howard also candidly reveals her struggle after delivering Theo in February 2007.

"In those moments after giving birth, I felt nothing," she says, explaining that she hardly recalls giving birth. She says she called her son (with husband Seth Gabel) "it" instead of by his name, and couldn't bring herself to breastfeed at times because of the pain.

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"I definitely felt I was a rotten mother -- not a bad one, a rotten one," Howard, 29, goes on. "Because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear."

Her husband sent Howard to a "therapist who diagnosed me with severe post-partum depression," she says. (She also read Brooke Shields' book on the topic, Down Came the Rain, and called it a "revelation.")

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Howard fought depression for a year-and-a-half.

"Post-partum depression is hard to describe -- the way the body and mind and spirit fracture and crumble in the wake of what most believe should be a celebratory time," she explains. "Do I wish I had never endured post-partum depression? Absolutely. But to deny the experience is to deny who I am. I still mourn the loss of what could have been, but I also feel deep gratitude for those who stood by me, for the lesson that we must never be afraid to ask for help."

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