Shortly after giving birth to her son Moses in April 2006, Gwyneth Paltrow suffered from postpartum depression.
"I couldn't connect with my son the way that I had with my daughter [Apple, now 7] and I couldn't understand why," she said on Thursday's premiere episode of Lifetime's The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet. "I couldn't connect to anyone. I felt like a zombie. I felt very detached."
Paltrow, 39, continued: "I just didn't know what was wrong with me. I couldn't figure it out. It never occurred to me. My husband [Chris Martin, 35] actually said, 'Something's wrong. I think you have postnatal depression.' I was mortified. 'No I don't!' And then I started researching what it was and the symptoms and I was like, 'Oh, yes I do.'"
Paltrow isn't alone. Brooke Shields, Courteney Cox, Bryce Dallas Howard and Amanda Peet are just a handful of celebrities who've experienced similar symptoms, and as many as one in five women in the United States will suffer from postpartum depression.
"We think that it makes us bad mothers or we didn't do it right, but it's like, we're all in this together," Paltrow said. "I never understand why mothers judge other mothers, like, 'What do you mean you didn't breastfeed? What do you mean you didn't do this?' It's like, 'Can't we all just be on each other's side?' It's so hard anyway. Can't we all help each other get through it? There's a shame attached to it because if you say, 'I had a baby and I couldn't connect to the baby,' it's like, 'What is wrong with you?'"
Though the Country Strong actress believes "you never totally get rid of it," being open about her struggle with postpartum depression made it easier to cope.
"That's why I talk about it, because even the awareness of it started to diminish it," Paltrow explained. "Because I didn't feel like I'm dying or I'm crazy -- period. It's like, 'Oh, this is a thing. This is a real thing and these are the symptoms and I have them all.'"