10 Celebrity Women Who Suffered From Postpartum Depression

Published on October 14, 2016. Updated April 11, 2019

Having a child is an amazing time in life, but its also very stressful and many women not only suffer from postpartum depression after welcoming a child but also suffer in silence. As more awareness is brought to mental illness as a whole, more are seeking help and are doing so thanks to the attention brought by many celebrities. Many stars use their celebrity for the greater good when they open up about personal matters because it not only helps fans feel relatable to their favorite stars, but also opens up a discussion about important issues and let others know they are not alone. When it comes to postpartum depression in particular, more and more celebrity moms have started opening up and being vocal about their own struggles, here are ten of those strong women.

10. Courteney Cox

Friends star Courteney Cox welcomed her daughter Coco Riley Arquette in 2004 at the age of 40 with her then husband David Arquette. Six months afterwards however, Cox admitted to suffering from delayed postpartum depression, opening up about it to USA Today in 2005. “I went through a really hard time, not right after the baby, but when [Coco] turned 6 months. I couldn’t sleep. My heart was racing. And I got really depressed. I went to the doctor and found out my hormones had been pummeled.”

9. Celine Dion

Singing sensation Celine Dion is the mother of three sons with husband Rene Angelil. The pair welcomed their first son Rene-Charles in 2001 and in October 2010 they welcomed their twins, Eddy and Nelson. After the birth of her twins, Dion spoke about about struggling with not feeling like herself and turning to her mother for support, telling GALA magazine, “Some of the first days after I came home, I was a little outside myself. I had no appetite and that bothered me. My mother remarked that she noticed I had moments of lifelessness, but reassured me that this was entirely normal. One moment, tremendous happiness; the next, fatigue sets in, and I cried for no reason, and then that took care of itself. It’s for thing things like that after having a baby that mothers really need emotional support.”

MORA/Everett Collection

MORA/Everett Collection

8. Vanessa Lachey

Vanessa Lachey and her husband Nick Lachey are the parents to two children, Camden, 3, and Elisabeth, 10 months. After the birth of their son, Vanessa took to her blog to write a detailed post about her experience with postpartum depression entitled, “Inside Story: My Experience with Baby Blues.” In the post she detailed the fear of “not knowing,” writing, “The fear of not knowing what I’m doing. The fear of ‘messing up’ this little boy. The fear of being responsible for a human being and not knowing any ‘life’ experiences to compare moments with him to. No matter how many books you read, NOTHING prepares you better than the real thing. I felt lost, unloved, alone and at my wits end. It’s weird, too, because I have an amazing and supportive husband, his loving family and wonderful friends.I felt like NO ONE understood me. No one knows my thoughts, my fears, my wishes… heck, I didn’t even know my own wishes. Nick would say, ‘What can I do?’ and I’d say, ‘I don’t know!’ And it’s true! I didn’t know!”

Photo by MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock

Photo by MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock

7. Britney Spears

Britney Spears has come battled through a lot as many well know about her now infamous breakdown of 2007, two years after the birth of her first son Sean and a year after the birth of her second son. Britney’s mom wrote about how postpartum depression affected her daughter in her book Through the Storm: “Having two children within a year of each other would be overwhelming for any woman, [Britney] had post-natal depression. Added to her broken-hearted spirit over the end of her marriage to Kevin and the enormous pressures of her career, it brought her to breaking point.”

6. Amanda Peet

Actress Amanda Peet and husband David Benioff are parents to three children, Frankie, 8, Molly, 5, and Henry, 1, but after the birth of Frankie she opened up about what she described as a “fairly serious postpartum depression.” “I want to be honest about it because I think there’s still so much shame when you have mixed feelings about being a mom instead of feeling this sort of ‘bliss.’ I think a lot of people still really struggle with that, but it’s hard to find other people who are willing to talk about,” and added she thinks it was partly because she had a “really euphoric pregnancy.”

Photo by MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock

Photo by MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock

5. Kendra Wilkinson

Kendra Wilkinson has been open about a lot of her struggles including battling depression and attempting suicide and in 2009 she opened up about struggling with postpartum depression following the birth of her first child, Hank. “After giving birth, I never brushed my hair, my teeth or took a shower. I looked in the mirror one day and was really depressed. I felt devastated, helpless — like I was in a black hole. I was a mess and a wreck. I felt like nobody cared about me any more. I had so much anger inside. I even thought of harming myself.”

4. Bryce Dallas Howard

Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard is mother to a son Theo born in 2007 and a daughter Beatrice in 2012, but she suffered from very extreme postpartum depression following the birth of her son. “[My husband] would ask what he could do to help, but knowing there was nothing he could do, I screamed expletives at him, behavior he had never experienced in the seven years we had been together,” she wrote via Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website. She also admitted she cried daily and instead of calling her son by his name would refer to him as “it” and recovered from her severe depression after about 18 months of therapy. Afterwards she stated, “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, and for the feeling of summer that still remains.”

Photo by Broadimage/REX Shutterstock

Photo by Broadimage/REX Shutterstock

3. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are parents to Apple and Moses and while she had no problems after welcoming her first child, Paltrow admitted to suffering from postpartum after the birth of her son. “When my son, Moses, came into the world in 2006, I expected to have another period of euphoria following his birth. Instead I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life,” she wrote on her website and later elaborated on the experience in other interviews. “At my lowest, I was a robot. I just didn’t feel anything. I had no maternal instincts for him — it was awful. I couldn’t connect, and still, when I look at pictures of him at 3 months old, I don’t remember that time. About four months into it, Chris came to me and said, ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong.’ I kept saying, ‘No, no, I’m fine.’ But Chris identified it, and that sort of burst the bubble.”

2. Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields is a mother to two daughters and has worked very hard about bringing awareness to postpartum depression and normalizing it for others after her own experience, documenting it all in her best-selling memoir Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. She detailed some of the feelings she had, writing, “Rowan kept crying, and I began to dread the moment when Chris would bring her to me. Although I didn’t dislike her, I wasn’t sure I wanted her living with us. Every time I have been near a baby, any baby, I have always wanted to hold the child. I didn’t feel like I wanted to get too close to Rowan […] I thought I might try to escape or wouldn’t be able to stop myself from swallowing a bottle of pills. I even thought I’d welcome being kidnapped. These were strange, irrational fears that still felt real to me.”

1. Hayden Panettiere

Actress Hayden Panettiere gave birth to her first child Kaya in December 2014 and has been very open about life adjusting to being a new mother and suffering from postpartum depression. She has been very vocal about thanks in part to the fact her character on the show Nashville is also suffering from postpartum, which Panettiere can very much relate to. She recently entered treatment voluntarily to seek help for the depression and earlier noted it is very important more information is brought to light about the illness. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding — there’s 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, that ‘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.”

Photo by Picture Perfect/REX

Photo by Picture Perfect/REX

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