Gwyneth Paltrow has never tried to hide her experience with postpartum depression, but she recently opened up to Good Housekeeping with a brave honesty to bring more awareness to the disease. While her first pregnancy with daughter Apple was fine, it was after her son Moses was born in 2006 that she was hit hard by it. She said it was difficult to come to terms with just how different the two experiences were.
She credits her husband, Chris Martin, with spotting the signs and eventually convincing her to get help. She describes how about four months into her ordeal he kept telling her something was wrong, but she kept trying to convince him and herself that she was fine. She wasn't.
"I felt like a zombie," she said. "I couldn't access my heart. I couldn't access my emotions. I couldn't connect."
She said she didn't know enough about the disease beforehand to know that she had symptoms of it.
"I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child," she explains. "But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it's so important for women to talk about it. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure."
She echoes the feelings of so many women who have experienced the disease, and it's great to see her talking about it so openly. All too often women feel shame over the disease and don't want anyone to think they're a horrible mother or that they can't handle their children. Seeing strong celebrities like Paltrow speaking out about her personal experiences is good for all women and part of one of the most important steps to identifying and treating postpartum depression -- awareness.
Have you experienced postpartum depression? Did you experience feelings similar to those Paltrow describes?