Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Get Real About Postpartum Depression
Super celebs Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are two of today’s hottest actresses in addition to being moms on the home front. The actresses recently had a sit down for Paltrow’s Goop podcast to discuss the topic of postpartum depression (PPD), hoping to shine a light on the issue.
Several celebrities including Brooke Shields, Alanis Morrissette, and Chrissy Teigen have come forward in the past to publicly share their struggle with PPD in the hopes of getting rid of the stigma attached to the subject.
Morrissette reveals third battle
In October, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette revealed that she was once again dealing with postpartum depression after the birth of her third child, having already battled the condition twice before.
In an interview with CBS News, Morissette shared that her third time with PPD was different from the first two. “This time around, it’s less depression, it’s more anxiety and a little more of the compulsive, obsessive thoughts,” she said, revealing she would have to “remind myself, ‘Oh no, this is just postpartum depression swooping in again. Stop.’”
While in the past Morissette had tried to combat the issue on her own, she soon realized she needed to reach out for help. “My survival strategy is to just push through,” she shared. “Then I spoke with a professional who knew all about postpartum depression… I asked her, ‘Does this go away if I just white knuckle through it?’ she said, ‘No, it actually gets worse.’ So as soon as I heard that, I thought, it can’t get worse than this … so then I went on medication right away.”
Morissette wanted to give details of her experience to help de-stigmatize PPD and encourage other women going through it to seek the help they need. “If the goal is a stigma-free perception of any mental illness or any mental health conversation, understanding and giving the details of what it really looks like from the inside is important,” the singer said.
Following Morissette’s example of transparency, Paltrow shared her experience when speaking to Louis-Dreyfus on Thursday’s episode of her Goop Podcast. “With my son, I had it quite badly, and I didn’t realize it,” the Oscar-winning actress said of PPD. “I just thought I couldn’t get my s*** together, and I was so all over the place emotionally and really disconnected from myself. It was terrible and lonely and awful, awful.”
The Goop founder shares two children – Apple, 15, and Moses, 13 – from her marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin from 2003 to 2016. It was Martin who noticed a change at the time and confronted her.
“It was really a lifesaver, one day my ex-husband — my husband at the time — said, ‘I think you might have postpartum depression,’” Paltrow said, according to Yahoo! Celebrity. “I was stunned. I just thought it was just coming out of nowhere, but then I just felt myself break open with so much relief, and just to have someone observe and name it, and I was like, s***, I think you’re right.”
Stressing the importance of seeking professional help, Paltrow explained that getting into therapy and focusing on her own wellness helped her emerge from the condition. “‘I better get help and start to deal with this and talk to somebody,” she said she realized. “And so I started doing yoga, and I started doing acupuncture, and I started seeing a therapist, and then it started to pass.”
Married to Brad Hall for over 30 years with two sons now in the 20s, Louis-Dreyfus shared her ordeal with PPD after both pregnancies.
“Nobody was calling it that then so I just thought, ‘Oh, s***, I’m losing my mind,” she said of postpartum depression. “I was weeping all the time. I think you said you were separated from yourself. I didn’t feel like myself… I just remember it was terrifying… because there was this feeling like I should not have had children and that is terrifying after you’ve given birth. It’s not a good feeling.”
She found she was hit even harder with PPD after the birth of her second son Charlie. “But then with my second son, I panicked,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “It happened again. I didn’t realize it but all of the sudden I had this feeling like we’d given him the wrong name, and I needed to change his name. I was bawling, and I just didn’t know what was happening.”
After talking to a family member about her fears, she sought medical help. “I remember I was actually talking to my sister-in-law and she said, ‘Hey, Julia, I think this is postpartum. I think you should go to the doctor,” the Emmy winner shared. “I went to my gynecologist at the time and he gave me a shot of progesterone or estrogen or something like that, and I was better in 24 hours.”
Hopefully, the conversation between Paltrow and Louis-Dreyfus will continue to bring the subject of PPD to the forefront.