In 2006, Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to her second child, Moses. However, the arrival of the baby boy did not have the positive effect on her as the birth of daughter Apple two years previously.
In April 2008, the Iron Man star told Vogue that she battled postpartum depression, Us Magazine reported:
“You know, I had postnatal depression after [my second child] Moses,“ she said. “I didn’t know I had it until after it was over. I just didn’t know what was wrong with me…I felt really out of my body. I felt really disconnected. I felt really down; I felt pessimistic.“
Feelings of pessimism, mood swings, tearfulness and lethargy are common symptoms of postpartum depression, which varies greatly in its severity. So much so, that it is impossible to tell exactly how many women actually suffer from the condition, though it is thought that as many as 80% of new mothers could be affected. The star suspected that cutting down on her usual treatments such as acupuncture may have contributed also.
This is not the first time Gwyneth has suffered from depression. In 2002, the actress’s terminally ill father passed away and in 2005 she told the London Evening Standard that she was in denial for much of his illness and simply could not imagine her life without him, People Magazine reported. The event sent Gwyneth into a spiral of clinical depression, where she experienced guilt at not having done enough for her dad while he was sick.
She commented that the arrival of daughter Apple had a profound effect on her family:
“She’s been very healing for us – for myself, my brother, my mother,” Paltrow said. “For me, the greatest joy before I gave birth to her was the idea that she would be one-quarter my father.“
Gwyneth Paltrow is not the only one to have spoken candidly about her postpartum depression. Former model Brooke Shields made an effort to raise awareness of the condition, which she claims almost destroyed her. Angelina Jolie is also said to have been affected following the birth of her twins in 2008.
Images: Wikimedia Commons