“I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect,” Paltrow, now 38, says in the February issue of Good Housekeeping.
“It was terrible, it was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.”
How did she realize it wasn’t just the baby blues, a postpartum mood disorder than many new mothers experience?
It was Paltrow’s husband who first thought she might be suffering from something much more.
”About four months into it, Chris came to me and said, ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong,’ ” Paltrow recalls. “I kept saying, ‘No, no, I’m fine.’ But Chris identified it, and that sort of burst the bubble.”
Paltrow says the hardest part was acknowledging the problem, something I think many new mothers can relate to. Approximately 10 to 15% of women suffer from postpartum mood disorders (PPMDs).
“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.”
Now that her son is two years old and Apple is four, Paltrow is back in the saddle and starring in Country Song.
Why did it take her so long to come out about post-partum depression? I think for many, it’s still a taboo subject. But I’m glad that the actress has revealed her struggle with post-partum depression and is so open about it. I hope this will allow other women to feel like they are not alone, and that even a Hollywood actress can suffer from the same issue.