6 Famous Women Who Had Postpartum Depression

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Allie Lemco Toren on December 27, 2020
  • postpartum-depression-alanis-morissette
    Postpartum Depression: You’re Not Alone
    About 1 in 7 women experiences the frightening symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) after giving birth. These moms may struggle with severe depression, constant anxiety, and thoughts of hurting themselves or their babies, among other symptoms. The good news? Postpartum depression is treatable. But many women don’t know this and keep their battle to themselves. Fortunately, a number of prominent women are speaking out to remind other moms that they’re not alone—and with the right help, they can take their lives back and cherish time spent with their new arrival.
  • postpartum-depression-hayden-panetierre
    1. Hayden Panettiere
    The “Nashvilleactress explained to Entertainment Tonight that playing a character with postpartum depression helped her identify the symptoms once she started experiencing them as a new mom. Panettiere described her struggle as “one of the most debilitating, scary, guilty feelings.” She left production of “Nashville” in late 2015 to receive treatment for her PPD; when she returned to set, her TV character was still battling the disorder, but Panettiere herself had successfully recovered.
  • postpartum-depression-brooke-shields
    2. Brooke Shields
    Shields bared her soul about her experience in her memoir, “Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.” The actress and model described how after giving birth, she cried more than her new son and felt “sadness of a shockingly different magnitude.” After receiving treatment, she was able to overcome her depression. Since her book’s publication in 2005, Shields has worked to promote postpartum depression awareness and received an advocacy award from the Hope for Depression Research Foundation in 2009.
  • postpartum-depression-marie-osmond
    3. Marie Osmond
    Like Shields, Osmond also found release in writing a book about her battle with PPD. In “Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression,” the singer explained how, after giving birth to her seventh child at the age of 40, she began to notice something was different this time around. She felt despair and exhaustion and believed she needed to hide her symptoms from the flashing paparazzi outside her house. Finally, Osmond sought treatment, including antidepressants, supplements, and massage therapy. Today, she wants other moms to know PPD is a “physical thing that is fixable.”
  • postpartum-depression-bryce-dallas-howard
    4. Bryce Dallas Howard
    The “Jurassic World” star opened up about her fight with postpartum depression on the lifestyle website Goop. After a relatively easy pregnancy, Howard “felt nothing” once giving birth. As the months passed, she fell into a deep depression, feeling helpless and unable to care for her child. Fortunately, her husband sought help and created a treatment plan with Howard and her doctors. She also participated in a support group for mothers to talk about the difficulties of motherhood, and slowly she began recovering. 
  • postpartum-depression-alanis-morissette
    5. Alanis Morissette
    The extent of her depression shocked Morissette after the birth of her son, the singer told You magazine. Morissette explained she’s predisposed to depression, but was surprised to experience physical pain during her “intense” battle postpartum. Her biggest piece of advice for moms struggling with postpartum depression? Reach out and seek help early.
  • postpartum-depression-carnie-wilson
    6. Carnie Wilson
    The Wilson Phillips songstress discussed her battle with postpartum depression with People magazine in 2005. After her first child was born, she “cried all day over everything,” and felt that she was going to fail as a mother. Wilson worked with a therapist to overcome her depression, and found hypnosis tapes especially helpful—she benefited from the repetition of “life-affirming words that [gave me] the confidence that all will be all right with my child,” she explained.
6 Famous Women Who Had Postpartum Depression

About The Author

Allie Lemco Toren is a health writer and regular contributor to Healthgrades, where she also serves as Senior Health Editor. Her work has also been featured by ShareWIK Health Entertainment, WebMD, Everyday Health, and Food Solutions Magazine. A graduate of Emory University’s journalism program, Allie particularly enjoys writing about medical innovations, the mind-body connection, and thriving with chronic illness.
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  3. Postpartum Depression Facts. National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml
  4. Hayden Panettiere: Postpartum Depression Is ‘One of the Most Debilitating, Scary, Guilty Feelings.’ Self.com. http://www.self.com/story/hayden-panettiere-postpartum-depression-is-one-of-the-most-debilitating-scary-guilty-feelings
  5. Country Stronger: Hayden Panettiere Is Back on ‘Nashville’ – and More Confident Than Ever Before. Yahoo.com. https://www.yahoo.com/style/country-stronger-hayden-panettiere-back-130620537.html
  6. 10 Celebrities Who Battled Postpartum Depression. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/10-celebrities-who-battled-postpartum-depression/2/
  7. Shields, Brooke. Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. Hachette Books; 2005.
  8. Bryce Dallas Howard on the Emptiness of Postpartum Depression. Goop.com. http://goop.com/bryce-dallas-howard-on-the-emptiness-of-postpartum-depression/
  9. Celebrity Moms Who Battled Postpartum Depression. HollywoodReporter.com. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/celebrity-moms-who-battled-postpartum-834006/item/alanis-morissette-celebrity-moms-talk-834035
  10. A Happier Tune. People.com. http://people.com/archive/a-happier-tune-vol-64-no-5/

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Last Review Date: 2020 Dec 27
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