Postpartum depression is terrifying enough with the run-of-the-mill symptoms: depression, anxiety, insomnia, crying jags.
But Carnie Wilson’s postpartum depression took an extra-horrific turn — with hallucinations and uncontrollable psychotic thoughts — immediately after the C-section birth of her first daughter, Lola Sofia, 11. The mother of two spoke frankly about her experience in the new documentary When the Bough Breaks.
“I started hallucinating. I looked over at Lola from across the hospital room, and this voice was like, ‘I’m the devil. I’m the devil, and I’m gonna kill you,’” Wilson said.
Amazingly, Wilson was able to keep her cool, despite the nightmarish auditory hallucinations. “I thought, ‘OK, that’s a psychotic thought,’” she said. “That’s not me — something else in there is saying that. And I didn’t have any urge to hurt the baby, but it was just a horrible thought. I just wanted it to go away really badly.”
This is a facet of postpartum depression that is rarely discussed, so kudos to Wilson for sharing her experience publicly in the feature-length documentary. The film’s executive producer and narrator is Brooke Shields, and includes the experiences of other celebrities who have dealt with postpartum psychosis as well as depression: Aarti Sequeira, Tanya Newbould, and The Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Peggy Tanous.
The demonic hallucinations eventually let up, but raging anxiety took their place for Wilson. “I swear to God, I don’t think I was ever more scared or more freaked out than coming home from the hospital… I didn’t know what to expect. That’s the thing that’s scary about having your first child — you don’t know what you’re gonna get,” said Wilson.
“You don’t know how you’re gonna feel. You know you’re gonna be excited and elated and you’re gonna feel love, but there’s a lot of surprises. A lot of things that nobody can prepare you for.”
With a snuggly newborn in your lap, it seems like the surprises should all be happy ones, damn it. Postpartum hormones, you are ruiners. Total party-pooper ruiners.
Anyway, we can’t wait to see When the Bough Breaks (available on iTunes March 14). Too many of us have struggled with PPD in a private hell. The more celebrities who can use their spot in the public eye to smash the stigma that comes with PPD, the better.