Postpartum depression is far too common. According to the American Psychological Association, 1 out of every 7 women has experienced — or will experience — PPD. And celebrities are certainly not immune. In fact, in recent years, numerous models, singers, actors and musicians have spoken out about their own struggles — including Gwyneth Paltrow.
“I had postnatal depression, as you know, after my son. A doctor tried to put me on antidepressants and I thought, if I need them, then yes, I’ll come back to it,” Paltrow told People. I mean, “they are lifesavers for certain people for sure.”
However, before seeking medical intervention, Paltrow decided to try alternative therapies.
“I thought, well, what if I went to therapy and I started exercising again, and I stopped drinking alcohol and I just gave myself a period of regeneration and I slept more,” Paltrow said. So she did, and Paltrow credits those changes for saving her.
“I really broke out of it,” the mother of two told People.
Of course, lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on your mental health. The benefits of diet and exercise are well-researched, and cannot be overstated. However, it’s important to note that postpartum depression is an illness — a mental illness — and, as such, these alternative therapies are not always enough. In fact, many times, these therapies are seen as “adjunctive treatments,” meaning they are a secondary approach used in tandem with a primary treatment method, according to the Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing.
What’s more, PsyCom author Arnold Lieber notes that “while PPD does, at times, go away on its own, symptoms usually go away more quickly with the help of medication and talk therapy.”
As such, it is imperative that new parents use any and every resource available to them.
As for Paltrow, she previously explained that she didn’t realize she had postpartum depression. In fact, according to People, Paltrow once told Good Housekeeping that her ex, Chris Martin, was the one who realized something was wrong.
“About four months into it, Chris came to me and said, ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong.’ I kept saying, ‘No, no, I’m fine.’ But Chris identified it, and that sort of burst the bubble,” Paltrow told Good Housekeeping. “I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child. 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.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression, contact Postpartum Support International at 1-800-944-4773 or text “HOME” to 741-741.