Drew Barrymore is famous for her romcom movies as well as her sunny personality. Over the years she’s given many quotes about happiness like, “Be the best version of yourself, and smile and laugh while you’re doing it;” “There’s nothing like the power of a smile;” and, “I love levity. As crazy as I am, I just love to laugh!” She’s even known to have laughed at the age of 11 months while at her first audition when a dog bit her.

But it was no laughing matter when she recently revealed to People magazine that she suffered with postpartum depression after the birth of her second child, Frankie, at the age of 39. While the star returned to work, filming Miss You Already five months after Frankie was born, Drew shared that she experienced the depression for six months after the birth. Frankie is now one and a half years old.

“The second time, I was like, ‘Oh whoa, I see what people talk about now. I understand.’ It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud,” the mom of two told the magazine.

Postpartum depression can occur any time in the first year after the birth of a baby. It shouldn’t be confused with the common “baby blues” symptoms that most moms experience the first week or so after giving birth–showing up as mood swings, weepiness, irritability, and anxiety. Postpartum depression’s symptoms, while similar, are more severe and last for over two weeks, and they can happen to new dads as well. Effective treatments include talk therapy, support groups, and in some instances antidepressants. It’s estimated that between five to 25 percent of women experience the disorder.

In fact, earlier this month, Nashville’s Hayden Panettiere entered a treatment center due to the disorder after the birth of her daughter, Kaya. Panettiere has been open about her struggles, sharing on Live! with Kelly and Michael, “When [you hear] about postpartum depression, you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child’–I’ve never, every had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”

Barrymore now insists she’s grateful for her postpartum depression because the experience taught her to live in the moment, to prioritize, and to not be anxious about matters that are beyond her control. “Not everything gets 100 percent all the time…I’ll do my best. I’m a workhorse, I always have been, I always will be. But work is very much second to my kids.” She has described her parenting style as having its flaws, saying, “I wish I were that all-home-grown-food perfect woman, but I’m not. I’m the mom with the kitchen on fire and food on our faces.” But still, she says she’s experiencing being a mom as “perfect and totally imperfect.”

 

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