Bryce Dallas Howard is opening up like never before about suffering postpartum depression following the birth of son, Theo, in 2007.
"Before Theo was born, I had been in good humor about my 80-pound weight gain, but I was now mortified by it," the Eclipse star writes in an essay on Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop blog. "I felt I was failing at breast feeding. My house was a mess. I believed I was a terrible dog owner. I was certain I was an awful actress."
Worst of all, she reveals, "I definitely felt I was a rotten mother—not a bad one, a rotten one. Because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear."
Howard kept her depression to herself…
She raged at her husband, actor Seth Gabel. "I screamed expletives at him, behavior he had never experienced in the seven years we had been together."
Fortunately, with the support of family and friends, Howard sought professional help. She was diagnosed with "severe postpartum depression." Little by little she got better. She read Brooke Shields, Down Came the Rain, which she describes as "a revelation."
Theo is now three and a half and Howard is happier than ever. A friend described Howard's shift. "He looked at me and without skipping a beat he said, 'My friend is back," Howard writes. "'It's like you've been abducted by The Borg for a year and a half, and now you're back.'"
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