No lies here. Reese Witherspoon candidly opened up about her struggles with postpartum depression on the Friday, April 17 episode of Jameela Jamil‘s “I Weigh” podcast. The beloved actress and mom of three revealed she “felt more depressed than I’d ever felt in my whole life” after giving birth to her eldest child, 20-year-old Ava.
“It was scary,” the 44-year-old vulnerably shared during the conversation. “I was 23 years old when I had my first baby and nobody explained to me that when you wean a baby, your hormones go into the toilet.”
The Little Fires Everywhere actress — who shares Ava and son Deacon, 16, with ex Ryan Phillippe, as well as son Tennessee, 7, with husband Jim Toth — explained that because she didn’t “understand the kind of hormonal roller coaster that you go on when you stop nursing,” she became “completely out of control.”
“I’ve had three kids. After each child, I had a different experience,” the Academy Award winner went on. “One kid I had kind of mild postpartum, and one kid I had severe postpartum where I had to take pretty heavy medication because I just wasn’t thinking straight at all — and then I had one kid where I had no postpartum at all.”
The Legally Blonde star added that she also “didn’t have the right kind of guidance” to pull her out of the downward spiral. “I just white-knuckled back,” she insisted.
Because of her experiences with postpartum depression, Reese pointed out the importance of de-stigmatizing mental health. “I think hormones are so understudied and not understood,” she stated. “I kept reaching out to my doctors for answers, there just isn’t enough research about what happens to women’s bodies and the hormonal shifts that we have aren’t taken as seriously as I think they should be.”
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One of the best birthdays ever!🎈So many thoughtful, beautiful, heartfelt messages from so many of you! Some poems, a home cooked meal, a wonderful performance from my friend, a long nature walk with my family…all gifts from the heart. 🥰Thank you to all of you for making me feel so LOVED! I’m a very lucky lady. 💕💫🎂
As the Morning Show actress gushed about having “deep compassion for women” going through similar experiences because “postpartum is very real,” she confessed her struggles with mental health date back to when she was young. Reese told the Good Place actress that she started therapy at the age of 16.
“I definitely had anxiety, my anxiety manifests as depression so I would get really depressed. My brain is like a hamster on a wheel and it won’t come off,” she honestly divulged. “I’ve been managing it my entire life.”
We have so much respect for Reese opening up about her life’s hardest hurdles.