Drew Barrymore recently revealed that she had suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her second daughter. In an interview with People, Barrymore stated she felt great after giving birth to her oldest daughter, Olive, but 19 months later, when Drew had her second daughter, Frankie, something didn’t quite feel right.
“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,” Barrymore confessed.
Drew joins a growing number of celebrities who have been forthcoming about the struggle that many new mothers experience. Brooke Shields had been very vocal about her postpartum woes in the past, and recently, actress Hayden Panettiere took a break from her show Nashville to seek treatment for her depression. While Barrymore states her depression was “short-lived” and only lasted for about six months, others may not be so lucky.
According to the American Psychological Association, an estimated 9 to 16 percent of mothers suffer from some form of postpartum depression similar to what Drew talked about. Symptoms include anxiety, guilt, fear, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, irritability, frequent crying, and reduced concentration. While it may be difficult to discern the difference between the typical “baby blues” associated with giving birth, postpartum depression tends to last beyond the first few weeks of the adjustment period of having a newborn.
A contributing factor in Drew Barrymore’s bout with depression, she says, was the difficulty many mothers have in trying to achieve the optimum work and motherhood balance. Barrymore, who has been acting since she was a baby, remains a hot commodity in Hollywood both as an actress and a producer, but Drew has tried to temper her career since the birth of her first child.
According to the Today show, Drew never wants her daughters to doubt their places in her life.
“I’m a workhorse, I always have been, I always will be. But work is very much second to my kids,” Barrymore stated.
Drew suggested she is more mindful of the type of mother she wants to be, especially because of the lack of involvement of her own parents in her life.
Drew was living on her own and emancipated at the age of fifteen after a stint in rehab at the age of fourteen. The Barrymores, the Hollywood elite, and family of actor John Barrymore, whose illustrious career began in silent films, have been known for their generational struggle with substance abuse issues. Drew stated that rather than try to shield her daughters from her sordid past, she decided to be honest with them, prompting the writing of Drew’s new book Wildflower.
Wildflower, will share Barrymore’s experiences from the teen years until present as well as Drew’s ability to overcome adversity along the way. Barrymore’s Wildflower is set to be released October 27.
And while Drew is excited about her new endeavor into writing, she is still making time for her first career love — acting. Barrymore’s new film, Miss You Already, hits theaters November 6. Miss You Already stars Drew and fellow actress Toni Collette as best friends who struggle with difficult life transitions when Barrymore’s character starts a family while Collette’s character takes on cancer.
While promoting a new book and film may make it difficult for Drew to balance motherhood and career, Barrymore is a realist who seems to have set definitive healthy boundaries to ensure her success in both areas.
“I got into trouble saying, ‘You can’t have it all’ so I changed it to, ‘You can’t do it all.’ But you just can’t. It’s not physically possible. I’ll do my best,” Barrymore admits.
And Drew may be on to something with that statement. After all, our “best” is all that any mother can do.
[Drew Barrymore cover photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.]