Reese Witherspoon reveals struggle with anxiety and opens up about postpartum depression

She spoke about her mental health on a recent podcast

actress Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has opened up about her mental health on a recent podcast.

The American actress spoke about her mental health on an episode of Jameela Jamil’s podcast I Weigh, on Friday.

In the episode, Reese revealed she first went to therapy for her anxiety at 16 and has been trying to manage it her entire life. She also explained that her anxiety has sometimes led to depression.

Reese said, 'I definitely have anxiety, my anxiety manifests as depression so I would get really depressed.

‘It’s like my brain is a hamster on a wheel and it won’t come off and I’ve been managing it my entire life.’

The star - who has a 20-year-old daughter Ava, a 16-year-old son named Deacon and a seven-year-old son named Tennessee - revealed that she had postpartum depression after giving birth.

She said, ‘I’ve had three kids and then after each child, I had a different experience.

‘One kid I had kind of mild postpartum and then 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.’

actor Reese whitherspoon

Reese spoke about her mental health on a podcast (Credit: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Hulu)

The star also said she believes the hormonal changes which happen after giving birth are 'understudied and not understood'.

She added, ‘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 just aren’t taken as seriously as I think they should be.

‘No one explained to me that when you wean a baby, your hormones go into the toilet.

‘I felt more depressed than I’d ever felt in my whole life. It was scary.’

Reese said that her own experience has encouraged her to help others going through the same thing - in a bid to squash the stigma around talking about it and getting help.

Lizzie Thomson
Freelance writer

With a BA hons in English from the University of Liverpool Lizzie has over 7 years' experience writing all things lifestyle for national titles such as Evening Standard, Woman and Home and the Metro.