Kendra Wilkinson and “Post-Pregnancy Sadness”


A couple of weeks ago, it seemed that every hollywood gossip website began running with a story about Kendra Wilkinson’s struggle with Postpartum Depression.

She didn’t brush her teeth or hair. Didn’t shower. Finally looked in a mirror and was mortified at the reflection. Even remembers stating she “had nothing to live for.”

The media took immediately jumped on the express to Postpartumville. Postpartum Depression hits ex-Playboy Bunny Kendra Wilkinson. See? Even the perfectly beautiful people have drama and struggle! Cha-Ching!

Yet this week, the week her show premieres, Kendra is pushing back at the media.

According to Kendra, she didn’t suffer from Postpartum Depression as she was never officially diagnosed. And she should know as she’s been in and out of therapy her whole life. Kendra admits it was indeed depression but not postpartum.

Kendra?

Sweetie?

If it’s depression and it occurs within the first 12 months after giving birth, it IS Postpartum Depression. And we don’t get to rename it “Post-Pregnancy Sadness.” Sad people don’t think they have nothing to live for but depressed people have a tendency to have these thoughts. Postpartum Depression is real, it’s not your fault, and you will get well.

Playing down comments such as not having anything to live for as simply being “Sadness” is downright dangerous.

According to E! Online, Kendra did receive professional help and returned to working out. She also moved back to L.A.from Indianapolis.

And her husband’s take on this according to the same piece at E! follows:

As for Hank, he says he tried his best to help but it was “hard because there’s nothing you can say, nothing you can do.” Even as he told Kendra how much he loved her and how beautiful she was, she’d shoot back, “‘No, I don’t feel it,'” Hank remembers.

A huge risk factor for developing Postpartum Depression is a history of depression which it sounds like Kendra struggled with according to several sources. And moving away from family, friends and support is another risk. Ensuring a new mom has a strong and stable support system around her as she navigates her way through the new challenges of motherhood.

If anything, let’s learn something from this.

Most importantly, if you’re struggling so much after the birth of your child that you’re not able to perform necessary hygiene tasks and feeling like you have nothing to live for, seek professional help. The label doesn’t matter. What matters is the help, the recovery, and then we’ll deal with the label later. But with more and more women speaking up and writing online about their own experiences regarding Postpartum Depression, it’s becoming less of a taboo and less stigmatized every day.

Kendra, you’ve really missed a huge opportunity to educate your fans about the facts surrounding Postpartum Depression. I’m not surprised but I am saddened.

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12 thoughts on “Kendra Wilkinson and “Post-Pregnancy Sadness”

  1. Pingback: Sold Out? Kendra Wilkinson & Postpartum Depression | My Postpartum Voice

  2. I’m disappointed you are so quick to judge someone who is struggling to recover from what I’m sure you know to be a pervasive, persistent illness that requires ample healing time. Especially with the added pressure of everyone watching your every move. Judging from a distance is unfair. Just because she hasn’t spoken out in the last two months doesn’t mean she never will.

    • It took me almost a month to decide whether or not to write something based on her experience with Postpartum Depression.

      When she came out to state that she was never diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and essentially brushed off the entire experience, I felt it was absolutely necessary for me to blog about this mostly because of the danger of her brushing off the issue of postpartum depression may carry for fans of hers who may find themselves caught in the same situation.

      I am not a medical professional. I do not diagnose. But I AM a mother who has experienced severe postpartum depression and am determined to NOT let another mother suffer alone. And I realize the intense pressure Kendra is under adds an unique angle to her experience. BUT it also allows for greater exposure and therefore even greater potential for misunderstanding and further stigma of the condition with which she was never diagnosed.

      A mother should NEVER under any circumstances brush off the alleged symptoms Kendra herself has admitted to experiencing. Anyone feeling as if they cannot live or go on should not avoid getting help and should certainly not downplay their experience.

      What’s really sad here is that she is caught between the media’s desire to exploit her celebrity status and the drama it brings (Remember brittany?) and her desire to seemingly not want to be viewed as someone struggling with a mental illness.

      And THAT is why I blogged.

      Not to judge. Not to point fingers. I blogged to save lives of women who may look to Kendra as a role model and may find themselves in her shoes as a new mother one day.

      I hope she does speak out one day. But right now, she’s denying there was an issue despite the symptoms she previously admitted to experiencing. And that’s just not healthy for anyone.

  3. Love it! I too think it’s dangerous when people try to relabel depression as “sadness.” It not only discourages people who need it from getting help, but minimizes the seriousness of the problem. Sounds like Kendra is getting some of the help she needs; I just hope others do too.

  4. I don’t want to step on any toes but speaking in her defense…maybe she is in denial that she has PPD…or maybe she never really did get an official diagnosis of PPD…or maybe her doctors told her that she was depressed but didn’t educate her about PPD…but whatever the case is, it really is none of our business. I would have hated it if I just delivered my newborn and also had PPD to boot and had to deal with it all under the public’s eye. That’s a lot of pressure.

    Hopefully that with time…and healing…she may be able to speak out about her depression…that was coincidentally postpartum. Hmmmm… It just goes to show you that PPD or any mental illness does not discriminate between race, religion, culture, status…

    • I have to say that I completely agree with you.

      It really IS none of our business. But it’s out there via Kendra herself on both counts, even if the media is the guilty party with labeling it as Postpartum Depression at the get go. And as I responded to another reader, once she completely dismissed her symptoms and relabeled her “depression” and “not wanting to live” as mere sadness, I felt I had to blog about it. It took me nearly a month to decide to blog about it at all. I don’t normally blog about celeb experiences here because I am not really a big fan of prying or judging their lives.

      But you’re right. In the public eye is a hard place to be – add in a newborn and possible Postpartum Mood Disorder and you’ve probably got a perfect storm. And not all doctors are well educated about Postpartum Mood Disorders, including the ones that all the money in the world can buy. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t always mean it’s the best.

      I felt a responsibility to remind readers/internet users who may be her fans that symptoms like hers should ABSOLUTELY not be ignored, that they are not alone in experiencing them, and that relabeling feelings of not wanting to live anymore as simple “sadness” can be downright dangerous and is absolutely irresponsible.

      I do hope at one point she speaks out about her depression and I wish her all the best and a speedy recovery.

      • Lauren,
        I hope that I didn’t upset you with my comment. I just know how I felt when I was diagnosed with PPD and I was terrified of how people would veiw me. I didn’t tell anyone for a very long time because of that and I when I did start to tell people, I will admit, I downplayed it because I was afraid to tell people how bad PPD can be. I figured that if I down-played it and make it sound like I had a “touch of PPD” then people wouldn’t think I was “that crazy”…which I now know is very dangerous.
        This is why I blog now because I want to break down those stigmas of PPD and to help other women. PPD is nothing to be ashamed of. It can happen to anyone!!
        When I read Kendra’s comments, I saw a scared woman…and I saw myself only when I was diagnosed, I didn’t have to deal with the thousands of fans. Dealing with a mental illness is so so so hard and I couldn’t imagine having to go through PPD in the public’s eye. Maybe she down-played it because she figured that the less attention she gave it, the less the media would give it attention. Who knows. I can only hope that with time and healing, she can speak about her experience.
        I love your blog and what you do and I totally understand your viewpoint.
        Kimberly

        • Oh you didn’t upset me at all.

          I totally get where you’re getting from as well.

          Many women do downplay their experience with Postpartum Depression out of fear of being judged or labeled as “Crazy.” It’s sad, really, because many people, upon hearing those three little letters “PPD,” automatically think of Andrea Yates or Otty Sanchez or other tragic cases that have been horrifically exploited by the media. I struggled with PP OCD which is the nearest cousin to Psychosis on the spectrum. It was downright frightening. I remember how scared I was and how confused I became during that time.

          You’re right that PPD is nothing to be ashamed of and I hope with all my heart that one day Kendra does find the strength to be open and honest about her experience.

  5. TJ –

    Precisely! It is so important for a celeb who has issues to encourage their fans to seek help. Very upsetting indeed to think about fans of hers who may be down and not seek help because of her minimizing how she felt.

    -Lauren

  6. great post, thanks! I agree…too bad she downplayed her experience; you never know what fan of hers might just think they are just “sad” now, too, and not seek out help because of her words. Ugh.

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