Some Bay Area moms struggle with postpartum depression

Byby Melanie Woodrow via KGO logo
Thursday, October 15, 2015
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Postpartum depression is a challenge many families can relate to in the Bay Area.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The character Juliette on ABC's Nashville is battling postpartum depression and now the actress who portrays her, Hayden Panettiere, says she too is struggling.

Postpartum depression is a challenge many families can relate to in the Bay Area.

Mom Phyllis Timoll says she feels great now, but felt off after having her first child Elise nearly four years ago.

"I felt very alone, very isolated," Timoll said.

Timoll recognized she had postpartum depression.

She says talking to a therapist and radically changing her diet helped her overcome negative feelings.

"You're supposed to be so happy and instantly in love and depression can be very, very dark," she said.

Psychotherapist Kimberlee Sorem previously worked as an Ob/Gyn. She says she transitioned careers so she could spend more time helping women cope with postpartum depression.

"There's a real disconnect. The baby is loved and wanted and it just doesn't make sense," Sorem said.

Not even for Hollywood stars. Just days after tweeting, "Feeling like I'm finally coming back in to my own body," actress and mom Hayden Panettiere announced she's entering a facility to treat postpartum depression.

Panettiere's on-screen character Juliette in the popular drama Nashville is experiencing similar issues. Panettiere said she could relate in a recent interview on "Live with Kelly and Michael!"

"It's something that needs to be talked about and women need to know that they're not alone," Panettiere said.

"I think anytime someone comes forward with it it can be very helpful," Timoll said.

Timoll also felt compelled to share her experience. She now coaches other moms and has her own website.

"After I was very open and honest and told my friends what I was going through the majority of my friends were like, 'I think I went through something similar. You're so brave, I'm so glad you got help, I dealt with this for longer,'" Timoll added.

Click here for information on The Afterglow, a postpartum depression support group at UCSF.

Click here for more information on postpartum depression.