Bryce Dallas Howard Opens Up About Postpartum Depression

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For the first time, Bryce Dallas Howard is speaking out about her 2007 case of postpartum depression.

In an essay on, the Eclipse star writes that she was "mortified" by her weight gain while carrying son Theo and then, after he was born:

Bryce and Son

"I felt I was failing at breast feeding. My house was a mess. I believed I was a terrible dog owner. I was certain I was an awful actress."

Postpartum depression reveals itself in many ways - from anxiety to loss of sleep to reduced libido - and affects between 5% to 25% of new mothers, with percentages varying based on the severity of the symptoms.

Worst of all, Howard says: "I definitely felt I was a rotten mother - not a bad one, a rotten one. Because the truth was, every time I looked at my son, I wanted to disappear."

The actress adds that she screamed expletives at husband Seth Gabel and exhibited behavior "he had never experienced in the seven years we had been together."

But, fortunately, Howard got help, which included reading Brooke Shields' "Down Came the Rain" and speaking to a therapist. She now describes herself as happier than ever.

When Howard was first announced as the replacement for Rachelle Lefevre in Eclipse, Twilight fans were outraged. But their anger was never directed at the actress herself - and we're sure we speak for all of them when we say:

Glad you're doing better, Bryce!

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