Gwyneth Paltrow felt like a “shell of herself” when she was suffering from post-partum depression.

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The Iron Man star had no idea what was wrong with her when she was suffering from the condition following the birth of two-year-old Moses, her second child with Coldplay star husband Chris Martin.

She said: “It was a very difficult time. I just did not know what was wrong with me. I felt very detached, I felt like I was a shell of myself. I just felt like I was going through the motions of the things in my life.

“It was a very weird three to six months. I didn’t know what was wrong with me until I started to come out of it, and my mom said to me, ‘You don’t seem right. What’s going on?’ And I was defensive because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.”

Gwyneth – who also has a three-year-old daughter Apple with Chris – can empathise with any other woman who has had to deal with depression.

She added to US TV Entertainment Tonight: “By the time I realised I needed medication I was already coming out of it. I really feel for any woman who’s had it or going through it, because it’s not easy.”

Postpartum depression is caused by an imbalance of hormones in the body after a woman gives birth. Researchers have found that depression is one of the most common complications both during and after pregnancy.