Parenting News

Game of Thrones Lena Headey reveals she had undiagnosed postpartum depression while filming the hit show

The 43-year-old actress, and mother of two, has opened up on her struggle with postnatal depression.

Lena Headey reveals she suffered from undiagnosed postpartum depression.

Lena Headey, best know for her role as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, has made the brave admission she suffered from postpartum depression while filming the hit HBO series.

Headey revealed her struggle in a candid interview, conducted by her young co-star Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) for Net-A-Porter's The Edit.

Like many women, the actress had no idea she was suffering from the condition:

“[Filming was] really horrendous – I was postnatally depressed but I didn't know it. I saw a doctor for the medical check, and I just burst into tears.”

“She said I was postnatally depressed and I went, ‘Am I? Why is that?’”

“I saw a great guy and he sorted me out,” she reveals. “But I did the first year [on Game of Thrones] in that space, figuring out motherhood and going through a weird time personally. It was tricky.”

The actress says her doctor helped her to recognise she was suffering from postnatal depression and she sought help immediately. Photo: Getty Images
The actress says her doctor helped her to recognise she was suffering from postnatal depression and she sought help immediately. Photo: Getty Images

Headey has a son, Wylie, 7, with her ex-husband Peter Loughran, and a 23-month-old daughter, Teddy, with her filmmaker fiancé, Dan Cadan.

Hilariously, she has Cersei-like protectiveness when it comes to her daughter.

“I know my son is going to enjoy his time sleeping with girls – well, I know he is – but then I thought of my daughter and had an instinctive reaction: ‘No! No one's touching you!’ My mum's like, welcome to the world of children,” she laughs.

Speaking to her young interviewer Maisie Williams, Lena was full of praise.

“I'll always love you, Maisie, because you've just remained. You guys [Game of Thrones' younger cast members] have all handled it brilliantly. I just think it's great; you've grown up with this, and you've remained delightful.”

If you're struggling and need someone to talk to, contact:
Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7)
Plunket Post Natal Adjustment Programme: (03) 684 4759
Mental Health Triage, Assessment and Crisis Team: 0800 277 997
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111