Kendra Wilkinson, author of the new memoir Being Kendra: Cribs, Cocktails, & Getting My Sexy Back and star of Kendra is speaking out about her devastating struggle with postpartum depression so severe it took over her life, nearly destroying her marriage.
In a new exclusive interview with In Touch Weekly, Kendra reveals her harrowing two-year secret breakdown. “I felt devastated, helpless – like I was in a black hole,” Kendra explains of her violent moodswings and a depression so intense it led her to lock herself in the closet to “scream and cry.” Her feelings of isolation and hopelessness reached such dark levels “I even thought of harming myself. I just threatened [suicide] a lot.”.
She admits that during her darkest days she had deep doubts about her marriage, believing: “Hank deserved better than me,” and disclosing, “Hank and I slept in separate bedrooms.”
Kendra believes her depression, which she has battled off and on since adolescence, was triggered following a move to Indiana for husband, Hank Baskett’s NFL career, while subsequently adjusting to a new baby and the filming of her reality show. Feeling compelled to act normal, she “put on a brave face for the cameras,” but was breaking inside behind closed doors, causing her to take things out on Hank, her extended family, and even crew members.
“There were times when I knew I was about to snap. I’d be like, ‘Hank, go! Go away!’ I didn’t feel right. Hank would take the baby, and leave the room,” Kendra recounts. Though she started most of their fights, causing them to argue so much “she feared their marriage was over,” Kendra couldn’t control her anger “at both Hank and herself.”
“I was just mean,” Kendra states, depicting the rages she would fly into; blaming her husband for “their unstable home life” and threatening to leave him, taking Baby Hank, if he didn’t find a steady job. Kendra remembers that her “nagging got so bad” Hank experienced a panic attack and blacked out!
At the root of her fury, was a deep emotional anguish causing her to isolate herself from her husband: “There was no way I could talk about what I was feeling because I didn’t know what it was. So we just had to stay apart.” Despite the turmoil in her relationship, it was her self-loathing that was the most troubling. “I was crying and screaming all night,” she recounts. “I wanted to hide from everyone. I felt like no one understood.” Regardless of her attempts to convey her “self-destructive thoughts”, Hank wasn’t getting it: “He’s not a therapist.”
Contributing to her negative self-thoughts, was the celeb culture where famous mommies brag about losing the baby weight mere weeks after giving birth. Kendra felt hopeless about the clinging pounds nine-months following the birth of her son, despite her attempts to diet and exercise, and she developed poor body image. Her lack of confidence led to further isolation and depression as she avoided her “hotter” friends. Kendra confides that she felt so ugly “she would brush her teeth in pitch-dark, ‘so I wouldn’t have to look at myself in the mirror.’”
Realizing she needed help, Kendra ultimately sought therapy; not wanting to repeat the damaging behavior of her teenage years, which included cutting, hospitalization for depression, and two self-harming attempts. She credits her two-year-old son as her reason to enter therapy, “Baby Hank really made me stop, step back and realize, ‘If I don’t stop acting like this, he’s going to pick up on it.’ “
Now months following those dark days, she looks back on those times, describing: “I can say that it was a real breakdown that I had.” She is thankful she chose a healthy solution to her depression, revealing: “I can’t be selfish anymore,” for the sake of her son and her husband, who she recognizes need her in their lives.
Today, Kendra happily acknowledges she is still working on her recovery “I’ve learned that I need therapy because I’m not 100 percent better,” but she insists: “I’m going to live my life happy.”
Being Kendra hits stores on September 20th. The fourth season of Kendra premiers September 25th on E! at 11/10c.
Thoughts on Kendra’s story and her battle with postpartum depression? Are you impressed that she is open with fans about this harrowing time in her life? Will you be reading her book?