Is Angelina Driven to Be a Compulsive Mother?

"Just as reports revealed a severe 25-year long case of depression for Mother Teresa, any person who rescues others so much so that they neglect or abandon their own spirit, might be headed for a similar state of overwhelm and depression," said Honos-Webb, who wrote about the topic in her book "Listening to Depression" and has written several books about depression, parenting and the psychology of pregnancy and birthing.

Do Jolie and Farrow fit the classic profiles of those who hide unrecognized depression behind pregnancy and adoption? While Honos-Webb has never treated either celebrity, she does point out that having babies can sometimes keep personal problems at bay.

Having babies can sometimes keep personal problems at bay.

"[It] keeps you busy — if not through adoption, than in pregnancy, you get the oxytocin [often called the 'hormone of love'] bursts," said Honos-Webb. "You get attention from other people and you define your own role — all those things manage depression."

Often subclinical depression is not obvious to the person, according to Honos-Webb. "It's difficult to admit those feelings, especially if you have a healthy child and every reason to be happy."

Having children to find happiness is a "recipe for a mental health disaster," according to Honos-Webb, who coins the phenomenon a "Mother Theresa complex." The result can be a failure to attach emotionally, causing eating disorders and depression in the children.

"There is such an imbalance to give and not to take," she said. "On the one hand, Mother Theresa was a saint, but on the other hand, it was a perfect formula for major depression."

Jolie, looking ever-fulfilled, has eagerly been photographed with her children in locales around the world. Both she and Pitt proclaim their commitment to the children. But, said Honos-Webb, "any psychologist can tell you appearances have nothing to do with a person's state of mental health. Having a parent who is emotionally disturbed will definitely show up in ways that you won't see on camera."

Celebrity columnist Ted Casablanca of the E! Network told that Jolie's compulsive mothering has more to do with manipulation.

'Fiercely Independent'

"She is a fiercely independent woman, the most independent big star in Hollywood," he said.

He sees more parallels between Jolie and Elizabeth Taylor, the stunning actress who had four children — one of them adopted — and eight husbands. Film star Richard Burton counted for two.

Like Jolie, the young Taylor was "domesticating herself in extraordinary fashion with lots of kids and husbands and remaining the most voluptuous woman in the world," said Casablanca, who writes an online column "The Awful Truth."

Though employable, neither woman had moneymaking careers when each turned to husbands and children to create a new image.

"This is really an independent way of cementing and giving her a foothold in another world that never has anything to do with the movie business," he said of Jolie who doesn't seem to mind the gossip and photographs of her children. "She lives for it. She's a brilliant saleswoman."

"She is a woman who wants to be beholden to no one," according to Casablanca, who maintains Jolie is "still working out what happened with her father" and is destined to leave Pitt.

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