Brooke v. Tom
Brooke fires back at Tom! (Registration required; use 'dailykos' for both the username and password.)
This story has been characterized by the ridiculousness of Tom Cruise's recent behavior, but there's a ctually a serious issue here. Depression is no fucking joke. Brooke Shields writes in a New York Times editorial:
I WAS hoping it wouldn't come to this, but after Tom Cruise's interview with Matt Lauer on the NBC show "Today" last week, I feel compelled to speak not just for myself but also for the hundreds of thousands of women who have suffered from postpartum depression.
... After two years of trying to conceive and several attempts at in vitro fertilization, I thought I would be overjoyed when my daughter, Rowan Francis, was born in the spring of 2003. But instead I felt completely overwhelmed. ... I didn't feel at all joyful. I attributed feelings of doom to simple fatigue and figured that they would eventually go away. But they didn't; in fact, they got worse.
... At my lowest points, I thought of swallowing a bottle of pills or jumping out the window of my apartment.
I couldn't believe it when my doctor told me that I was suffering from postpartum depression and gave me a prescription for the antidepressant Paxil. I wasn't thrilled to be taking drugs. In fact, I prematurely stopped taking them and had a relapse that almost led me to drive my car into a wall with Rowan in the backseat. But the drugs, along with weekly therapy sessions, are what saved me - and my family.
Since writing about my experiences with the disease, I have been approached by many women who have told me their stories and thanked me for opening up about a topic that is often not discussed because of fear, shame or lack of support and information ...
And comments like those made by Tom Cruise are a disservice to mothers everywhere. To suggest that I was wrong to take drugs to deal with my depression, and that instead I should have taken vitamins and exercised shows an utter lack of understanding about postpartum depression and childbirth in general.
If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease.