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Brooke Shields' Op/Ed Piece

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am SO SICK of Tom Cruise these days! Most importantly, I was really upset at his attack on Brooke Sheilds and her use of an antidepressant during her postpartum depression.
Well, she wrote an Op/Ed piece that appears in today's New York Times. Here is a link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/01/op...01shields.html

Since you have to sign up to view the article, I'm also going to copy and paste it here, in it's entirety. I, for one, am very proud of Brooke's bravery in admitting what she went through and her passion for helping other women who may experience this. I think she deserves a big "YOU GO GIRL!!!"


Op-Ed Contributor
War of Words
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By BROOKE SHIELDS
Published: July 1, 2005
London


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. While Mr. Cruise says that Mr. Lauer and I do not "understand the history of psychiatry," I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is caused by the hormonal shifts that occur after childbirth. During pregnancy, a woman's level of estrogen and progesterone greatly increases; then, in the first 24 hours after childbirth, the amount of these hormones rapidly drops to normal, nonpregnant levels. This change in hormone levels can lead to reactions that range from restlessness and irritability to feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

I never thought I would have 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. This baby was a stranger to me. I didn't know what to do with her. 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.

I couldn't bear the sound of Rowan crying, and I dreaded the moments my husband would bring her to me. I wanted her to disappear. I wanted to disappear. 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. Experts estimate that one in 10 women suffer, usually in silence, with this treatable disease. We are living in an era of so-called family values, yet because almost all of the postnatal focus is on the baby, mothers are overlooked and left behind to endure what can be very dark times.

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. Perhaps now is the time to call on doctors, particularly obstetricians and pediatricians, to screen for postpartum depression. After all, during the first three months after childbirth, you see a pediatrician at least three times. While pediatricians are trained to take care of children, it would make sense for them to talk with new mothers, ask questions and inform them of the symptoms and treatment should they show signs of postpartum depression.

In a strange way, it was comforting to me when my obstetrician told me that my feelings of extreme despair and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift in my body. Once we admit that postpartum is a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable. With a doctor's care, I have since tapered off the medication, but without it, I wouldn't have become the loving parent I am today.

So, there you have it. It's not the history of psychiatry, but it is my history, personal and real.

Brooke Shields, the author of "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression," is starring in the musical "Chicago" in London.
post #2 of 20


She is absolutely right that some good can come of Cruise's ridiculous rant. I suffered terrible postpartum depression, and 22 years later, I am still not as close to my daughter as I would like to be because of it. We never bonded properly, and everyone told me I was just a bad mother, had no maternal instincts, should not have had children, blah, blah, blah, instead of trying to help me. It needs to be treated as the medical condition it is, not some shameful bad mothering. It is serious, can lead to tragedy and lifelong relationship difficulties. I applaud Ms. Shields for having the courage to tell her story.
post #3 of 20
What I find kind of funny about this whole Cruise thing is, he's been married twice, so apparently he should understand women's mood shifts. I know he does not have any biological children (Adopted 2 kids with Nicole), so he's never experienced a PREGNANT WOMAN in his household (I doubt he ever will, either, cuz she might need antidepressants, lord forbid). But you'd think that after having two wives, and now he's working on a third, he would be more understanding of women in general.

And for him to blast Brooke Shields on something he knows NOTHING about? Puh-leeze. He needs to shut his hole. I'm glad Brooke fired back!!! She's a lot taller than him, he needs to watch out; someday she might kick his butt.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Apparently, TomKat are hoping to have children together. God FORBID she experiences postpartum. I'd be fearful for Katie AND the baby!
post #5 of 20
True I have never had shildren, but I hadn't realized that post-partum depression was something to be ashamed of. My goodness, your body just went through carrying another person (or two) - do they expect the body to just *snap* go back to normal??
post #6 of 20
I hear in Scientology, the higher ups, like celebrities get really isolated. So he is just out of reality. he always seems that way to me. I think he can be a good actor but the rest is so dim.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon
True I have never had shildren, but I hadn't realized that post-partum depression was something to be ashamed of. My goodness, your body just went through carrying another person (or two) - do they expect the body to just *snap* go back to normal??
Apparently Tom Cruise and Kelly Preston do!!!
post #8 of 20
Does his religion have anything to do with it I wonder? I remember watching Oprah when Kelly Preston and John Travolta were on. Kelly mentioned how in scientology the woman must be totally silent when giving birth and that it has to be totally natural. My guess is that he really believes if it's all natural everything should be perfect.

I can't believe he would challenge Brook Shields like that. Good for her for sticking up for herself and for women everywhere. Tom Cruise could have done a lot of damage to thousands of women.

I really love her idea of having pediatricians trained to screen women for postpartum depression.
post #9 of 20
Yeah Brooke!!!! Good for her for standing up to Cruise. It is provent that exercise and diet don't work for everyone. They are often a quick fix and the person feels the same depression they did before. I trust doctors 100% more them some guy who is so arrogent to believe he is all knowing. I use to like Tom Cruise, He was really hot in Cocktail!!! But now he has shown just how crazy he really is. I hope Katie gets the hint and leaves him before he snaps!!
post #10 of 20
I don't care if his religion has anything to do with this...HOW DARE HE!!! I never was much of a fan, didn't hate him or like him...but I will never see a movie of his again, in the same way I don't see Sean Connery films, since he said (years ago) that it was okay to slap you wife around.

One question. Rosie O'Donnell has taken ADs, why didn't he rebuff her when they were so buddy, buddy?

I hope Cruise rots in Hell, and his box office numbers suffer.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of Franz
I don't care if his religion has anything to do with this...HOW DARE HE!!! I never was much of a fan, didn't hate him or like him...but I will never see a movie of his again, in the same way I don't see Sean Connery films, since he said (years ago) that it was okay to slap you wife around.

One question. Rosie O'Donnell has taken ADs, why didn't he rebuff her when they were so buddy, buddy?

I hope Cruise rots in Hell, and his box office numbers suffer.
I never knew that about Sean Connery. Shame on him! As far as Tom Cruise goes - he's totally out of line. Rot in hell is a little harsh though, IMO.

I really don't pay attention to celebrities. I think I learn more here about them than anywhere else.
post #12 of 20
Do you remember Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon? She was such a baby, and I never envisioned her growing into such a role model for people, especially mothers. I read her story in a magazine...I can't imagine the strength it takes to admit she considered driving the car into a wall with the baby in the car. I am very proud of her for standing up to him.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat
I never knew that about Sean Connery. Shame on him! As far as Tom Cruise goes - he's totally out of line. Rot in hell is a little harsh though, IMO.

I really don't pay attention to celebrities. I think I learn more here about them than anywhere else.
He made a statement saying (paraphrase) that it was okay to hit your wife once in a while, or something to that effect. He made it on a Barbara Walter's special, my guess 20 years ago. There was a huge bru-ha-ha about it then. I believe he retracted it later...too late in my view.

I say rot in hell, even though I don't believe in hell because of all the potential lives he has now screwed up. A lot of people are sheeplike in following someone famous, and when you are depresed, you are very vunerable to begin with.

What's wonderful is that I very much doubt, my NY Times will give Cruise rebuttal space. Let him write his rebuttal in the Scientology News Weekly, so all 8 people can read it!
post #14 of 20
Scientologists are supposed to be silent while giving birth?! That is the most bizarre thing I have ever heard!
post #15 of 20
What does he know? He has never given birth. What exactly is this religion?? Or is it more of a cult??

Major kudos to Brooke for admitting to the world she had this problem and is making it more known by the public about this illness and what it entails. That is so important - so many women suffer and don't get help.

I have never liked Tom Cruise. he can go jump off a bridge for all I care. He wants to have kids with Katie? God help the poor girl. Besides I thought he couldnt have kids of his own anyway??
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
If I offend anyone who is a Scientologist, I apologize, but I cannot STAND Scientology. My family is from Clearwater, FL, which is pretty much the US capital of Scientology. They have bought up a majority of the old historic buildings in downtown Clearwater. When they opened their first "church", they had snipers on the top of the building in case anyone tried anything!!! AND, you have to pay all this money to get to different "levels" in the religion. I believe Tom is a level 5 or 6 and John Travolta is a level 7. Personally, I think they say that they are a "religion" for tax exempt purposes, but that's just IMO.
The good thing about America is the freedom of religion (well, even that I'm starting to question these days), so I respect to practice. But any "religion" that is based on a SCIENCE FICTION BOOK (Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard) is BIZARRO if you ask me! My mom has for years refused to see any movie starring a Scientologist and I'm thinking about following suit (though that's difficult because, along with Kaballah (which I greatly respect), Scientology is THE trendy Hollywood religion. The Scientology centers in Clearwater even have special celebrity entrances!!!
post #17 of 20
WHY would anyone give any credence to anything, that Tom Cruise has to say? He is an ACTOR, for goodness' sake - NOT an expert on psychiatry or biochemistry.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by katl8e
WHY would anyone give any credence to anything, that Tom Cruise has to say? He is an ACTOR, for goodness' sake - NOT an expert on psychiatry or biochemistry.
Unfortunately, there seem to be people who are dumb enough to think if a celebrity says something, it must be true.
post #19 of 20
From what I've seen and heard of Tom Cruise lately, he's the one who needs to see psychiatrist, and it seems he could benefit with some sort of tranquilizers.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
From what I've seen and heard of Tom Cruise lately, he's the one who needs to see psychiatrist, and it seems he could benefit with some sort of tranquilizers.
I've thought the same thing for some time, and also believe he really could benefit seeing a psychiatrist for an assessment...
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