Brooke Shields fights back against Tom Cruise - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-01-2005, 03:54 PM   #1
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Brooke Shields fights back against Tom Cruise

Brooke Shields from the OP-ED page in NY Times


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.
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:00 PM   #2
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This was just on ABC News. Good going Brooke!
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:08 PM   #3
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In my teens I was a huge fan of Brooke Shields. I thought she was incredibly beautiful.

Now that we are both adults Brooke has once again become a heroine for me. Brooke is doing a tremendous job on behalf of mothers. It takes courage to come out and admit what she went through, and even more strength of character to stand her ground. I respect and admire Brooke more than ever.
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:11 PM   #4
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Very nicely put.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:44 PM   #5
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It's sad it's even come to this. She does not have to justify her choices to anybody, least of all Tom Cruise.

I have seen her speak about her post partum depression in an interview. She was remarkably eloquent, and did a wonderful job advocating help for so many women who have not yet sought it out.

Tom isn't good enough to hold her shit in a shovel.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:52 PM   #6
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Tom Cruise was right.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Palace_Hero
Tom Cruise was right.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Palace_Hero
Tom Cruise was right.
On what account? That post partum depression can be resolved with vitamins? If so, please phone me sometime in the future when you tell that to the mother of your children. If you are not whacked in the face with a wet fish, I'll be seriously surprised.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Palace_Hero
Tom Cruise was right.
And what Shield's noted for Cruise also applies to you:

Quote:

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.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:51 PM   #10
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I have to laugh when I think that if Tom Cruise ever gets a woman pregnant and she goes through postpartum depression.
If he insists that she go through with it simply with vitamins and exercise...
I see her popping a Centrum "Postnatal" and throwing Tom Cruise off the 58th floor of their apartment window...

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Old 07-01-2005, 10:54 PM   #11
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Sorry I should have elaborated.

Tom Cruise was right in proposing to Katie Holmes. It is the only thing that will keep his career afloat.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Palace_Hero
Sorry I should have elaborated.

Tom Cruise was right in proposing to Katie Holmes. It is the only thing that will keep his career afloat.
You have a point. It will be interesting to see how many big blockbusters Tom makes after War of the Worlds. I think his stock may be falling.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Sorry I should have elaborated.

Tom Cruise was right in proposing to Katie Holmes. It is the only thing that will keep his career afloat.
well the timing was certainly convenient
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:25 PM   #14
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Nothing like irony in the Zoo Station.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:29 PM   #15
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