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Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression [Paperback]

Brooke Shields
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 2 2006
In her bestselling memoir, now in paperback, Brooke Shields shares with the world her deeply personal experience with postpartum depression

When Brooke Shields welcomed her newborn daughter to the world, her joyful expectations were quickly followed by something unexpected--a crippling depression. In what is sure to strike a chord with the millions of women who suffer from depression after childbirth, Brooke Shields shares how she, too, battled a condition that is widely misunderstood, despite the fact that it affects many new mothers. She discusses the illness in the context of her life, including her struggle to get pregnant, the high expectations she had for herself and that others placed on her as a new mom, and the role of her husband, friends, and family as she struggled to attain her maternal footing in the midst of a disabling depression.

Ultimately, Brooke shares how she found a way out through talk therapy, medication, and time.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In 1980, when she was 15, Shields starred in The Blue Lagoon. In the movie, her character accidentally becomes pregnant, and when her son is born, he intuitively finds his way to her breast as Shields looks on with love and contentment. The irony of this scene isn't lost on the grown-up Shields, who not only did not become pregnant accidentally—numerous IVF cycles and a miscarriage preceded the 2003 birth of her daughter—but suffered a devastating aftermath to that birth. "I was in a bizarre state of mind," Shields describes, "experiencing feelings that ranged from embarrassment to stoicism to melancholy to shock, practically at once. I didn't feel at all joyful." Shields assumed she'd bounce back in a few days, after resting from her difficult labor. Instead, her feelings intensified: "This was sadness of a shockingly different magnitude. It felt as if it would never go away." While Shields denied anything was wrong, the persistence of friends and her husband persuaded her to seek treatment through medication and therapy. This brave memoir doesn't shy away from Shields's most difficult moments, including her suicidal thoughts, clearly showing the despair postpartum depression can wreak. While the writing is sometimes repetitive and clichéd, it does emphasize the depth of Shields's depression. This tale will bring awareness of a problem that so many mothers have been afraid to discuss; look for this book to touch off a flurry of lifestyle pieces.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Brooke Shields has starred in many feature films, including Pretty Baby, Blue Lagoon, and Black and White. She earned critical acclaim on Broadway for The Vagina Monologues and Cabaret, among other shows. She earned a People's Choice Award and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Suddenly Susan. Brooke continues to lend aid to issues involving children's welfare and education, and has established Hands of Change, an organization which benefits young women.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Star Talks Of Reality May 4 2005
By A Customer
I have to give her high praise for having both guts and courage to write this all telling memoir. For her to want to give back to society in writing this book about her time in dealing with something that is so hush hush...PPD. I know this book will help so many to understand what is happening to them and possibly keep them from letting it go to far. Bravo to you Ms. Shields for this honest and well written book.
Also recommended: A Paper Life and Nightmares Echo
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Having suffered through PPD following the birth of my first child in 1998, it was with relief, and some measure of remembered sadness, that I read Ms. Shields' memoir.
And yet, the author has confronted a subject that many of us find uncomfortable (and -- dare I say -- disdainful?) to talk about openly in today's "supermom" society.
What is important to take away from this story is that husbands/in-laws/relations and friends of *any* sort need to be aware that as tragic (and unexpected, in most cases) as PPD is, it is treatable. And that as difficult as it seems to believe at the time, with appropriate help, mom WILL get better.
I know I did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rainy days Feb. 23 2007
Despite ill-informed jibes and misinformation, clinical depression is a terrible and widespread problem; the best description I've heard yet is that it's a cancer of the soul. And of all the types, postpartum depression is perhaps the most neglected -- some people don't even know it exists, let alone how it should be treated.

That is the heart of Brooke Shields' memoir "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression." This is not a glitzy showbiz autobiography, but a wrenching look at one woman's struggle to have a baby, and then to regain her own happiness.

In 2001, Shields married producer/writer Chris Henchy, and soon they were trying for a baby. But because of cervical scarring, getting pregnant was difficult, and despite all the people prattling about adoption and relaxation, Shields and Henchy tried in vitro fertilization (IVF), and after a traumatic miscarriage, finally had a baby girl.

But baby Rowan was less than a day old when Shields began feeling depression and anxiety attacks. Initially she chalked this up to the difficult C-section birth and the newness of the experience, but her feelings continued over the months that followed. Though she tried to tackle her postpartum depression by herself, the help of friends and the drug Paxil were what brought her back out of the pit.

The first fifty pages of "Down Came the Rain" make it seem like this will be an up-and-down story, with generous amounts of self-deprecating humour. Shields lightens the mood with humour and a willingness to reveal her unflattering or goofy thoughts, such as thinking about those chest-bursting scenes from "Alien" during a C-section.

But after that, a grimmer tone takes over the book.
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