Brooke Shields wrote a book titled Down Came the Rain, about her journey through postpartum depression. Her book was first published in 2005. I picked up a used copy of this book while on vacation at the beach a few years ago. I read the book a few months later, and it has stuck with me.
In Brooke Shields book, she brilliantly captures her audience’s emotions as she explains the anguish of postpartum depression. Shields writes that she has always wanted to be a mom, she then takes the reader through the period directly following giving birth to her daughter. The emotions of depression are made obvious by the illnesses name, but the guilt and embarrassment that is felt is what truly captivates the reader.
Postpartum depression, and its more serious form, postpartum psychosis, has had a great deal of negative press. Often you only hear about this when a woman with postpartum psychosis kills her children. There are treatments available for this illness, and through books likes Shields’ Down Came the Rain women and their families can learn that this illness is occurring through no fault of their own, and that there is no shame in talking to their doctor.
Society makes new parents think they should feel nothing but happiness, but through the lack of sleep and huge life change required when welcoming a new, helpless member of their family home; coupled with the drastic hormonal changes in the new mother, stress and even depression are natural.
Brooke Shields does a wonderful job of explaining her journey though postpartum depression, and her triumph over it. This is a book I would definitely recommend to anyone and everyone. The more people know about illnesses like postpartum depression, the less stigma will cripple the afflicted.
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