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Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression Hardcover – January 1, 1900

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Editorial Reviews

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 inspiring story offers hope to the many women suffering from this illness, as well as to their families." -- Shari Lusskin, M.D., FAPA, Director of Reproductive Psychiatry, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York University School of Medicine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st edition (January 1, 1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401301894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401301897
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #983,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I got this at the bookstore one afternoon and finished it the next day. My husband is now reading it, because Brooke does a fantastic job of putting into words much of what I felt after the birth of my son, but was unable to explain clearly to others. She pulls no punches, and is brutally honest about her thoughts of disconnect from her baby, her anger at family and friends for not getting it, and even her thoughts of suicide. But what she does best is show the help that is available, so that no mother should ever have to feel alone and hopeless. This is a book for every parent-to-be, so they are prepared for the possiblity; for every family member or friend who will be in frequent contact with a new mother, so they might recognize the problem before it gets out of control; and for anyone who has ever wondered 'Can it really be all that bad?' Yes, it can, yes, it is, and yes, there is help and hope.
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66 of 75 people found the following review helpful By H. Bradford on May 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I applaude Brooke for writing this book because thousands of women suffer just as she did. They need to know they are not alone, and that they will get well with treatment.

A common misconception is postpartum depression is a "natural result" of birth. Not so! It is a deadly serious illness but is also very treatable. I lost my daughter to PPD 5 years ago and have spent my life since losing her trying to educate the public with accurate PPD facts so that others don't die unnecessarily. For the most part, Brooke's book has done a good job of giving good information.

Anyone who confuses postpartum depression with baby blues or just being a little down after childbirth is deadly wrong. And anyone who condemns a woman for symptoms over which she has no control is grossly ignorant. (...)

Helena Bradford
The Ruth Rhoden Craven Foundation for Postpartum Depression Awareness.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on July 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from my sister who went through TERRIBLE post partum depression. The writing in the book wasn't the greatest (there was too much repetition), but still I think the book is about an important subject. My sister chose to use the anti-depressant Paxil, to help her through her depression. My sister says that Paxil made all the difference in her being able to think and function and not suffer so much. Now she is tapering off the medication under a docter's watchful eye and is continuing to get better. However my sister and I both know a lady who took an anti-depressant and it did terrible things to her. The bottom line is this: what works for one person isn't going to work for another. Some people really need and really benefit from medications, while others do simply need vitamins and exercise. It is not all black and white.

I think Brooke Shields did a good service by writing her book because of all the awareness she has helped to create. The comments of what an untalented actress she is are really senseless because that is not what the book is about. So what if she isn't a talented actress - her book is only about post partum depression. Even if it's helped bring her fame in her difficult career, that is also beside the point. Anybody, who shares their experience and helps bring awareness to a problem that many people suffer, help to educate society.
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73 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen J. on June 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While reading this graphic biography of a year or more

in Brooke Shields life,I was moved with enormous compassion.

She admits she had an ideal life.A caring husband and after

a painful miscarriage,a chance for new life through I.V.F.

Innocently,Chris, her husband, and Brooke prepared to be

alone the first week to bond with their new baby girl.This

proved to be more difficult than they had anticipated.The new

born baby,Rowan,required breast feeding every 90 minutes.

Brooke's body had not fully recovered from a traumatic birth

resulting in a C-Section,and she lacked sleep.In short order

both parent's felt over their heads.Brooke was unable to feel

lovingly toward her baby and was frightened.Then,unbidden images

and frightening thoughts came rushing into her head,leaving

her afraid to be alone with her little daughter.Her husband,Chris,also worried,which made Brooke upset and apologetic for her serious postpartum condition.

She finally revealed her circumstances to her gynecologist

and gets the so necessary help.Slowly,with antidepressant medi-

cation,and a trained nurse she begins to mend.Brooke acknowledges both the physical and emotional help she needed to

overcome this awful disorder,that wrecks havoc in a woman's life and soul.

Due to Brooke's high celebrity status,I think this book

will help other mother's to have the courage to come forward

when they have these hormonal symptoms.

Perhaps,due to Brookes's unwavering honesty,she will have

saved another woman's or child's life,for telling what severe

postpartum was all about.

Thank You Brooke-You are a courageous woman.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Wylie on May 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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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