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Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression

Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression

4.0 53
by Brooke Shields

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

When sitcom star Brooke Shields gave birth to her daughter, Rowan Francis, in May 2003, she didn't think that the arrival of her adorable infant would mark the onset of a crippling depression. Soon after the delivery, the famed actress found herself overwhelmed by waves of panic and quiet devastation. At first unable to identify her problem, she struggled to cope with motherhood and marriage while experiencing feelings of abject despair and fear. This disarmingly candid memoir follows Shields as she learns to battle her postpartum depression and describes how she eased this debilitating condition with talk therapy, medication, and reading. This is an informed, personal view of a serious illness affecting 10 to 20 percent of new mothers.
Los Angeles Times
"With an utter lack of vanity and a surfeit of clinical detail, Down Came the Rain is a personal story told with candor and grace."
Library Journal
Sometime model and actress Shields takes on the role of author here, wielding her celebrity status to convey a crucial message: that postpartum depression is a serious but treatable condition that can strike any mother. Shields tells her own story to emphasize this point, relating her struggle to become pregnant and her excitement at the prospect of her baby's birth. What happens afterward, though, is entirely unexpected-instead of feeling exhilaration like most other mothers, Shields becomes depressed. With the encouragement of her husband, family, and friends, she eventually seeks professional treatment that enables her to experience the full joys of motherhood. Her afterword is replete with helpful resources, including books, web sites, and hotline numbers. Highly recommended for all public libraries, alongside titles like Natasha S. Mauthner's The Darkest Days of My Life: Stories of Postpartum Depression. Confirmed appearances on Oprah and Today will guarantee heavy demand. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Unsparing account of the actress's experience with acute postpartum anxiety disorder following the birth of her daughter in 2003. Shields also shares details about the pressures and frustrations of her struggle to get pregnant, her joy at finally conceiving, her uneventful pregnancy and the long labor that ended with a C-section. But the central story begins in the operating room, where the sight of her husband holding newborn Rowan filled her with "jealousy, fear, and rage." Recovering in the hospital, she assumed that her feelings of misery and alienation would change, but when her baby was brought to her to nurse, she felt no bond with the infant, whom she regarded as "a complete stranger." At home, physical exhaustion was accompanied by panic, dread and enormous sadness. Shields pulls no punches in describing her profound detachment from her child. She had no desire to pick up or care for Rowan, she admits; what she wanted was to run away. In the weeks following the birth, it became clear that Shields was suffering from a condition much more serious than "the baby blues." The antidepressant Paxil helped some, but her decision to go off it cold turkey was a serious mistake. Trying to reconcile motherhood and an acting career added to the pressure. (Shields's awareness of herself as a celebrity gives this memoir special interest.) She finally pulled out of her unnervingly severe postpartum depression with the help of psychotherapy in combination with other antidepressants. Educating herself about the condition and reading about other women's experiences also helped, as did the simple passage of time. In addition to her personal story, the author has included solid information aboutpostpartum depression; an afterword lists helpful books, Web sites and hot lines. Shields's forthright admission of feelings that many similarly afflicted new mothers deny could well spark valuable discussions about "this large white elephant sitting in the room that no one was supposed to talk about." First serial to Good Housekeeping; full hour on Oprah on pub date; three-parter on the Today Show

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Hachette Books
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5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

"At first I thought what I was feeling was just exhaustion, but with it came an overriding sense of panic that I had never felt before with fatigue. Rowan kept crying and I suddenly began to fear the moment when Chris would bring her back to me. I started to experience a sick sensation in my stomach; it was as if a vise was tightening around my chest. Instead of the nervous anxiety that often accompanies panic, a feeling of quiet devastation overcame me. I hardly moved. Sitting on my bed, I let out a deep, slow, guttural wail. I wasn't simply emotional or weepy like I had been told I might be. This was something quite different. When PMS made me introspective or melancholy or when the pressures of life made me gloomy, I knew these feelings wouldn't last forever. But this was sadness of a shockingly different magnitude. It felt as if it would never go away."
--Brooke Shields, from Down Came the Rain

Meet 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.

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Down Came the Rain 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
thomas34 More than 1 year ago
I was very intrigued by this book. Brook Shields told every account to her full capacity. I was a new mother struggling with postpartum depression and it is a real disease and a growing problem in the world. I truly hope that people will get the help they need and other family members will join with them to help. I also learned that people need others to help themselves in life. Please don't go at it alone, always ask for help. There is no shame in it at all. After you have learned how to cope with depression; be proud of yourself and your knowledge you have acquired. You never know when you can help someone else in need.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my sister in law when she started showing signs of PPD. She absolutely loved it. She said it helps her knowing that she is not alone, that other mothers go through the ups and downs of 'what in the world am I doing' when they get home from the hospital, and that it helped her put a lot into perspective. Thankfully, she only had a mild case of the baby blues, but she credits this book with opening her eyes to what it is REALLY like to be a first time mom, and what you can possibly deal with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this at the bookstore on a Friday 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. 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.
Zelda18 More than 1 year ago
An excellent description of signs and symptoms of Post Partum Depression. A bit over-the-top at times, as Brook describes how life is like for a celebrity, but well-written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She could have been writing my story of postpartum depression. This book is a very tender and truthful memoir of a struggle many women go through. I would recomend it for any age or gender. Amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This gave me a look at what i was going through but couldn't see for my self. She was very brave to open up like this and help struggeling post partum women get a voice to get help.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a mother who went through PPD this was a great book to turn to. I felt the same way as Brooke Sheilds and it was great to know that I was not alone!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended for anyone curious about a personal story of a battle with postpartum depression.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I too had post-partum depression after I had my 2nd daughter. It is a relief to know that there are other women out there that went through the same thing I did. It was interesting to find out that someone so famous had/has a normal life behind all the glamour. I want to give Brooke a big thanks for sharing her heroic story with everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a mother yet I found this book to be very interesting. Brooke writes it beautifully and I truly enjoyed reading it. I felt like I actually knew her! I would recommend this to both mothers and women who don't have children but are fans of Brooke. A great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading the book has given me a boost of condfidence. Knowing that the Author has blessed this world with her honesty, has given me hope in reading. I love to read Biographies of women who will tell the rest of us how they really feel. Having a Boost in confidence has given me the added realization that I am a great mother!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so helpful to me. I am glad she decided to write this book. It has made me realize I shouldn't be ashamed of having PPD. It was the first book that read on this condition and I would reccomend it to anyone who thinks they suffer from PPD.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Any kind of depression is horrible. You feel this way you dont understand completly why you feel this way. Mine has been around for years......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very enlightening. It would be a great help to a new mother's family when she is acting in an uncharacteristic manner. Also, there are other resources for help listed in the book. Most of all, it shows new mothers feeling this depression that they are not crazy, selfish or alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
aimlyss More than 1 year ago
I am glad I read this book since I didn't know much about postpartum depression and couldn't imagine having the feelings that PPD brings. Not that I wasn't sympathetic to it, I had just never dealt with it myself or with a friend. After reading about Brooke's experiences, I feel that I now have a better understanding.
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GeekGirl67 More than 1 year ago
Please read if you are or are planning on getting pregnant. This book could help, i found it very honest and it was probably very hard for her to write. The taboo regarding ppd still exists.
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