Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual abuse that some readers may find distressing.
Actress Brooke Shields opened up about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her first child in a recent interview. The 57-year-old star revealed that she had a frightening encounter when she nearly drove her car into a wall while suffering from a bout of postpartum depression. Brooke is now speaking out about her struggles in the hopes of raising awareness and encouraging other women to seek help when dealing with similar issues.
During her interview with “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast on Monday, Brooke revealed that she was afraid she might “drive [her] car into a wall on” California’s 405 freeway when she was in the midst of her severe postpartum depression. Shields had stopped taking her medication abruptly before the incident. Had Brooke been left to handle her postpartum depression alone, her life might have been in jeopardy. Brooke has been sharing her life experiences and creating ways for people to relate to them. Brooke disclosed her struggle with postpartum depression in her 2006 book, "Down Came The Rain," and has revisited the same experience after almost a decade.
The actress revealed that she had stopped taking her medication "cold turkey" prior to experiencing a terrifying episode on the California 405 freeway. "I started just feeling more myself so I went off… because clearly I was a doctor by that point," she joked.
The experience was so terrifying that she called her doctor from the car, who stayed on the phone with her until she arrived home safely and told her that she is "going back on the medicine immediately.” The “Blue Lagoon” alum, who is also the mother of daughter Grier, 16, was initially resistant to taking medication for her depression since she thought she could “fix [her]self.” Brooke shares a special bond with her two daughters. In the past, she gushed on her girls, claiming they inspired her body positivity. However, after working on her “Pretty Baby” doc, the actress said the girls were angry.
She said, “I got in trouble with them … because they were mad that I didn’t inform them about everything.” For the first time, fans also got to know what Shields suffered as a much younger woman. In her documentary, the Princeton University alum claimed she was raped, as per The Nerd Stash.
While Shields' openness about her struggles has been lauded by many, not everyone has been supportive of her decision to speak out. Tom Cruise famously slammed the actress for taking medication to treat her postpartum depression, stating that she should have used "vitamins and exercise" instead. Shields, however, was quick to respond to Cruise's comments, writing “I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression,” in a statement, per Page Six.
The documentary focuses on the sexualization Brooke Shields faced during her early acting career, and delves into intimate revelations such as her rape by a Hollywood executive in her twenties and the story of how she lost her virginity to Dean Cain.