BUT I TOOK MY FISH OIL PILLS
I remember when Brooke Shields book DOWN CAME THE RAIN came out. I was so impressed that this beautiful celebrity was speaking out about her experience with PPD. How brave of her. I also remember when Tom Cruise sadly spoke out against her bravery. I could not believe this man who never suffered from depression or PPD could publicly say that Brooke Shields should have used vitamins instead of medication. What was his expertise? He said “These drugs are dangerous. I have actually helped people come off.” I haven’t seen a Tom Cruise movie since. It seems our new Tom Cruise now is Alicia Silverstone. She has a new book out called KIND MAMA. KIND MAMA is about to be a number one best seller. That is great for Alicia. The problem I have with it is that many many people will get the wrong idea about postpartum depression. Alicia wrote “Though it’s less common among kind mamas, some women experience the blues after giving birth.” Here’s the thing. Alicia never had depression or PPD. She is not a doctor or an expert on PPD. She many believe that because she eats right and lives a very natural existence that it is impossible for her to get depression but that is not the case for many many women all over the world. She may think that because she chews up her sons food and feeds it to him that her son will not get sick. But that is not the way it is going to be for most little boys or girls. Her son will get sick and every child will get sick. When he starts school HE WILL GET SICK! And that is ok! I’m not mad that Alicia Silverstone wrote this book. I am not mad that she thinks if you live a certain way that you will not get depressed. In fact, I’m happy for her. Her family seems to be very healthy. It’s all working for her. The sad truth is that it is not going to work for everyone reading it and it is a dangerous thing for her to act like an expert on this topic that she knows nothing about. We live in a society where people listen to what these celebs say. I would hate for a new mom who desperately needs medication to think that if she lives the “kind” life she can make it without medication. In my option it is a very dangerous thing to do and NO celebrity should play doctor. I have suffered from depression for 20 years and PPD for six years now. I would not say I am the healthiest of people. When I was pregnant I lived off of cookies and pasta. I also failed at being a vegetarian for my whole life (that’s what a homeopathic doctor told me). When I gave birth to my son six years ago I suffered from such severe PPD/Anxiety/OCD that I did not know if I was going to make it. Those painful days have not gone away either. They have just become “normal”. To say I would do anything to get rid of this PPD is an understatement. I will say it this way. I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO GET RID OF PPD!!!! And I thought I was doing everything I could. You see, when I came home from the hospital with my new born I couldn’t function. The PPD took over my world. It was only a year into my marriage, I had a new house, was learning to be a good wife and most importantly I had a new baby that relied on me to stay alive. Sound exaggerated? It’s true! He needed me for every little thing and I did not have it in me to do any of it. Fortunately I found a great psychiatrist that put me on a cocktail of medication. I was so drugged out I could barely keep my head up but it was better than without having the drugs in me. Even though I thought I was going to die from too many antidepressants and mood stabilizers in my system, I actually was able to function. After a couple of years my body started to wear down. I wanted to try to get off some of these pills and go a more holistic approach. I have heard miracle stories about natural remedies healing problems like depression. Well, those people did not have MY mind and body. I can truly say I am not one of the fortunate ones that can be cured simply by taking supplements, a perfect diet and exercise. I tried it. The first time I took my family to San Diego (we live in L.A.) for two weeks when my son was three years old. There I spent everyday at a holistic clinic. I received everything from the oxygen chamber two times a day, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, IV treatments, and a very healthy nutrition plan. After two weeks, I went home with my family feeling much better. I was relaxed however I was still depressed. I still had anxiety and I still felt overwhelmed. Three years later, I’m still on antidepressants. I do the best I can with diet. I’m no longer a vegetarian since I “failed at it”. I take my fish oil pills and my vitamin D3. I would like to exercise more than I do and am working on it. Unfortunately that takes motivation and motivation and depression are not friends. I’m doing the best I can to live that beautiful “KIND” life. But right now I need medication and I will not let anyone, especially Alicia Silverstone or Tom Cruise tell me that I don’t need them. I know my mind and I know my body. I want to thank Alicia for helping to raise awareness to PPD. You have brought up a great, big discussion that is always needed!
Posted by Lindsay Lipton Gerszt, 2nd May 2014