Dr. Aaron's Blog

Brooke Shields and Anti-depressants (remember that controversy?)

February 15, 2016 All by Aaron Van Gaver

Brooke Shields is well known in the world of show business and often comes across as one of the most likable people you could ever hope to meet. She has been famous since she was a little girl and even as she grew into a willowy Calvin Klein model, movie star and wife to tennis star Andre Agassi, her professional success masked a number of personal demons.

Shields has stated that it took her until the age of 22 to lose her virginity, since her self image was so poor. But it was not until her well publicized battle with postpartum depression that the depth of her struggles came to light.

In 2005, Shields went public with her issues and the story gained national traction when Tom Cruise publicly condemned her for not being able to overcome her depression without professional help. Even though Brooke had wrestled with thoughts of suicide and struggled to bond with her baby, Cruise believed that she was somehow to blame for her own problems.

However, Shields’ courage is something to be commended. Postpartum depression is a common issue for women of all walks of life and instead of cowering in the corner, Shields decided to strike back, confiding in Oprah Winfrey about her feelings and sharing details about the traumatic childbirth.

She had also experienced difficulties during the in vitro fertilization process and had gone through a miscarriage in the past, which contributed to her feelings of depression and anxiety. Her father’s passing three weeks before the child was born certainly did not help matters.

Shields became an inspiration to women everywhere she decided not to take Cruise’s insensitive commentary laying down. She told the Scientologist to stick to fighting aliens and called his remarks dangerous and irresponsible. She shared her medical findings with the world and spoke about the chemical imbalances that caused her depression and anxiety.

She credits her doctor with helping her through the hard times and says that without the medication she was given, she would not be the parent that she is today. If one of the most beautiful and talented women on the planet can admit that she needs help, this serves as a major inspiration to women of all walks of life.

In recent years, Shields has made her way back to the big screen, as well as the medium of television, with memorable roles in films such as The Other Guys and Furry Scavenge and guest appearances on Super Fun Night and the Michael J. Fox Show.

She has also published several books, where she goes further in depth about her struggles and her troubled childhood. Thanks to brave women like Shields, depression and anxiety are no longer thought of as being the woman’s fault. Shields is a shining beacon in the world of mental health and has spurred women everywhere to take a closer look at their struggles with mental illness.