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Brooke Shields Recalls Suicidal Thoughts After Giving Birth

Brooke Shields has always admitted that she suffered from postpartum depression after her first child, but the actress says it was a lot worse than people knew.

"We think and we feel that we should just be able to handle it on our own," the 44-year-old actress, who is now a mother of two said at a Hope for Depression Research Foundation event.

"I've always been strong enough to get through every single difficult situation in my life. I grew up in an addictive household. My mother had acute alcoholism. It's in my blood. I was never going to be the one to succumb to it."

"I finally had a healthy beautiful baby girl and I couldn't look at her," she said. "I couldn't hold her and I couldn't sing to her and I couldn't smile at her. All I wanted to do was disappear and die."

Shields said she thought, "I should not exist. The baby would be better off without me. Life was never going to get better – so I better just go."

She began taking prescription medication, but stopping taking it one point, thinking she didn't need it.

"That was the week I almost did not resist driving my car straight into a wall on the side of the freeway," she told the crowd. "My baby was in the back seat and that even pissed me off because I thought she's even ruining this for me."

"I just wanted to drive into the wall and my friend stayed on the phone with me and made me safely get home."

Shields was eventually diagnosed with a chemical imbalance: "I learned what was going on inside my body and what was going on inside my brain. I learned I wasn't doing anything wrong to feel that way. That it was actually out of my control."

"If I had been diagnosed with any other disease, I would have run to get help. I would have worn it like a badge. I didn't at first, but finally I did fight. I survived."

Brooke first got pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage and seven IVF attempts. She finally gave birth to her first daughter, Rowan, in 2003.

November 17, 2009 |

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