What is up with Tom Cruise and his scientology buddies when it comes to psychiatry? As someone who suffers from recurring unipolar depression, I can tell you that vitamins and exercise just don't cut it when it comes to curing depression. In fact, their hubris is putting lives at risk. Anyone who thinks they can tough it out when they are faced with major clinical depression is in serious, life threatening danger. Help, either through therapy or medication is essential. I know this because I tried to tough it out. I spent months dreading each day and wondering how I would ever make it through. Yes, I had thoughts of dying just to escape the pain. Mental pain and despair are perhaps the most debilitating type of pain imaginable, at least they were for me. I received so much advice from do-gooders; "wrap yourself around your religion" said one person. The problem was that my thoughts became so clouded by the despair that I could not even imagine the existence of a higher power. I brooded about death and dying and suddenly doubted the existence of heaven. I couldn't concentrate at work; a career I had enjoyed suddenly became the bane of my existence. I couldn't concentrate and the daily routine was no longer rewarding. To top things off, my manager, who knew of my bouts with depression, picked that time to push his weight around and bully me and others on the team. There was no compassion or understanding even though he later admitted that he knew I was struggling with depression. What he didn't understand is the implications of major clinical depression. It is a life threatening disorder that needs to be taken seriously in the workplace and in society in general. I was chastised for being irritable. My usually sunny, upbeat personality with a can-do attitude changed to one of dread and pessimism. Shouldn't it occur to someone who has known me for over a decade that something was seriously wrong?
I applaud Brooke Shields and the courage that it took for her to share her story of postpartum depression with the world. Tom Cruise and Leah Remini have no business judging her or anyone else who has struggled with depression unless they have walked a mile in the shoes of a major mood disorder. "The blues" are not the same as major depression. Shame on them for saying otherwise. Brooke, you go girl!