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Marie Osmond, The Media, And Postpartum
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Are media stories about postpartum making you nuts? Marie Osmond and her Brother Donny are back singing together and they are all over the media of late. It reminds me when, about 12 years ago, when Marie Osmond came out with a story of her postpartum plight, which was the beginning of the end of her first marriage. She was all over the networks telling about her difficulty with postpartum.

I remember she talked about how she wanted to "just drive off" and leave her family behind. I clearly remember thinking "Oh my God, is that what postpartum is?" I too was suffering from the same malady at the same time. But, I not only wanted to drive off somewhere, I wanted to drive off the cliffs in Santa Monica, California and kill myself.

Now, there are different "levels" of postpartum, granted. But, I heard her story and I was angry. I thought this sure did not represent MY level of suffering and I felt discounted. I could not believe how the media seemed to down play such a heart wrenching and difficult prognosis.

After I calmed down a bit, hard to do with PPD, a friend suggested that perhaps Marie Osmond could not elaborate her illness due to her Mormon upbringing. i'll give her that, now in hindsight. I'm sure that there is a kernel of truth in this, but I wish that I'd had in the Media validate my experience. It was not until the whole fiasco with Brooke Shields talking about anti-depressants and Tom Cruise jumping up and down on a couch on the Oprah Winfrey show and bad mouthing Brooke Shields that I felt slightly vindicated. Tom Cruise made a mockery of the whole thing, was easy for me to disregard and strangely enough made me feel "better". I was pissed and I had not felt that in quite a while. Maybe I was starting to recover?

Postpartum is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. It is a horrible, tragic odyssey with potential lasting effects on the offspring, husband and family. People in the media should not talk openly about things they have not experienced. Too many of us "non-celebs" are gullible and look to our media heroes, like it or not for comfort and validation.

Fortunately for me, I had a vast network of support around me that enabled me to "get through" the worst and then continue to return to mental health after a very long bout of difficulty. Postpartum depression is an awful ordeal and most women make it through, some do not, unfortunately. But those of us who do, know that life is to be cherished and coddled in a way so many others will never know. It is not something anyone would willing be able to go through, but it teaches you to become someone you never could have imagined. A woman who is strong and capable. A true survivor.


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