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Brooke Shields Tells Off Cruise

Brooke Shields took aim at Tom Cruise's television interview diatribe against antidepressants, saying the drugs helped her survive feelings of hopelessness after the birth of her first child.

"I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression," the actress wrote in an op-ed piece published Friday in The New York Times.

Cruise had criticized the actress for taking the drugs, and became particularly passionate about the issue in an interview on "Today" last week.

"You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do," Cruise told "Today" host Matt Lauer.

He went on to say there was no such thing as chemical imbalances that need to be corrected with drugs, and that depression could be treated with exercise and vitamins. Shields called those remarks "a disservice to mothers everywhere."

Shields said she considered swallowing a bottle of pills or jumping out the window at the lowest point of her depression following the birth of her daughter, Rowan Francis, in 2003. A doctor later attributed her feelings to a plunge in her estrogen and progesterone levels and prescribed the antidepressant Paxil.

"If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease," she wrote.

Shields described her post-childbirth experiences in "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression."

Cruise is a follower of Scientology, a religion that teaches that psychiatry is a destructive pseudo-science.

"We are living in an era of so-called family values, yet because almost all of the postnatal focus is on the baby, mothers are overlooked and left behind to endure what can be very dark times," wrote Shields in the newspaper article.

Cruise is currently starring in Steven Spielberg's science fiction epic "War of the Worlds," while Shields is headlining the musical "Chicago" on stage in Chicago. She is 40, while he is 43. They both appeared in Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 movie "Endless Love," in which Shields got top billing.

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