AP New Jersey
Codey rips Cruise over comments on antidepression drugs
By JEFF LINKOUS
Associated Press Writer
July 1, 2005, 8:56 PM EDT
TRENTON, N.J. -- Actress Brooke Shields has an ally in her war of words with Tom Cruise over her use of drugs to treat postpartum depression: New Jersey's acting governor, Richard J. Codey.
"Tom Cruise knows as much about postpartum depression as I do about acting, and he should stick to acting and not talk about women who need help," said Codey. Codey's wife, Mary Jo, struggled with the illness and has campaigned to raise awareness about depression.
In an op-ed piece published Friday in The New York Times, Shields took aim at Cruise's "Today" show 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," she wrote.
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 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."
A kindergarten teacher, Mary Jo Codey, 49, has openly discussed her struggles with postpartum depression, speaking about the ordeal that started with her being diagnosed with clinical depression 28 years ago.
During a public appearance last fall, Mary Jo Codey told of driving to a pharmacy four towns away from her home to fill a prescription for antidepressants. She said she "wore dark sunglasses and prayed really hard to God that no one would see me."
In May, she lobbied lawmakers on Capitol Hill to support legislation aimed at helping women who suffer from postpartum depression.