"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 Richard J. Codey (search), whose wife, Mary Jo, has struggled with the illness.
Cruise criticized Shields for taking antidepressants, and became particularly passionate about the issue in an interview on "Today." Cruise is a follower of Scientology, which teaches that psychiatry is a destructive pseudo-science.
Cruise said 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 has called that "a disservice to mothers everywhere."
Mary Jo Codey, 49, a kindergarten teacher, has openly discussed her struggles with postpartum depression, speaking about the ordeal that started when she was diagnosed 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."