Edge Transcript: Marie Osmond's Journey Out of Post-Partum Depression

This partial transcript from The Edge with Paula Zahn aired on May 1, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.

ZAHN: On the "Personal EDGE" tonight: Marie Osmond. In her new book "Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Post-Partum Depression," Marie shares her personal struggle with a condition that affects 1 in 10 new moms. It nearly killed Marie. The book is getting an overwhelming response, particularly from men. And Marie Osmond joins us now in the studio.

So nice to have you with us in person.

MARIE OSMOND, "BEHIND THE SMILE" AUTHOR: Oh, Paula, it's great to see you. I love -- we talked a little bit earlier about this issue and, boy, there's a lot of interest. I'm so thrilled that so many people are fascinated about what this issue is.

ZAHN: Well, you should be because I think you've really tapped a nerve here. And I -- that's why I love the title of your book, "Behind the Smile," because a lot of us would love to think we know what's going on in your life. You have this, you know, gorgeous smile. You're beautiful. You have the healthy children.

OSMOND: Well, look who's talking!

ZAHN: You're very generous tonight. And they know that you've had this fame and success since a very early age, plenty of money to live with. And they can't understand how someone like you got desperately close to killing yourself. How close did you come?

OSMOND: Well, I don't -- I understand why somebody would, completely. I never could, number one, because of my religious convictions. And also, I have been with people whose parents have taken their life, whose mother had, and I would never leave that behind.

ZAHN: But you got very low. And you tell...

OSMOND: Well, I think part of the reason...

ZAHN: ... this poignant story about driving up the coast, having left your nanny with money to take care of the kids. They're at home. And do you have any idea where you were driving to or...

OSMOND: Had no idea. Absolutely none. I think that's part of the reason I got in the car was because I love my children so much. I love my kids. I'd do it all -- I'd do it all over again because they are the greatest thing in my life.

Some day, when I'm an old woman and I have my awards and trophies and gold records and everything up there, those things won't matter. But them wanting to be with me is what will matter. And you know, those things -- those memories are created now. And it's just -- they're the greatest things on the earth.

And when I saw that I wasn't functioning anymore for the people who I loved the most, which were my family, my children, I said -- it was the first time I really would admit to myself. That's the sad part about depression, is it really takes away all your logic, your rationale. It hits you absolutely at the lowest place. As I said, "I'm really not thinking straight. For me to be thinking these things, I know they're not right, but, boy, do they feel right."

ZAHN: You brought along an e-mail with you tonight, which I think is a reflection of how a lot of women feel. And I have my only personal feelings about this because I think women put far too much pressure on themselves. And like you said, you've been a perfectionist all your life. You have these babies, and you kind of think the world expects to you go along like nothing's changed. Well, guess what? A lot has changed.

Read that to us to give people a better understanding of how low women get, including yourself.

OSMOND: I chose this one because I've receive thousands and thousands of e-mails and letters. This one just happens -- this is the most common one, is this -- this feeling. It says, "The hardest aspect of PPD or depression is the guilt that comes with it. I had always been a
perfectionist, and I felt that I was failing at motherhood. I half joked that the hospital should be sued for negligence for allowing me to take the baby home when I was so incapable."

And I think that's the issue. You talk about women are being very hard on themselves. You know, part of the reason that I released some of the information of my childhood -- this is not an autobiography. This is just little snippets of my life, my story, to show how I think I got to
where I was.

ZAHN: And you were sexually abused.

OSMOND: Yes, I was.

ZAHN: As a child.

OSMOND: As a child. One of the interesting things with post-partum depression is that that is one of the contributing factors to post-partum depression. And you know, it wasn't until, like, 10 days before the book was going to print that I decided, after much prayer and thought -- I thought, "You know what? This could change somebody's life to really sit
and analyze the issues in their life." Part of that, I think, is because once your boundaries are robbed, then you find ways of controlling your boundaries. Work was mine. And that's what you said. You know, I don't know a woman...

ZAHN: Well, you were safe at work.

OSMOND: Well, yeah. You know, I'm a perfectionist. I check off my list. You know, I'm dyslexic. When I was doing "The Donny and Marie Show," I mean, I literally, you know, would get 350 pages of script to memorize in two and a half days. I would take that home and work till 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning and be back at work at 6:00.

ZAHN: Wow.

OSMOND: And so, you know, this is that perfectionistic attitude. And I think what happens is we try so much. I know what it is to be a single mother with children. I know what it is, you know, to be a working mother with a family. I know what it is to be a child with a lot of pressure on your back. And so this perfectionistic attitude -- and even society now, women are trying so hard to be...

ZAHN: Everything.

OSMOND: ... everything. Yeah, you know? It's like our roles were do defined for us 50, 60 years ago. Right or wrong, it was still defined. And we are now totally out of the box. We are being men. We are being women. We are being nurturers. And the last person who gets any is us.

ZAHN: All right, before we let you go, though, I want you to bring men fully engaged into this conversation because many women who haven't shown the courage you have shown basically shut their husbands off. And I know you've gotten just about the same amount of e-mail from men, from women, "How can I help my wife?"

OSMOND: Amazing!

ZAHN: Leave with us a parting thought on that.

OSMOND: I just did my first signing. I really was fascinated to see who was interested in this topic. I would say over 50 percent of them were men, I mean, and fathers and mothers coming in and buying for their 27-year-old daughter. Another girl came in and said, "My sister," you know, "she suffocated her baby it got so bad."

I mean, just -- this is a serious, serious issue, but I think it's more than post-partum. I really believe it's lifestyle. And we have alienated our husbands because we don't want to say -- "Hey, you know what? I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm really good." They know you're not fine. And so
I think -- I think this whole topic -- I really hope that the book causes people to sit down, for husbands to talk to wives and wives to really truthfully communicate...

ZAHN: I agree

OSMOND: ... because I think we're sabotaging ourselves.

ZAHN: You'll get no argument from me on that one.

OSMOND: I really do! And you know what...

ZAHN: Men, we need you!

OSMOND: Yes, we do need them. And we need to be able...

ZAHN: And we have to give them a chance to...

OSMOND: ... to say, "I need you. I need you to do this tonight
because I'm trashed."

ZAHN: Well, we appreciate your coming in. And I know it was a road long traveled to arrive at this happiness you've finally reached at this point in your life. Best of luck to you.

OSMOND: Thank you.

ZAHN: And listen to Marie! She knows what she's talking about.

Thank you all...

OSMOND: Just one story out there.

ZAHN: ... very much for watching us tonight. Before we leave, THE EDGE team would like to say a very special good-bye to our new Adelphia cable viewers in West Palm Beach, Florida. great to have you as part of the Fox News family. We're going to see you right back here, same time, same place tomorrow night on THE EDGE. Good night.


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