Her new book is called Down Came the Rain
- The inability to experience pleasure of any sort. "Pleasure can be going out with friends to have lunch, pleasure can be connecting with your baby, pleasure could be having sex with your partner again," she says. "But … it feels like pleasure doesn't belong to you any longer."
- Feeling isolated, hopeless and guilty. "Just that sense that you're set apart, you're feeling hopeless, like nothing can make it better. … And that it's never going to get better," Dr. Smith says.
- Drastic physical changes. "Eating too much; not eating enough. Oversleeping; not sleeping enough."
"Making a bottle, I would peer over at a cabinet where I knew the household cleaners were and I could actually envision myself taking cleaners and putting them in the bottle," she says. "If I was holding her and I could see our reflection in the window, I would think, 'What if I just threw her out the window right now?' The scariest part was actually being able to see it play out in my mind and it was me doing these things to her and I didn't want to hurt her but I could not stifle these intrusive thoughts about hurting her."
"Like every healing process, it's a day-to-day journey," she says. "There are days I don't have thoughts at all and I'll think, 'Wow, this is great,' and one day, I'll wake up and I'll have an off day and I'll think, 'What if I take this knife and I stab her?' It's like I know I don't want to hurt her and I know these thoughts are wrong but they're just in my head and they cause me to even consider taking my own life because I think 'What kind of monster am I? What kind of mother could have these thoughts about her child?'"
"I had mild postpartum depression with my first child," Diana says. "It went away after a couple of days. I had this vision, a vivid vision of her flying off of a balcony. Not myself doing it. It caused such anxiety and panic that I couldn't bring her upstairs. With my next child, again the same thing happened—I kept thinking of an ice pick in her fontanel."
"And then I started with my own feelings of jumping from tall buildings. My office had an atrium staircase and the thought would come, 'You could just jump.' And I'd think, again, '[It's] only four stories—not going to do any good.' … It's always, 'Where is this thought coming from?' I would never, ever do this to my child. My child means everything in the world to me.
"I remember talking to my girlfriend and I said, 'Something is really wrong.' She said, 'You need to call your doctor.' And I said, 'Yeah, I probably do'—but there's that stigma with mental illness."
Michael says didn't think his wife was dangerous until his friends "put that thought into my head," he says.
"That's good, I'm glad they did," Dr. Smith says. "Sometimes we can want to minimize something because we don't know how to manage it."
Annie had gone to buy groceries but instead killed herself with a 9-millimeter handgun.
Oprah: What were Annie's signs?
Michael: She couldn't produce enough milk. And that made her feel like a bad mother. I've talked to her friends that [said] she was always a perfectionist. She always did everything well. She felt that she was not a good mother. Not good enough. The day she left, she kissed us and smiled and said, "You guys will be wonderful together," and she walked out the door.
"It was, 'Okay, you're going to go home and do this to her.' I talked to myself in my head. 'No, you're not—yes, you are.' It was a constant struggle in my head fighting with myself. And taking my own life—I felt that way, too.
"I went through it for a month and a half before I broke down at work finally and got help," Tammy says. "I felt like I was crazy."
Tammy finally visited a doctor at the urging of her friend. "He put me on medicine and I took a week off work and it started looking up from there. But I thought I was absolutely nuts. I thought they were going to have to put me away or something. It was bad."