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Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression    by Marie Osmond, Marcia Wilkie & Dr. Judith Moore order for
Behind the Smile
by Marie Osmond
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Knowing a person only through public appearances and performances doesn't alert one to the depth of the inner personality that lies beneath the composed surface. In Behind the Smile, Marie Osmond throws aside the mask she wears for the public and bares her troubled soul. After the birth of her seventh child, Matthew, she couldn't seem to get back her strength or the will to return to what was to her a normal life - one very much in the public eye. Trying to balance a schedule of a TV show, appearances on QVC selling her own line of dolls, hosting with her brother Donny The Miss America Pageant and finding the time to spend with her children and husband would have been enough for any three women. But to make a hectic life worse, she was in the depths of postpartum depression.

Osmond has told a very intimate tale of herself and her feelings and despairs. After years of never saying 'No' to anything anyone - read that husband, children, producers, PR man, makeup and wardrobe personnel and the general public - wanted, she finally learned to give the time to herself that she so desperately needed, to come to grips with her depression and learn how best to fight it. Behind the Smile is a very moving and inspirational story (the use of metaphors gets a bit sticky at times, but can be readily excused for their content). Marie Osmond gives insight into a dreaded (and generally dismissed as 'all in your head') malady. Postpartum depression is very real, and needs real treatment. At the back of the book is a section written by the doctor Marie gives credit to for helping her to fight this battle; sites to contact for help; and a quiz to help in determining if indeed you have postpartum depression.

Osmond provides a story that many women could tell - if they only had someone to listen. Knowing you're not alone is a big step to recovery. Knowing that someone else did recover may just make that difference.

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