When I was expecting my first son, everything was going well in my life and I was totally into being pregnant," says Jane Brown*, an artist in New York City. But during her third trimester, her mood suddenly started to plummet.
"It felt as if something inside me were snapping," Brown recalls. "It was like my life was spinning out of control and no one around me could see it."
The more her friends and family tried to reassure her, the more isolated she felt. And when she gave birth to a healthy son, Brown felt anything but relief. "Eli was small, and I became obsessed with getting him to gain weight. I wasn't eating, sleeping, or returning calls, and I was losing too much weight. My husband didn't get it, and we began to fight a lot. I adored Eli but felt no joy."
Motherhood and joy: Given the images we see in ads and movies and on TV, why should we believe that a "good mother" feels anything other than joyful and whole? Yet two-thirds of the 20 million Americans who each year experience a major depressive episode are women -- most of whom are of childbearing age.
*Name has been changed.
Click ahead for Defining Depression