Chrissy Teigen isn't one to hold back when she has something on her mind, but yesterday she revealed her long battle with postpartum depression for the first time and confessed she was initially afraid to talk about it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, postpartum depression affects one in nine women. Symptoms include feelings of anger or withdrawal, self-doubt about not being a good mom, or even a sense of numbness and disconnection to the baby.
Teigen wrote her letter in an attempt to reach out to pregnant and new moms who suffer from anxiety or depression and to let them know that they are not alone.
"I hesitated to even talk about this, as everything becomes such a 'thing.' ... But it’s such a major part of my life and so, so many other women’s lives. It would feel wrong to write anything else," she writes.
I'll just say it: I have post partum depression. So much love to @glamourmag for letting me share something that was eating me up inside for months and months. One of the most amazing things about social media is the ability to interact candidly with friends and fans and it felt so weird knowing what I was going through but not really feeling like it was the right place to speak on it. I've always felt genuinely close to all of you and I'm insanely relieved you now know something that has been such a huge part of me for so long. My full essay is on the @glamourmag bio. ❤
We appreciate her letter for so many reasons. Here are a few lines and nuggets of truth that touched us:
"I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy. I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of the role: 'Maybe I’m just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mom.'"
Losing your sense of identity after becoming a mother can feel frustrating. Teigen felt apathetic to her role as host of "Lip Sync Battle" and she lost her excitement for writing her second cookbook.
"Am I making this all up? Is this pain even real anymore?"
What many new moms don't know is that PPD doesn't just affect you mentally and emotionally. Depression can have real, physical effects, too, including headaches, body aches and nausea. Teigen spent many of her days in 2016 on the exact same spot on the couch, would rarely muster up to energy to make it to bed and would often cry spontaneously.
"I also just didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. ... But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it."
Teigen found herself asking how she could feel this way when her circumstances were great and more privileged than many mothers. She had an amazing support system through her husband, mother and a nanny. Luna was the perfect baby. So speaking up at first felt selfish to her. But the thing is, PPD can happen to anyone. It's common, but it's not normal.
"I’m speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody and I don’t want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone. I also don’t want to pretend like I know everything about postpartum depression, because it can be different for everybody. But one thing I do know is that—for me—just merely being open about it helps."
Teigen got her postpartum depression diagnosis before the holidays from her general practitioner. Since then, she's taken antidepressants and started sharing the news with friends and family. Some physical pains are still there, but opening up has helped her move forward on her road to recovery.