Chrissy Teigen is a woman we all know and love and is the subject of many of her husband’s romantic songs. Not all is well for the new mother as she recently opened up about her stifling postpartum depression and anxiety she has worked rigorously to overcome.
The 31-year-old author and model interviewed with Glamour magazine to discuss an essay she wrote about her struggles after the birth of baby Luna. Teigen gave birth to the now 11 month-year-old in April and returned to work from maternity leave feeling off.
“Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful. My lower back throbbed; my shoulders – even my wrists – hurt. I didn’t have an appetite. I would go two days without a bite of food. One thing that really got to me was just how short I was with people. I would be in my dressing room, sitting in a robe, getting hair and makeup done, and a crew member would knock on the door and ask: ‘Chrissy, do you know the lyrics to this song?’ And I would lose it. Or ‘Chrissy, do you like these cat ears, or these panda hands?’ And I’d be like: ‘Whatever you want. I don’t care.’ They would leave. My eyes would well up, and I would burst into tears. My makeup artist would pat them dry and give me a few minutes.”
Teigen went on to explain how hard it was to try and find out why she was feeling this way. The new mother would hide herself away at home for days not eating, drinking or even sleeping.
“When I wasn’t in the studio, I never left the house. I mean, never. Not even a tiptoe outside. I’d ask people who came inside why they were wet. Was it raining? How would I know—I had every shade closed. Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed. John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. I started keeping robes and comfy clothes in the pantry so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs when John went to work. There was a lot of spontaneous crying,” Teigen wrote.
“Anytime I was seen out, it was because I had already had work or a work event that day. Meaning I wouldn’t have to muster up the energy to take a shower, because it was already done. It became the same story every day: Unless I had work, John knew there was not a chance in hell we were going on a date, going to the store, going anywhere. I didn’t have the energy.”
After months of intense pain, the couple decided it was best for Teigen to visit a doctor to receive a professional diagnosis to obtain medication to help subside her agony.
“I looked at my doctor, and my eyes welled up because I was so tired of being in pain. Of sleeping on the couch. Of waking up throughout the night. Of throwing up. Of taking things out on the wrong people. Of not enjoying life. Of not seeing my friends. Of not having the energy to take my baby for a stroll. My doctor pulled out a book and started listing symptoms. And I was like, “Yep, yep, yep.” I got my diagnosis: postpartum depression and anxiety. (The anxiety explains some of my physical symptoms.),” Teigan wrote.
“I remember being so exhausted but happy to know that we could finally get on the path of getting better. John had that same excitement. I started taking an antidepressant, which helped. And I started sharing the news with friends and family—I felt like everyone deserved an explanation, and I didn’t know how else to say it other than the only way I know: just saying it. It got easier and easier to say it aloud every time. (I still don’t really like to say, “I have postpartum depression,” because the word depression scares a lot of people. I often just call it “postpartum.” Maybe I should say it, though. Maybe it will lessen the stigma a bit.)”
Since her diagnosis, Teigen has a newfound respect for all women who suffer from this mental and physical illness. She writes about how this understanding of the illness has enabled her to speak up about the reality and severity of this disease. The new mother is working towards a healthy mind and body in her journey through motherhood as she raises baby Luna alongside her husband, John.
“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. This has become my open letter.”