Chrissy Teigen has spoken out about her experience with postnatal depression (PND) for the first time.
In a new essay for Glamour magazine, the 31-year-old model decided to open up about what she felt she’d been ‘hiding’ from her fans.
“A year ago, in April, John and I started our family together. We had our daughter, Luna, who is perfect. She is somehow exactly me, exactly John, and exactly herself. I adore her,” she begins.
“I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy. What basically everyone around me – but me – knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression.”
(Side note: Postpartum depression is the American term for PND).
She described her symptoms in detail: feeling unable to eat for days at a time, feeling nauseous, pain in her wrists, hands and back, sleeplessness, fatigue and mood swings. She even confessed she felt unable to leave the house…
“When I wasn’t [at work], 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.”
But, after struggling for some time, she sought medical help and was diagnosed with PND. She was also diagnosed with anxiety – which she notes was the cause of her physical symptoms, such as the pain.
“Before the holidays I went to my GP for a physical. John sat next to me. 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.)”
We all know by now that Chrissy isn’t afraid to speak her mind, especially when it many relatable new mum things – from stretch marks to baby-free date nights – even though she knows she’ll face criticism for it.
So we think it’s really brave for Chrissy to open up about PND as she has in her essay.
It’s especially powerful because, from the outside looking in, it seems like Chrissy’s life is damn near close to perfect.
But her admission just goes to show that we never know what goes on behind closed doors – so we should always take things like ‘picture perfect’ social media posts with a pinch of salt – but most importantly, that illnesses like PND can affect any new mum.
She even acknowledges this in her essay, admitting she felt ‘selfish’ for struggling.
“I also just didn’t think [PND] could happen to me. I have a great life. I have all the help I could need: John, my mother (who lives with us), a nanny. But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do,” she wrote.
“I know I might sound like a whiny, entitled girl. Plenty of people around the world in my situation have no help, no family, no access to medical care. I can’t imagine not being able to go to the doctors that I need. It’s hurtful to me to know that we have a president who wants to rip health care away from women.
“I look around every day and I don’t know how people do it. I’ve never had more respect for mothers, especially mothers with postpartum depression.”
Chrissy also revealed she’s been taking antidepressants for over a month, and that she’s about to begin therapy.
We’re glad she’s getting the help she needs ?
Images: Instagram/Chrissy Teigen