Chrissy Teigen opens up about battle with postpartum depression
Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen opened up for the first time about her secret battle with postpartum depression and anxiety in a personal essay she wrote for Glamour magazine.
“I didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. I have all the help I could need. But postpartum does not discriminate,” Teigen, 31, wrote in Glamour. “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.”
Teigen gave birth to her first child, daughter Luna Simone Stephens, on April 14. The model and cookbook author, who is married to singer John Legend, tried unsuccessfully to conceive for several years.
Teigen told Glamour that she was tired of being in pain, she couldn’t sleep throughout the night, she felt like she couldn’t leave the house and that she was unable to enjoy life or see her friends.
She wrote that she is getting treatment for her condition, including taking an antidepressant.
“As I’m writing this, in February, I am a much different human than I was even just in December. I’m over a month into taking my antidepressant, and I just got the name of a therapist who I am planning to start seeing. Let’s be honest though—I probably needed therapy way before Luna!,” she wrote. “Like anyone, with PPD or without, I have really good days and bad days. I will say, though, right now, all of the really bad days—the days that used to be all my days—are gone.”
About one in nine women experience postpartum depression, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I think one of the things that Chrissy struggled with, which is so hard for so many women who struggle with postpartum depression, is this is the time of your life when you should be the happiest,” Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor-in-chief, told ABC News. “Everyone will tell you, ‘You just had a baby, this is the time when you’re supposed to feel joy.'”
Teigen has nearly 15 million followers combined on Twitter and Instagram, where she often shares photos of Luna and snapshots of her life as a new mom.
“I think Chrissy decided to speak out because she knew that ultimately her story could probably help other women, she knows she has a platform, she knows people follow her,” Leive said. “For her to talk so openly about every other part of her life and keep quiet about this, I think on some level that didn’t feel right for her.”
Dr. Sue Varma, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center, told ABC News that women need to get rid of misconceptions about postpartum depression.
“Look, you would get help for any other medical problem, right?” Varma said. “And postpartum depression is a medical problem and should be treated like one.”
“It’s a very common disorder and we really don’t give it the proper sort of detection and screening and appreciation that it deserves,” Varma added, saying that part of the reason for this may be because people tend to focus all their energy on the new baby, “and women end up neglecting their own needs.”
Teigen wrote that she is focusing on getting better both for herself and her daughter.
“More than anything, I always want to have enough energy for Luna,” Teigen said in Glamour. “As she gets older, she’s becoming more and more fun. Her eyes are getting so wide, and I want to be there for those wide eyes.”