postpartum

Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About Her Struggle With Postpartum Depression

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(Instagram/ChrissyTeigen)

If any new mother would appear to have the perfect life, it’s Chrissy Teigen. She’s a supermodel and cookbook author. She has a wonderful, sweet, and very handsome husband, and she has a healthy, wonderful baby girl. She’s rich and famous and funny and beautiful and close to her mom, and everything about her life seems to be perfect. That’s why it’s so important that today she published a moving essay about her struggles with postpartum depression.

Teigen gave birth to her daughter last April, and Luna is a darling, happy, healthy baby with the most pinchable cheeks in the world. But in an essay in Glamour, she describes herself as having been chronically unhappy for most of the last year. She says getting out of bed to go to work was painful. She’d forget to eat for days—and she’s a cookbook author and food obsessive–and she found herself short-tempered and rude with people who weren’t really doing anything wrong.

Teigen felt deeply unhappy, but she says she couldn’t figure out why she was so unhappy. As she’s noted, her family is wonderful. Her baby is wonderful. Her job is great and as supportive a work environment for a new mother as has ever existed. Her mother lives with her to help with the baby, and she has a nanny. She’d look at all that and realize, objectively, that she had it really good. But still she slept on the sofa, wore the same clothes every day, kept the shades down, didn’t shower, and just felt sad all the time. At first she thought the problem was the house, then something else, then she wondered if it was just her, and this is what she was like now.

“Maybe I’m just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mom,” she wrote.

But finally, in December, Teigen was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety.

Teigen describes herself as a “chronic oversharer,” but this is the first time she’s mentioned having postpartum depression, and she says she’s talking about it because when she was growing up people never admitted to having postpartum depression. She’d heard of it, but associated it with people who did not like their babies or who wanted to hurt them. Teigen adores her baby, but she was still depressed.

Teigen thought she couldn’t have postpartum depression because everything was going too well for her, and that’s probably going to resonate with a lot of people who are also suffering and can’t figure out why. The CDC estimates that one in nine new mothers experiences postpartum depression, but the number could be higher than that. Teigen has all the resources in the world and wasn’t diagnosed for almost a year, because it’s so difficult to admit when you’re struggling. A lot of women are probably going to read this and think, “That sounds like me.”

That’s important, because postpartum depression is treatable. Teigen says she’s already much better than she was when she was diagnosed. It is still a struggle, but the worst of it is gone and it’s already gotten so much better than it was in the beginning. There are probably a ton of women who are in pain and don’t know what’s wrong and are just wondering, “Is this just what my life is now?” But it’s not. Even if everything seems perfect on paper, there could still be something wrong, and it can be helped.

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