Telling her truth. Chrissy Teigen penned an emotional essay for Glamour, in which she opened up about her secret battle with postpartum depression after welcoming daughter Luna, 10 months, with husband John Legend. (Watch Teigen’s recent interview with Us in the video above, in which she opens up about motherhood.)
The 31-year-old model, who graces the cover of the magazine’s April issue, revealed that she had been experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression for months after the birth of her daughter in April 2016, but had no idea what the root of her issues was.
“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,” she wrote. “How can I feel this way when everything is so great? I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with that, and I hesitated to even talk about this, as everything becomes such a ‘thing.’”
According to Teigen, she felt excruciating pain in her back and in her wrists. During that time, she said she was “short” with people, “didn’t have an appetite” and “burst into tears” at any given moment when she returned to work as cohost on Lip Sync Battle after taking a four-month maternity leave.
“Before the holidays I went to my [general practitioner 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,” the Cravings author continued. “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.)”
Teigen was relieved to finally have an explanation for her physical and emotional strain. “I remember being so exhausted but happy to know that we could finally get on the path of getting better,” she wrote. “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.”
Though she has a better grip on her post-pregnancy anxiety now, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit stunner (and hilarious social media personality) explained that she still struggles with postpartum. “I also just didn’t think it 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,” she added. “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.”
While it was tough to admit, Teigen is hopeful that her revelation will help other women.
“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,” she wrote. “But one thing I do know is that — for me — just merely being open about it helps. This has become my open letter.”
Read Teigen’s entire essay here.