Chrissy Teigen is opening up about her battle with postpartum depression for the first time.
The 31-year-old Sports Illustrated model and TV hostess penned an essay for Glamour’s April 2017 issue where she talked about her experience with the condition that she discovered in the months after the birth of her firstborn daughter Luna with husband, singer/songwriter John Legend.
“When I wasn’t in the studio, I never left the house,” explained the magazine’s cover girl. “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,” Teigen added. “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 also revealed that she was irritable, had lost her appetite, and didn’t have the energy to leave the house — symptoms that were later diagnosed as postpartum depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition affects one in nine women.
“Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful,” said Teigen on going back to work at hostess of “Lip Sync Battle” after having Luna. “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, and you know how big of a deal good is for me.
“One thing that really got me was just how short I was with people,” she added. “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. I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy. I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of my role: ‘Maybe I’m just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mom.'”
Teigen had an awakening when she finally received her diagnosis.
“Before the holidays I went to the GP for a physical,” she explained. “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,” she said.
“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 depression does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s just 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.”
Teigen shared her story in hopes it will encourage other new moms to speak up and not suffer in personal turmoil.
“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,” she said. “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.”
“I know he must look over at times and think: My God, get it together. But he has never made me feel that way,” said Teigen on her husband Legend supporting her.
“He wants me to be happy, silly and energetic again, but he’s not making me feel bad when I’m not in that place. I love John and Luna more than I can imagine loving anything, and John and I still hope to give Luna a few siblings. Postpartum hasn’t changed that.”
Glamour’s April 2017 issue hits newsstands March 14.