Chrissy Teigen's Powerful Essay Raises Awareness About An Illness Affecting 1 In 7 Moms

"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."

Chrissy Teigen has been outspoken about everything from her fertility struggles, to loving her stretch marks, to how much help she gets in order to "do it all." So, when Glamour asked her to pen an essay on a topic of her choice to accompany her April cover for the magazine, she realized there was one thing she hadn't shared yet. Her experience with postpartum depression. 

Postpartum depression, or PPD, affects an estimated 1 in 7 moms. While the symptoms vary from person to person, the mood disorder occurs after childbirth, and is often characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, anger, and even resentment toward the new baby. Despite how common it is, the condition is rarely talked about because of the stigmas associated with mental illness. 

Teigen welcomed her daughter, Luna, to the world last April, with her husband, John Legend. And, for the first time ever, she's opening up about developing depression and anxiety as a result, why she kept it private, and how she's been doing since her diagnosis. 


"I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy," she wrote. "What basically everyone around me — but me — knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression. 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.' During pregnancy, what I thought were casual comments about IVF turned into headlines about me choosing the sex of my daughter. And I can already envision what will be said about me after this admission. But it's such a major part of my life and so, so many other women's lives."

Teigen went on to admit that despite her "wonderful, energetic pregnancy," she's had a difficult time with dealing with average day-to-day tasks since having Luna. She lost her appetite, experienced spontaneous bouts of crying, and felt pain in her back, wrists, and shoulders. She had a hard time mustering up the energy to shower and refused to leave the house unless it was for work. And, when she was at work, Teigen found she was overly irritable and would snap at her co-workers. Overall, she was unhappy, overly exhausted, and just didn't feel like herself. 

"Before, when I entered a room I had a presence: head high, shoulders back, big smile. Suddenly I had become this person whose shoulders would cower underneath her chin. I would keep my hands on my belly and try to make myself as small as possible," she wrote. 

After months of dealing with this, Teigen spoke with her doctor who diagnosed her with postpartum depression and anxiety. Understanding that she had this very common condition allowed her to get on track for the treatment she needed. She went on antidepressants, plans to see a therapist, and has been very vocal about her diagnosis with friends and family. Although she's still struggling, she hopes to raise awareness for others so they can get help, too. 

"Before this, I had never, ever — in my whole entire life — had one person say to me: 'I have postpartum depression,' she wrote. "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. 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." 

"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. But one thing I do know is that — for me — just merely being open about it helps."

Since Glamour published Teigen's essay on their website on March 6, many people have taken to social media to share their appreciation for her openness and her efforts to raise awareness about postpartum depression and anxiety. They've commended her on taking a taboo topic and creating a dialogue surrounding it. 

Celebrities like Teigen have an incredible platform to raise awareness on important issues, such as postpartum depression, that are so common, yet rarely talked about. By showing that someone who seems to "have it all" can also suffer from this condition helps to de-stigmatize mental illness and may cause other people to realize that they've unknowingly been suffering from a treatable condition all along. 

We may not all have a platform as large as Teigen's, but we can all help to raise awareness about issues that are near and dear to us. Do your part by educating yourself, friends, and family about these issues. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing postpartum depression, you can find local support groups and resources by visiting Postpartum Support International's website or calling 1-800-944-4773.


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