Chrissy Teigen is well-known for humorous tweets, joking about her musician husband, John Legend, 38, cooking on Snapchat and her love for her and Legend’s first child, Luna Simone, whom they welcomed last April.
Her struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety was not publicly known until now.
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The 31-year-old model and cookbook author wrote an essay in Glamour magazine about her experience, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says affects one in nine women with varying symptoms.
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“I decided I’d talk about something no one really knows about me, mainly because I just learned about it myself,” Teigen said.
Teigen said she kept her struggle private because of the headlines that follow when she speaks about her life, particularly when it came to her comments during her pregnancy with Luna, 11 months, who was conceived by IVF.
“I hesitated to even talk about this, as everything becomes such a ‘thing.’ … I can already envision what will be said about me after this admission,” she wrote in Glamour. “But it’s such a major part of my life and so, so many other women’s lives. It would feel wrong to write anything else.”
Teigen wrote in the magazine that she initially attributed her stress and sadness to living in a rental home or hotel with a new baby while her home with Legend was undergoing construction. She describes getting short with crew on the set of her show “Lip Sync Battle,” which she co-hosts with LL Cool J.
“Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful,” she wrote. “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 food is for me.
“I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy. I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of the role.”
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Teigen said it got to the point where she stayed on the couch for days at a time when she did not have work or any events scheduled. By December, when she was working on her second cookbook and going through a spell of not having an appetite, the thought of tasting recipes made her physically sick.
Once she got a diagnosis of postpartum depression and anxiety from her doctor, things began to improve and Teigen began working on the stigma she had toward it.
“I started taking an antidepressant, which helped,” she wrote in Glamour. “I still don’t really like to say, ‘I have postpartum depression,’ because the word depression scares a lot of people. I often just call it ‘postpartum.’ Maybe I should say it, though. Maybe it will lessen the stigma a bit.
“I know I might sound like a whiny, entitled girl. Plenty of people around the world in my situation have no help, no family, no access to medical care. I can’t imagine not being able to go to the doctors that I need.
“I’ve never had more respect for mothers, especially mothers with postpartum depression.”
Teigen said she wrote the open letter in the magazine “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.”
Teigen expressed appreciation for her husband for his support and said that despite her battle with postpartum depression, she would like to have more children.
“Postpartum hasn’t changed that,” she told Glamour.