One in nine women suffers from postpartum depression, according to the CDC, and Chrissy Teigen wants the world to know she’s one of them.
Teigen opened up about her diagnosis in an essay for Glamour. She gave birth to her daughter Luna last April, and despite her infamously open social media persona, she kept her postpartum depression private until now. In fact, Teigen wasn’t diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety until December even though her self-described “wonderful, energetic pregnancy” with Luna gave way to unrelenting physical and emotional pain after birth.
“Before, when I entered a room I had a presence: head high, shoulders back, big smile,” Teigen writes. “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.”
Normally a friendly and outgoing person, Teigen was short with those around her and rarely had the energy to get off the couch, let alone leave her home. “I also just didn’t think it could happen to me,” she writes. “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.”
Thankfully Teigen is now getting the help she needs. She’s taking an antidepressant, which she says is helping, and will start seeing a therapist soon. And she shares that husband John Legend has been nothing but supportive. Finally, she’s no longer keeping her diagnosis a secret. “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,” she writes. “It got easier and easier to say it aloud every time. (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.)”
Too many women suffer from postpartum depression in silence. Hopefully, as women like Teigen continue to come forward, that silence will shift to conversation.
Read Teigen’s full essay on Glamour.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com