Chrissy Teigen might seem like she lives the perfect life, but in an open letter, the 31-year-old revealed for the very first time that she has been battling postpartum depression.
“For much of the last year, I felt unhappy,” she wrote in her essay for Glamour‘s April cover story. “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.’”
Teigen welcomed her first child, Luna, with husband John Legend last April. Since then, she has been open and honest about the realities of motherhood – from wearing adult diapers to dealing with mommy shamers – but not once has she ever mentioned her struggle with postpartum depression.
In her open letter, Teigen explained that she realized something was off when she returned to work as co-host on “Lip Sync Battle.”
“Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful. My lower back throbbed; my shoulders — even my wrists — hurt,” she explained. “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 is.”
She also noticed she was more short-tempered. “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,” she recalled.
“I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy. I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of the role: ‘Maybe I’m just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mom.’”
In addition to having struggles at work, Teigen revealed she also had difficulty leaving the house.
“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,” she explained. “John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. 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.”
Before the holidays, the model consulted a doctor and was finally diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. She began taking antidepressants in hopes of getting better and started sharing news of her mental illness with family and friends.
Now almost a year after giving birth, Teigen has bravely opened up about her struggles so that those who also have postpartum depression know that they are not alone, and that mental illness can “happen to anyone.”
“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,” she wrote.
“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. This has become my open letter.”
Despite battling postpartum depression, Teigen and her hubby still plan to expand their family.
“I love John and Luna more than I can imagine loving anything, and John and I still hope to give Luna a few siblings,” she wrote. “Postpartum hasn’t changed that.”
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