The model, author, and Lip Sync Battle presenter Chrissy Teigen has opened up about her struggle with severe and debilitating postnatal depression since the birth of her “perfect” daughter last year.
Teigen has described, in an essay in Glamour magazine and in a series of social-media posts, how she has struggled with crippling anxiety since she and her husband, singer John Legend, welcomed little Luna to the world in April.
On Instagram, Teigen posted a message beginning with the words: “I’ll just say it: I have post partum depression.”
She writes in Glamour—Teigen is this month’s cover star—that she hopes that sharing her experience will encourage other women not to suffer in silence out of shame or embarrassment.
Teigen—who reveals in the piece that her husband was DJ-ing in the delivery room and that their daughter was born to the tune “Superfly”—writes that when she went back to work on the set of Lip Sync Battle things were different: “I didn’t have an appetite. I would go two days without a bite of food... One thing that really got me was just how short I was with people.
“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… My eyes would well up and I would burst into tears.”
Teigen writes that she “couldn’t figure out” why she was so unhappy.
As time went on, Teigen says, she withdrew into a solitary existence.
“When I wasn’t in the studio, I never left the house. 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.
“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.”
Teigen, who experiences pronounced physical pain as part of the illness, was eventually diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety and has seen a marked improvement in her condition since she started taking medication.
“I still don’t really like to say, ‘I have postpartum depression,’ because the word depression scares a lot of people,” she writes, but adds, “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.”