'I couldn't control it - it could happen to anybody'
Chrissy Teigen has spoken out about her battle with post-natal depression – saying that she ‘couldn’t control it’ and that ‘it could happen to anybody’.
The TV star and model and her husband John Legend had their daughter Luna last year, but in an open letter essay for Glamour, she revealed her struggles with post partum depression – to help raise awareness and help other new mothers going through the same.
She began: “A year ago, in April, John and I started our family together. We had our daughter, Luna, who is perfect. She is somehow exactly me, exactly John, and exactly herself. I adore her.
“I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy. 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.”
Teigen continued: “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. It would feel wrong to write anything else. So here goes.”
Speaking of her lowest points, she said: “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 any more. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mom’.”
Despite being outspoken online and in social media, Teigen said that she felt “selfish, icky and weird” to be open about her depression – but through speaking about it, seeking help and through the help of those close to her, she’s now on the path to recovery.
“I also just didn’t think it could happen to me,” she said. “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.”
She continued: “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.”
Admitting that she still suffers from anxiety, she signed off: “I’m grateful for the people around me. John has been incredible over the last nine months, bringing me my medicine and watching horrible reality TV with me. He is not the goofiest guy, but he has gone out of his way to indulge my sense of humor. When I was having a good day, he would go to Medieval Times with me and put on the crazy period hat! He sees how much my eyes light up when he does that stuff, and he knows that’s what I need. I know he must look over at times and think: My God, get it together. But he has never made me feel that way. He wants me to be happy, silly, and energetic again, but he’s not making me feel bad when I’m not in that place. I love John and Luna more than I can imagine loving anything, and John and I still hope to give Luna a few siblings. Postpartum hasn’t changed that.
“More than anything, I always want to have enough energy for Luna—to run up the stairs with her, to have tea parties with her. As she gets older, she’s becoming more and more fun. Her eyes are getting so wide, and I want to be there for those wide eyes. And I will be.”
Read her full essay here.