Postpartum depression affects many new moms. Chrissy Teigen is one of them.
'My eyes welled up because I was so tired of being in pain.'
From scanning her hilarious, candid, glamorous Instagram profile, Chrissy Teigen's life looks picture-perfect.
But looks can be deceiving.
"I had everything I needed to be happy," the entrepreneur, model, and cookbook author wrote in a powerful new essay for Glamour. "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?"
In her essay, Teigen opens up about the ways she experienced postpartum depression after giving birth to her daughter, Luna, in April 2016.
She experienced physical pain:
"Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful. My lower back throbbed; my shoulders — even my wrists — hurt. I didn’t have an appetite."
She didn't feel like working or hanging out with friends:
"When I wasn’t in the studio, I never left the house. I mean, never. Not even a tiptoe outside. ... 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 felt like she was losing what made her, her:
"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.'"
During a routine physical in December 2016, Teigen finally broke down in front of her doctor: "My eyes welled up because I was so tired of being in pain."
After discussing her symptoms, her physician diagnosed Teigen with postpartum depression and anxiety (her anxiety, according to Teigen, explained some of the physical ailments she was dealing with).
"I know I might sound like a whiny, entitled girl," wrote Teigen, who's the first to admit she couldn't possibly have the life and career she has without a lot of help from others. "Plenty of people around the world in my situation have no help, no family, no access to medical care."
She wants others who may be suffering to understand that plenty of people are in the same boat.
Postpartum depression isn't rare: 1 in 9 women experience it, according to CDC estimates.
That's likely an underestimation, seeing as the CDC doesn't take into consideration those who miscarry or have stillborns; those women can have postpartum depression too.
What's more, postpartum depression remains widely untreated, as just 15% of those living with the condition receive professional help. As Postpartum Progress notes, not enough doctors screen women for postpartum depression, and stigma surrounding mental illness discourages many woman from reaching out for help.
Teigen wants to shift the status quo.
"I’m speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody," she wrote. "And I don’t want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone."
To learn more about postpartum depression and access help, visit Postpartum Progress.