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Chrissy Teigen Writes About One of the Most Confusing Parts of Depression

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Chrissy Teigen is known for her honesty and frankness, and her latest feature in Glamour – a personally penned essay – is no exception. The model and new mom shared with the magazine how life has changed since the birth of her and husband John Legend’s daughter, Luna – noting her recent diagnosis of postpartum depression and anxiety.

“Let me start here: To a lot of you, I think, I seem like the happiest person on the planet,” Teigen began, detailing her recent successes and loving relationship. “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.”

Approximately one in nine women will experience postpartum depression, depression following the birth of a child, in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While Teigen was familiar with postpartum depression, she associated it with “with people who didn’t like their babies or felt like they had to harm their children.” “I didn’t have anything remotely close to those feelings,” Teigen explained. “I looked at Luna every day, amazed by her. So I didn’t think I had it.”

In addition to living with the mental aspects of postpartum depression, Teigen describes how living with depression and anxiety physically changed her. “Before, when I entered a room I had a presence: head high, shoulders back, big smile,” she 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.”

Teigen describes months of physical pain, not being able to move from the couch, bone and joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea and other symptoms which made her think she had rheumatoid arthritis – bouncing her around from doctor to doctor. “I wondered: Am I making this all up? Is this pain even real anymore?” Teigen writes. Eventually, Teigen’s primary care doctor diagnosed her with postpartum depression and anxiety.

Having a diagnosis and treatment plan has helped Teigen begin her journey to recovery. “I am a much different human than I was even just in December,” she writes. “I’m over a month into taking my antidepressant, and I just got the name of a therapist who I am planning to start seeing. Let’s be honest though—I probably needed therapy way before Luna!”

While Teigen knows that being a celebrity affords her more privilege than others, she hopes her open letter will help others open up about their mental health. “I know I might sound like a whiny, entitled girl. Plenty of people around the world in my situation have no help, no family, no access to medical care. I can’t imagine not being able to go to the doctors that I need,” she noted. “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.”

You can read Teigen’s full letter on Glamour’s website. 

Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television Group

Image via Creative Commons/Mike Cucinotta

Originally published: March 6, 2017
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