In an essay for Glamour magazine, model, author, and TV host Chrissy Teigen shares her recent battle with postpartum depression.
Brave and honest, her words help break down three common myths about postpartum depression and anxiety, which affects up to 1 in 7 women following the birth of a child.
- If you’re suffering from postpartum depression, you know it.
While there is still stigma surrounding postpartum depression, we know enough about it these days to assume that it’s on the radar of many women. This isn’t always the case, though. “What basically everyone around me—but me—knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression,” Teigen writes.
Since her daughter’s birth in April, she’d been irritable and unhappy, often not leaving her couch for days. She also dealt with chronic, unexplained pain. But until a doctor began asking her questions several months later, she didn’t realize she was dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety.
- If you just have enough help, you can avoid postpartum depression.
While being isolated and lacking support can intensify postpartum issues, having resources doesn’t exclude women from having it. “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,” she writes. Like any type of mental illness, postpartum depression is an equal opportunity affliction.
- If you have postpartum depression, you don’t feel amazed by your baby.
While some people with PPD don’t feel connected to their babies, this isn’t universal. “Growing up in the nineties, I associated postpartum depression 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. I looked at Luna every day, amazed by her. So I didn’t think I had it,” Teigen shares. Teigen’s words affirm that postpartum depression is something that happens physiologically, and isn’t necessarily connected to our feelings about our children.
Teigen’s essay ends with a message of hope.
In the months since her diagnosis, her symptoms are easing. “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,” she writes. “Like anyone, with PPD or without, I have really good days and bad days. I will say, though, right now, all of the really bad days—the days that used to be all my days—are gone.”
Author: Lynn Shattuck
Editor: Catherine Monkman