Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About ‘Painful’ Battle with Postpartum Depression: ‘I Couldn’t Figure Out Why I Was So Unhappy’

In an effort to encourage an open dialogue about postpartum depression, Chrissy Teigen has written a candid essay for Glamour magazine about her debilitating battle with the clinical depression that affects an estimated one in seven new mothers.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover alum, 31, gave birth to daughter Luna last April. When she returned to work at Lip Sync Battle after maternity leave, however, Teigen writes something was off.

“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. I would go two days without a bite of food, and you know how big of a deal food is for me,” she says.

The celebrity foodie and quick-witted Tweeter also found she was inexplicably more moody and emotional after childbirth.

“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. Or ‘Chrissy, do you like these cat ears, or these panda hands?’ And I’d be like: ‘Whatever you want. I don’t care.’ They would leave. My eyes would well up, and I would burst into tears. My makeup artist would pat them dry and give me a few minutes,” Teigen adds.

“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.'”

And when she didn’t have to work, Teigen isolated herself at home for days on end.

“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,” she says.

“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. John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. I started keeping robes and comfy clothes in the pantry so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs when John went to work. There was a lot of spontaneous crying.”

A visit to the doctor revealed that her lethargy was, in fact, more than “just not being a goofy person anymore.”

“Before the holidays I went to my GP for a physical,” Teigen writes.  “John sat next to me. I looked at my doctor, and my eyes welled up because I was so tired of being in pain. Of sleeping on the couch. Of waking up throughout the night. Of throwing up. Of taking things out on the wrong people. Of not enjoying life. Of not seeing my friends. Of not having the energy to take my baby for a stroll,” she says.

“My doctor pulled out a book and started listing symptoms. And I was like, ‘Yep, yep, yep.’ I got my diagnosis: postpartum depression and anxiety. (The anxiety explains some of my physical symptoms.)”

While crediting husband John Legend with being “compassionate, patient, loving, and understanding” throughout her struggle, Teigen also admits she was hesitant to open up about her secret.

“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,” says Teigen, who is opening up about her postpartum today in hopes that it will help others.

“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,’ she says. “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.”

Despite Teigen’s battle with postpartum depression, she says the experience hasn’t deterred her desire to expand her family.

“I love John and Luna more than I can imagine loving anything, and John and I still hope to give Luna a few siblings,” she says. “Postpartum hasn’t changed that.”

Headed to Beauty and the Beast! @laurapolko @allanface @monicarosestyle ❤

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For more about the symptoms and treatments for postpartum depression, check out WebMD or see your doctor immediately. You are not alone.

Candy Kirby

Candy is the founder of The Mom Beat and a humor columnist whose work as appeared in Redbook, Nickelodeon's NickMom, Disney's BabyZone, HelloGiggles and eHow. She also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation.