If you need proof that not everything is always what it seems on social media, then look no further than Chrissy Teigen. Our go-to gal for saying things how they are, sharing her, often hilarious, accounts of parenthood and sticking it to the haters. And that’s before we even get to the cute snaps she posts of baby daughter, Luna. So when she’s seemingly loving life and motherhood, it’s a bit of a surprise that the new mum has actually been suffering from post natal depression.
In a refreshingly honest personal essay for Glamour magazine for their March cover interview, the model and presenter opens up about how life wasn’t quite how she pictured it would be after she and her husband, John Legend, welcomed Luna into the world 11 months ago.
“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 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,” she wrote.
At first Chrissy put it down to the fact their house was under construction so she didn’t feel settled at home, but when she returned to work on Lip Sync Battle she realised that something wasn’t right. And despite having hugely supportive co-workers, she still felt low.
“Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful,” she continued. “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. [But the] 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.”
But Chrissy couldn’t work out why she was feeling so unhappy.
“I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of the [Lip Sync Battle] role,” she said.
“‘Maybe I’m just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mum’.”
And things were just as tricky when she was at home.
“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.”
Eventually the 31-year-old reached out to her doctor, who diagnosed her physical and emotional symptoms as postnatal depression and anxiety.
“Postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up,” she said.
“I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do.”
Chrissy went on to say that she hopes that by opening up about her struggles other mums who are going through something similar will feel less isolated and encourage them to seek the help they need.
“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 wrote.
“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.”
What do you think of Chrissy’s essay? Let us know and share your own experiences of post natal depression @YahooStyleUK