Chrissy Teigen Details Postpartum Depression Struggle

By Maggie Ethridge 05/08/19

"I thought it was very natural to be in this low, low point and I just assumed that was motherhood and there was no other way around it."

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Chrissy Teigen

May is Women’s Health Month, and model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen used her platform to speak to The Today Show about her past struggle with postpartum depression.

Now the mother of two, Teigen experienced an intense change in personality and mood after the birth of her baby girl, Luna.

"Since it happened with Luna, it happened with my first one, I just didn't know that there was any other way to feel," Teigen said according to USA Today. "I thought it was very natural to be in this low, low point and I just assumed that was motherhood and there was no other way around it."

Though she was feeling exhausted, it was her low self-esteem, negative thoughts and general feeling of sadness that concerned her husband, musician John Legend, and her doctor. It was only when they pointed out those behavioral changes that Teigen realized something was wrong.

Women can start having hormonal-based blues as early as during a pregnancy, and some women even turn to self-medicating while pregnant to relieve the depression or anxiety they experience.

The American Psychiatric Association says that while “baby blues” are normal (up to 70% of new mothers experience this temporary change in mood) and include irritability, crying, and exhaustion for a few weeks, postpartum depression requires treatment and support.

Symptoms of postpartum depression include extreme fatigue, enduring hopeless or helpless emotions, difficulty concentrating and confusion, crying without reason, lack of bonding or interest in the baby, or severe anxiety around the baby, lack of emotion, feelings of worthlessness around mothering, or fear of harming self or baby.

Women experiencing these ongoing symptoms can report them to the baby’s pediatrician or their own doctor and ask for assistance. Options for recovery include certain medications, group or individual therapy, and a secure support network.

"I didn't really realize it until I'd written an article with Glamour Magazine and spoken out about it how many women are going through this," Teigen said. "I think more than anything I've ever done, more women on the street come up to me and talk about that article than anything else."

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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