Chrissy Teigen says postpartum depression was 'sad existence'

"There were no highs," Teigen said. "It was a flatline of life for a few months."
Image: Chrissy Teigen on the TODAY show, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
Chrissy Teigen on "Today" on Feb. 19, 2020.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

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By Gwen Aviles

Chrissy Teigen opened up about struggling with her mental health, including experiencing anxiety and postpartum depression after having her first child, in a recent interview.

The model and television personality told Glamour in an interview published Thursday that she had been experiencing anxiety since she was a teenager, but had originally chalked it up to "normal twenty-something anxiety." It wasn't until approximately three months after she gave birth to her daughter, Luna, in 2016 that "something was going on."

“It was a sad existence. There were no highs. It was a flatline of life for a few months," Teigen said. "You hear these horrific stories of people not seeing their child as theirs, or wanting to hurt them, and I never felt that way. That’s why I put off getting it checked as I hated myself, not my child."

She was instructed she had postpartum depression, a diagnosis she says she was surprised by since she had grappled with fertility problems before being able to conceive via IVF.

"I didn’t know it could sneak up so late or that it could happen to someone like me, where I have all the resources," Teigen recalled. "I had nannies and my mom living with us.”

Teigen, who is married to musician John Legend, said she lost all the weight she had gained during her pregnancy within a month because of her post-natal depression, yet having a diagnosis brought her relief when she gave birth to her second child, Miles, in 2018.

"It made it so much easier just knowing we would spot it immediately if it did happen again,” Teigen said.

Still, she struggled with the stigma of grappling with such depression, worrying that people would think she would "jump off a roof with her kid."

Teigen has discussed her struggles with mental health previously in a 2017 essay with Glamour in an attempt to address the misconceptions surrounding postpartum depression.

"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."

According to the American Psychological Association, it's common for women to experience the "baby blues," which involves feeling sad or stressed after giving birth. However, 1 in 7 women experience a more serious mood disorder called postpartum depression, which unlike the baby blues, does not go away on its own. Postpartum depression can affect any woman, regardless of demographic background, however, previously experiencing a mood disorder puts women at a greater risk of the disorder. Compared to the baby blues or postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis — which may involve delusions or hallucinations — is "extremely rare," says the APA.