Just because she's smiling doesn't mean she's happy.
Chrissy Teigen covers the April issue of Glamour, and inside she makes a candid admission in her essay: she suffers from postpartum depression. Yes, the same star who always smiles, gushes about her daughter Luna and life with John Legend, admits that on the inside she was struggling. At first, the Sports Illustrated model chalked her unhappiness to living in a hotel while her home was being renovated, but even after she moved into their family home, something still wasn't right.
"But I was different than before. 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," she writes. "I would go two days without a bite of food, and you know how big of a deal food is for me. One thing that really got me was just how short I was with people.
The happy-go-lucky Lip Sync Battle star started to snap at everyone, even those she was closest to, and she'd end up in tears. "I couldn't figure out why I was so unhappy," she continues.
"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.'"
Eventually, she just stopped leaving the house, writing, "Not even a tiptoe outside...I had every shade closed." The 31-year-old model "couldn't muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed," she adds.
"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," she confesses. "There was a lot of spontaneous crying."
In addition to her overwhelming sadness, Teigen started to be in incredible amounts of pain. She went to doctors who speculated rheumatoid arthritis or a kindey infection. Finally, her general practictioner realized what was wrong.
"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 writes.
"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.)"
Finally having an explanation, Teigen started telling the truth to people who needed and wanted to know what was going on with her. She also started taking an antidepressant, "which helped," she says.
"I felt like everyone deserved an explanation, and I didn't know how else to say it other than the only way I know: just saying it," she explains. "It got easier and easier to say it aloud every time. (I still don't really like to say, 'I have postpartum depression,' because the word depression scares a lot of people. I often just call it 'postpartum.' Maybe I should say it, though. Maybe it will lessen the stigma a bit.)"
What surprised Teigen the most, however, was that with all the help she is lucky to have, she still became a statistic.
"I also just didn't think it could happen to me. 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. Sometimes I still do," she writes.
"I know I might sound like a whiny, entitled girl. Plenty of people around the world in my situation have no help, no family, no access to medical care. I can't imagine not being able to go to the doctors that I need...I look around every day and I don't know how people do it. I've never had more respect for mothers, especially mothers with postpartum depression."
Now that she is receiving treatment, Teigen is on the mend, but there are days when it's still tough. "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," she writes.
"There are weeks when I still don't leave the house for days; then I'm randomly at the Super Bowl or Grammys. (This is cringeworthily unrelatable, and I am very aware of that—it's giving me anxiety.)," she continues. "Physically, I still don't have energy for a lot of things, but a lot of new moms deal with this. Just crawling around with Luna can be hard. My back pain has gotten better, but my hands and wrists still hurt. And it can still be tough for me to stomach food some days. But I'm dealing."