Model, writer, and overall Hollywood sweetheart Chrissy Teigen, 31, recently opened up about her trouble with postpartum depression (PPD) in the most recent issue of Glamour Magazine. The condition affects about one in nine women who recently give birth, but is often hard to diagnose. Medical Daily recently spoke with Dr. Lindsay Henderson, a psychologist who treats patients virtually via telehealth tool LiveHealth Online, to better understand the symptoms of this condition, and what women can do to heal.
The model explained that she is now coping with her condition with the help of medication and therapy, but admitted to not always feeling as great as she does now.
“I’m over a month into taking my antidepressant, and I just got the name of a therapist who I am planning to start seeing. Let’s be honest though — I probably needed therapy way before Luna!" she wrote in Glamour, ABC News reported. "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."
Teigen and husband, singer John Legend, welcomed their daughter Luna last April, and Teigen explained that it wasn’t long after giving birth that she began to experience some of the symptoms of PPD. It took Teigen months of struggling alone with PPD before she spoke to her doctor about her symptoms and finally received the help she needed. According to her article, Teigen chose to speak out about her ordeal with PPD because she wants to help other women, and let them know they are not alone. However, the first step to treating your PPD is recognizing the symptoms.
In a recent email to Medical Daily, Dr. Henderson explained that, while PPD can be confused with the “baby blues,” the symptoms of PPD are more intense and last longer. Although symptoms can vary from patient to patient, according to Henderson, many women experience:
- Lasting sadness, anxious, or “empty mood”
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability or restlessness
- Loss of interests in hobbies and activities
- Loss of energy
- Problems concentrating, recalling details, and making decisions
- Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains that do not get better with treatment
“Postpartum depression isn’t a character flaw or a weakness,” wrote Henderson. “Sometimes it’s simply a complication of birth...it can happen to anyone.”
Thankfully, there are many options available for women experiencing PPD. Henderson suggests that if your symptoms do not fade after two weeks following birth, or they begin to make it hard to take care of your baby or complete daily tasks, then it may be time to see a doctor. Depending on what you and your doctor discuss, treatment options range from taking medications such as antidepressants, to seeking therapy and support groups.
“Sometimes, there is no better source of support than someone who is going through the exact same thing as you are,” added Henderson.