Health

Chrissy Teigen, Postpartum Depression, and Trump

The model has PPD and says she’s lucky to have medical care.

by Susan Rinkunas
Mar 6 2017, 10:49pm

Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images

Chrissy Teigen knows that she appears to have the perfect life: She has a successful modeling career, a second cookbook deal, and an adorable daughter with her talented husband, singer John Legend. So when Teigen started feeling seriously unhappy after giving birth to Luna in April 2016, she didn't know what was wrong. As she writes in a new essay for Glamour, she had postpartum depression or PPD.

Teigen went back to work as the host of Lip Sync Battle when Luna was four months old, and while the show was extremely supportive and she loved her baby, she struggled to get out of bed, was in constant pain, and had lost her appetite. She wouldn't leave the house unless she had to for work, and she was sleeping on the couch, crying a lot, and being short with her friends and coworkers. Her mom lives with the couple and they have a nanny to help out, too, and Teigen said she felt "selfish, icky, and weird" admitting that she was struggling.

After months of struggling (and seeing other doctors for certain symptoms), Teigen went to her primary care doctor in December, who diagnosed her with PPD and anxiety and she started taking an antidepressant. She writes that she's talking about her experience publicly "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." But Teigen also used her essay to highlight another facet of PPD that worries her—the fate of women's healthcare under President Trump. She wrote:

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. It's hurtful to me to know that we have a president who wants to rip health care away from women.

While Republicans' plans to repeal and replace Obamacare are not finalized, leaked drafts suggest that millions of people who currently qualify for Medicaid will no longer be eligible by 2020. Plus, insurers might no longer be required to cover certain services that are now considered "essential," including maternity care and mental health treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that about one in nine women experiences PPD and experts say women who suspect they have it should see their doctor as soon as possible and not wait until their postpartum appointment. PPD can get worse the longer it goes untreated and some moms may be suicidal. If someone like Teigen—who admits she has all the help she could need—was in such a dark place for so long, it stands to reason that women of lesser means might not get care for even longer due to factors like a lack of support or inadequate childcare. And it's just another example of what's at stake in taking away people's healthcare.

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