Chrissy Teigen responds to people who say she 'never looked or acted as if she was genuinely suffering' from depression

Chrissy Teigen has been extremely candid about her recent health struggles, and unfortunately, she’s facing criticism for it. The supermodel wrote a tweet on Monday night with the simple message, “I dunno how you can be this mean” next to snapshots of the jabs people have taken at her on social media.

Model Chrissy Teigen has been candid about her struggle with health issues from postpartum depression to drinking too much. (Photo: Getty Images)
Model Chrissy Teigen has been candid about her struggle with health issues from postpartum depression to drinking too much. (Photo: Getty Images)

In some of the comments, people reference Teigen’s recent revelation that she’s sworn off alcohol after saying that she has difficulty controlling how much she drinks, as well as taking a stab at her history with postpartum depression. Teigen was specifically called out for being “melodramatic” about her health issues, and a commenter said that she has “never looked or acted as if she was genuinely suffering” with depression.

Teigen recently revealed to Cosmopolitan that she has difficulty controlling how much alcohol she drinks. “I was, point blank, just drinking too much,” the supermodel said. “I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected. And that feeling, there’s just nothing like that. You feel horrible.”

She also opened up in March about her battle with postpartum depression, saying in an essay for Glamour that she “couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy” after having her daughter Luna. “Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed,” she wrote. “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. There was a lot of spontaneous crying.”

It’s a common misconception that people suffering from depression look or act a certain way, but it’s just that — a misconception, Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist Jessica Zucker tells Yahoo Beauty. Postpartum depression in particular “has a variety of faces and can express itself through anger, having the inability to tolerate emotion — a whole range of things,” Zucker says. “These people are just being cruel.”

Unfortunately, these kinds of comments are not surprising, clinical psychologist John Mayer, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Beauty. “There is no typical way depression looks,” he says. Rather, people suffering from depression have root characteristics like sadness, weepiness, feelings of hopeless, and low motivation. Depression also affects people differently, he says, and people cope with the condition in different ways.

Appearance isn’t even part of the diagnostic criteria for depression, unless you count sudden weight gain or loss (which doesn’t happen to all sufferers), Simon Rego, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, tells Yahoo Beauty. “The sad truth is that mental health disorders often have no visible signs of what someone is experiencing in their mental health,” he says.

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for adults aged 15 to 44, according to data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and about one in nine women is affected by postpartum depression, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also an equal-opportunity illness. “It can affect anybody,” Rego says. “It doesn’t select by age, intelligence, or socioeconomic status — it impacts everyone.”

It’s easy to dismiss the comments that Teigen received as mean words from internet trolls, but statements like those can make an impact on people suffering from depression, Zucker notes. Depression and postpartum depression in particular are often stigmatized, she points out, and comments like these don’t help — and they may even discourage someone who is suffering from seeking treatment.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or postpartum depression, it’s important to seek help. “The sooner you get help, the sooner you get better, and the sooner things turn around,” Zucker says.

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