The week of June 4 has been a sad one with the loss of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, reportedly by suicide. As a result of their deaths, many are opening up about their own experiences with their mental health and depression. For example, Chrissy Teigen commented on her experience with postpartum depression while noting how simply sharing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number isn't enough.
Teigen has been open about suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth to her first child, Luna. She first announced her battle with depression in a March 2017 essay the Cravings author wrote for Glamour. The 32-year-old knows what it's like to fall into a deep depression and be unhappy with herself, but also not realize that she needed help. That particular realization is something she touched upon on Twitter Friday after Bourdain's death was announced.
In my deepest, darkest post-partum depression, I would have personally never called a phone number. If John or my doctor never reached out, I would have never even known. It really can be a lonely hole. Watch the people you love and don’t be afraid to speak up.
Teigen quickly added,
(Obviously not everyone is me and the hotline is incredibly important)
As she noted, the hotline (further details on that below) is extremely pertinent. It's a lifeline for anyone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts or someone who knows an individual who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. It's needed, but, it's still important for family and friends to be present in their loved ones' lives and pay attention. Sometimes a person dealing with mental health issues doesn't even realize they need help, but if someone close to them notices warning signs, they could be a life saver.
As Nicole Silverberg, a writer for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, shared Friday on Twitter, "I understand the impulse to say 'if you’re struggling, ask for help' but that can feel impossible & put even more pressure on people who are considering suicide. Instead, everyone should know to look for warning signs in their loved ones and know how to act." She then went onto share a screenshot of warning signs listed by the Mayo Clinic.
Another Twitter user responded to Teigen's tweets by writing, "The problem with the hotline is you have to want help and/or know that you need help, but depression takes that away from you so watching those close to you and reaching out to them is vitally important."
And that's the overall point Teigen is trying to make, she got the help she needed because of her husband, John Legend, and her doctor, who noticed she wasn't her typical self. If it weren't for them, she might still be suffering or something worse could've happened.
Teigen's postpartum depression battle wasn't easy. In response to a Twitter user sharing about her own battle with postpartum depression, Teigen posted Friday, "I just always thought PPD was the feeling of wanting to harm your children, and I never ever thought that way. Big cases like Susan Smith made it seem like THAT was PPD. I was just so deeply sad with myself and feeling worthless and useless and helpless."
Thankfully, Legend and Teigen's doctor were paying attention to her. In February, during a Create & Cultivate event in Los Angeles, Teigen opened up even more about how vital it is for people to speak up if they think a loved one is suffering.
"I didn't know I had it, I just had Luna, I knew I had an incredible life, incredible husband and family, and all the resources necessary," she said. "I knew that I was personally unhappy, but I didn't know there was anything wrong with it. I thought that was the way it goes, you have a kid and you lose those endorphins. I do wish more people had spoken up around me, and that's something I encourage."
Teigen's openness about depression is what there needs to be more of. She's helping break down the mental health stigma. It's OK if you have mental health issues. It's OK to talk about it. People talking as candidly and as honestly as Teigen just may end up helping others in the long run. The point is to be aware of those in your life and if you realize they need help, do your best to help them.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. For international resources, here is a good place to begin.