Kristen Bell Shares Struggles With Depression and Anxiety

Kristen Bell has once again spoken candidly about her struggles with anxiety and depression in an effort to diminish the taboo and encourage others to seek help.

The star has joined the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign, a celebrity-driven initiative to educate people about mental health issues and mental illness.

In a new video she recorded for the nonprofit organization, Kristen shares the words of wisdom she’d like to bestow upon her younger self, all the while reminding viewers that everyone has problems and help is available.

I have suffered from anxiety and/or depression since I was 18,‘ the star began the short clip.

What I would say to my younger self is: Don’t be fooled by this game of perfection that humans play because Instagram and magazines and TV shows. They strive for a certain aesthetic and everything looks so beautiful and people seem like they don’t have any problems.

But everyone’s human. Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes.’

And you deserve to feel just as beautiful on the days you wear no makeup and the days you don’t shower and the days you feel like you’re depressed. And you have an obligation to take care of yourself from the inside out, because that’s how you can truly feel beautiful.

She notes that there are resources for people struggling with depression, including doctors who can offer real solutions.

You are not alone. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about who you are. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed,’ she went on.’

There are plenty of things to feel embarrassed or ashamed about — if you forget your mom’s birthday, feel embarrassed about that. If you are prone to gossiping, feel ashamed about that. ‘

But never feel embarrassed or ashamed about the uniqueness that is you, because there are people out there to help. And we are all just human,‘ she concluded.

Both the Child Mind Institute and Kristen have shared part of the clip on social media, with the star adding a caption to say how ‘grateful’ she is to be working with the organization.

Kristen is just one of several celebrities to join the #MyYoungerSelf campaign and speak on camera about experiences of growing up with a mental health or learning disorder.

This is hardly the first time that Kristen has openly discussed her mental health and history of depression, either, as the star has made a point to speak out to destigmatize mental health issues.

In May of 2016, she wrote an essay for Time magazine in which she explained why she was ‘over staying silent‘ about depression, opening up about her first experience with depression in college at New York University.

I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade. I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself,‘ she wrote.

Though she kept quiet about her struggles for the first 15 years of her career, she is now fighting the taboo against them and talking about it.

Here’s the thing: For me, depression is not sadness. It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness,‘ she explained. ‘Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure.’

There is such an extreme stigma about mental health issues, and I can’t make heads or tails of why it exists,’ she went on. ‘Anyone can be affected, despite their level of success or their place on the food chain.’

There’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness. You’re just having a harder time living in your brain than other people,‘ she added.

The star also has a family history of anxiety and depression, which both her mother and grandmother struggled with. In fact, her grandma was subjected to electroshock therapy.

Speaking to interviewer Sam Jones for the series Off Camera, she explained that no one should take her happy-go-lucky demeanor to mean she doesn’t have problems.

I present this very cheery, bubbly person, but I also do a lot of work. I do a lot of introspective work and I check in with myself when I need to exercise and I got on a prescription when I was very young to deal with my anxiety and depression and I still take it today,’ she said. ‘I have no shame in that.

She added: ‘I shatter a little bit when I think people don’t like me. It really hurts my feelings when I’m not liked. And I know that’s not very healthy and I fight it all the time.

Discussing the unfairness in how mental illness is regarded, she went on: ‘You would never deny a diabetic his insulin ever but for some reason when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy or something. It’s a very interesting double standard.

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