With the constant glitz and glamor of Hollywood splashed across glossy covers on the daily, it's easy to forget that the faces we associate with the epitome of success aren't always at the top of their game. They're human too, just like us. To remind us of that fact, Frozen actress Kristen Bell has opened up about her experience of depression.
Talking "dark clouds" and a drastic change of character, Bell, now 35-years-old, kept quiet about the depression that plagued her during college years.
But now, in a bid to break down taboos and to stress the importance of taking care of your mental health, the star has written a tell-all essay for Motto.
Thanking her mom for being honest and open about depression and seeking help, Bell writes,
"When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty. I didn’t speak publicly about my struggles with mental health for the first 15 years of my career. But now I’m at a point where I don’t believe anything should be taboo. So here I am, talking to you about what I’ve experienced."
"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. 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. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realize that they are not worthless and that they do have something to offer. We all do."
"There is such an extreme stigma about mental health issues, and I can’t make heads or tails of why it exists. Anxiety and depression are impervious to accolades or achievements. Anyone can be affected, despite their level of success or their place on the food chain. In fact, there is a good chance you know someone who is struggling with it, since nearly 20% of American adults face some form of mental illness in their lifetime. So why aren’t we talking about it?"
You can read Kristen Bell's essay in its entirety here.
If you, or someone you know is suffering from depression, Samaritans offer a confidential 24-hour phone service to help those in need. Click here to find out more.
What do you think we should do to banish the taboo surrounding mental health?