Earlier this year, Kristen Bell opened up about her anxiety and depression for the first time, explaining that she had battled with mental illness since she was a teenager.
Now, the 35-year-old actress has penned an essay for Motto, where she discusses her ordeal and the social stigma surrounding mental illness.
On Tuesday, the star wrote “When I was 18, my mom sat me down and said, ‘If there ever comes a time where you feel like a dark cloud is following you, you can get help. You can talk to me, talk to a therapist, talk to doctor. I want you to know that there are options.’”
Bell explained that she was grateful for her mother’s support, as it allowed her to understand what she was dealing with as she grew older.
“I’m so thankful for her openness on this predominantly silent subject because later, when I was in college, that time did come. I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade.”
“There was no logical reason for me to feel this way. I was at New York University, I was paying my bills on time, I had friends and ambition—but for some reason, there was something intangible dragging me down.”
The Frozen star also spoke about the stigma surrounding mental illness.
"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."
"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."
"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"
"It’s a knee-jerk reaction to judge people when they’re vulnerable. But there’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness. You’re just having a harder time living in your brain than other people. And I don’t want you to feel alone."
"Depression is a problem that actually has so many solutions. Let’s work together to find those solutions for each other and cast some light on a dark situation."
We think it's amazing that the star is lending her voice and personal experience to such a serious issue. We love you Kristen!!