Following a recent interview in which she revealed that she’d been struggling with depression and anxiety for several years, Kristen Bell is continuing to speak on the subject in the hopes of helping others.
Penning an essay for Motto, the 35-year-old actress and mother-of-two detailed her decision to stay silent about her depression, which was due in part to the negativity associated with mental illness in our society.
“I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade,” she said of her time in college. “I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself. 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.”
“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,” the Frozen star continued. “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.”
As far as the stigma surrounding mental health, Bell wants to remind people that depression and anxiety can affect any person, at any time, and there’s absolutely no reason to pass judgement on someone because of it.
“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,” she said. “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.”