Opening up about having a mental illness can be difficult —but it can make a world of difference. Actress Kristen Bell broke her silence regarding her anxiety and depression in a recent interview. By speaking out, the 35-year-old Frozen star joined other celebrities with mental illnesses who have also shared their personal stories.
This week, Bell addressed her mental health again in a personal essay for Motto to prove that "there's nothing weak about struggling with mental illness."
In the powerful essay, Bell describes how she managed depression as a college student after her mother encouraged her to speak to a medical professional. It can be difficult for a young person to reach out to a doctor about their mental illness — let alone speak to their own parents about it.
"For me, depression is not sadness," Bell wrote. "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."
As Bell pointed out in the essay, speaking to a doctor about mental health care should be as simple as speaking to a doctor about having the sniffles.
While medication is available to mental health patients, there are other types of treatments that can also help. Therapy, rehabilitation and group support are among the other options available to patients.
But as Bell described, speaking about your mental health is the gateway to finding an effective treatment.
"Talking about how you're feeling is the first step to helping yourself," she wrote. "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."
Cover image via Ga Fullner / Shutterstock.com.