Long before celebrities like Kristen Bell and Demi Lovato spoke out against the stigma of having a mental illness, actress Winona Ryder was the original unofficial spokesperson for addressing mental health in Hollywood.
In a recent interview with The Cut, Ryder reflected on her personal struggles with depression and her public perception. She revealed her history of mental illness during a televised 1999 interview with Diane Sawyer.
"I remember I did Diane Sawyer, and I talked about my experiences with anxiety and depression when I was that age," Ryder told The Cut. "And I think by doing that, maybe coupled with my physical size, there's this 'crazy' thing."
17 years later, Ryder believes that people with depression —and women in particular — are still facing the same stigma.
"I'm so sick of people shaming women for being sensitive or vulnerable," she told The Cut. "It's so bizarre to me."
The stigma surrounding depression is still very real, and it often prevents mental health patients from seeking medical treatment. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, about twice as many women than men will experience depression, which means that the stigma disproportionately affects women as well.
"I don't regret opening up about what I went through [with depression], because, it sounds really cliché, but I have had women come up to me and say, 'It meant so much to me,'" Ryder told The Cut. "It means so much when you realize that someone was having a really hard time and feeling shame and was trying to hide this whole thing."
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