Frozen actress Kristen Bell recently wrote an essay opening up about her struggles with depression for TIME Magazine's Motto, an online magazine aimed towards young women.
Kristen makes it clear that struggling with mental illness is not a weakness. The actress thanks her mother for alerting her that if she ever felt down, isolated or lonely, she should always consult a therapist regarding her worries.
Because Bell found that she was unable to open up about her mental health struggles for the first 15 years of her career, she finds that nothing should be considered taboo as nearly 20per cent of American adults face a form of mental illness in their lifetime, and according to Mentalhealth.org.uk, one in four people in England will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
Importantly, she highlights a massive misconception about depression as an illness: '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.'
'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,' she continues.
Bell wants others, like her, to be able to seek help without shame. 'I'm normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself,' she writes, 'we can cast light on a dark situation.'
Read the rest of her honest essay here