There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating mental illness. Take it from actress Kristen Bell, who continues to be a staunch advocate for frank conversations about mental health.
In a recent interview with People, The Good Place alum opened about her choice to partner with Hers, a telehealth company, as a celebrity ambassador. These days, Bell is not shy about discussing her struggles with anxiety and depression, lamictal and atypical depression but that was not always the case, she explained: “I recognized that my picture publicly was this sort of bubbly actress that probably didn’t have any dark days.”
Now, the 42-year-old actress has made speaking out about her journey her “highest priority” because it is more authentic. As a public figure, her candor can also help combat the stigmas surrounding mental illness, which still are incredibly pervasive.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness. Sadly, only about half (46.2 percent) of those adults with mental illness actually received proper treatment in 2020.
“It’s because ‘I’m feeling sad’ is something you say to someone behind closed doors,” Bell told the magazine. “And I don’t think that’s normal. People need to know there is comfort and resources around them in all shapes and sizes.”
Some of those resources include talk therapy and antidepressants, both of which have been hugely beneficial for Bell in her own mental health journey. Although about 1 in every 6 U.S. adults take antidepressants or other psychiatric medications, this treatment option is also shrouded in stigma.
Bell had the perfect response to that: “My mom said to me in my early 20s, ‘Don’t ever feel shame in taking an antidepressant because would you ever shame someone who has diabetes for taking their insulin? No, your body needs it,‘” the actress recalled.
“Everybody’s mental health journey, wellness journey is so individual,” she continued. “There are people with anxiety and depression that don’t need medication, there are people that do, but the tools are out there.”
This is not the first time Bell has spoken out about battling anxiety and depression. Back in 2019, she told TODAY she regretted not opening up sooner. In fact, it was her husband, Dax Shepard, who inspired her to speak publicly. The fellow actor had previously battled drug addiction.
“He was like, ‘Why don’t you talk about your anxiety and depression?’ And I had never thought about that before,” she said. “And I immediately felt incredibly irresponsible.”
Bell joins a growing number of celebrities who have spoken candidly about their mental health struggles, including Katherine Heigl, Jane Fonda, Hilary Duff, and Ruby Barker.
Before you go, read up on these mental health apps we swear by:
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