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Frozen actress Kristen Bell has opened up about her personal struggles with mental illness. Despite her successful career and family life, the star, in an emotive interview, revealed her struggle in coming to terms with life in the public eye and battling her inner demons as she obsessively worried about “wanting people to like me.”
“I’m extremely codependent,” she said. “I shatter a little bit when I think people don’t like me. That’s part of why I lead with kindness, and I compensate by being very bubbly all the time because it really hurts my feelings when I know I’m not liked. And I know that’s not very healthy, and I fight it all the time.”
No one, she said, should feel ashamed if they are dealing with anxiety or depression. Bell revealed the issues run in her family and that she first noticed the signs at 18 years old.
“[My mom’s] a nurse and she had the wherewithal to recognise that in herself when she was feeling it and when I was 18 said, ‘If you start to feel like you are twisting things around you, and you feel like there is no sunlight around you, and you are paralyzed with fear, this is what it is and here’s how you can help yourself.'”
Though she said she was popular in school, the 35-year-old explained that she constantly felt anxious, with a need to mold her interests around those of her classmates in an effort to fit in.
Despite there still being a stigma associated with mental illness, Bell added that she’s not ashamed to ask for help when she needs it and urged others not to be either.
“If you do decide to go on a prescription to help yourself, understand that the world wants to shame you for that, but in the medical community, you would never deny a diabetic his insulin. Ever,” she added. “But for some reason, when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy or something.”
Bell is the latest public figure to open up about such a personal and debilitating issue. While it’s worrying that so many stars in the industry have revealed they have dealt with similar mental health concerns, what’s encouraging is that, like Bell, they are speaking out to raise awareness, end stigma and encourage others to seek help.