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Kristen Bell's Description of Depression Proves (Once Again) It's More Than Just Sadness

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After opening up about living with depression and anxiety in an interview on “Off Camera,” Kristen Bell once again spoke up about her experiences with mental illness in an essay for’s Motto.

For the first 15 years of her career she was silent about her mental health struggles. Now, she says it’s a subject that shouldn’t be taboo.

When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty,” she wrote.

Bell first started experiencing depression in college, although there was “no logical reason” for her to feel the way she felt. She had plenty of friends and ambition. Still, something still wasn’t right:

“Here’s the thing: For me, depression is not sadness,” she wrote. “It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. It’s 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.”

She says mental health check-ins should be as routine as going to the doctor or the dentist.

“We’re all on team human here, and let’s be honest—it’s not an easy team to be on,” 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.”

Thanks for speaking up, Kristen.

You can read her essay in full here.

Lead image: Motto

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Originally published: June 1, 2016
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