The actress Kristen Bell—known for voicing the character of Princess Anna in Frozen—has spoken about her battle with depression and anxiety in an essay penned for for Motto, Time magazine’s health publication.
Bell reveals that she first expereinced depression in college.
During her time at New York University, Bell explained, “I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade.” She added, “I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself.”
“There was no logical reason for me to feel this way. I was at New York University, I was paying my bills on time, I had friends and ambition—but for some reason, there was something intangible dragging me down.”
She writes that thanks to her mother, who had spoken to her about mental health, “I knew that help was out there—and to seek it without shame.”
She adds: “I didn’t speak publicly about my struggles with mental health for the first 15 years of my career… 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. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong.”
She writes that “Anxiety and depression are impervious to accolades or achievements,” adding, “Nearly 20 percent of American adults face some form of mental illness in their lifetime. So why aren’t we talking about it?”