On Tuesday, Kristen Bell laid it all out on the table on Motto, in her brave and real piece, “Kristen Bell: I’m Over Staying Silent About Depression.”
When a woman of Kristen Bell’s stature comes ‘clean’ about mental illness it releases a torrent of new discussion on a subject that is still shockingly taboo, even in today’s day and age. With celebrities, such as Emma Stone, Cara Delevingne and Demi Lovato speaking up about mental health double standards and the push for openness regarding mental health issues, there is a drive towards a wider understanding of mental health that can only be a good thing.
Kristen got personal
As her mom told her, “If there ever comes a time when you feel like a dark cloud is following you, you can get help.” Those are some wise words from Momma Bell right there and Bell opens up to show how those words stayed with her, writing, “I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade… I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure.”
It’s a long way from the ‘bubbly, positive person’ who we all see in interviews and on the screen and it’s this kind of attention that needs to be drawn to mental health – while a person may seem their ‘normal’ self, there’s always another side to every story.
Let’s erase the stigma
A Bell says, “there was no logical reason” for her to feel the way that she did, but that does not mean that she shouldn’t feel the way she did or should be ashamed of feeling a certain way. She herself says that “there is such an extreme stigma about mental health issues, and I can’t make heads or tails of why it exists. Anxiety and depression are impervious to accolades or achievements. Anyone can be affected.”
Approximately 1 in 4 people around the world experience a mental health disorder every year, but nearly 2/3 of that number never seek help from a professional, so why is the issue still under wraps? Why are we still not talking about an issue that affects so great a number of the population?
Bell argues that mental health check-ins should be “routine” and she couldn’t b more right. Our mental health should be just as much a thing to nurture and protect as our physical health, we should not shy away from an issue of this magnitude.
You’re not crazy
Let’s get this straight; mental health issues do not mean insanity, and vulnerability does not mean weakness, far from it. The most important takeaway from Bell’s piece is the importance of not letting things stay hidden, arguing that “they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty.”
And let’s get one more thing straight, depression is not sadness, but part of a far bigger well of problems than can be solved by a hug or just popping a pill – there are options.
Kristen’s inspiration to open up clearly came from her kick-ass mom and as she says, “talking about how you’re feeling is the first step to helping yourself.” She wants a worldwide team effort to help each other, casting some light on a dark situation and paving the way to an increased talk about mental illness.
We’re officially starting our own Kristen Bell Fan Club.