Doesn’t it seem like Kristen Bell has it all?
The beautiful 35-year-old actress is known both for her bubbly, smiley personality and her fun-filled marriage to Dax Sheppard. She also has two healthy kids and a career that doesn’t seem to be tanking any time soon.
Basically, she is the kind of person you can’t not love (as much as you’d love to hate her).
But she’s also one of the latest celebrities to open up about her struggle with mental stability, recently confirmed that she’s among the list of Hollywood stars that experiences anxiety and depression.
It turns out there’s a lot going on behind that seemingly perfect persona. In a recent interview with Sam Jones for Off Camera, Bell offered an honest perspective of her life with mental illness. When Jones asked Bell what people who see her as nothing more than a “good Catholic girl” are missing about her, her answer was surprising and blunt.
“I’m extremely codependent,” she said. She then elaborates, explaining why she tends to lean to towards leading with kindness. “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, because it hurts my feelings when I’m not liked,” she continued. “And, I know that’s not very healthy, and I fight it all the time.”
She admits that she was popular in high school, but “always nervous right under the surface that someone would reject me.” Subsequently, she says she changed who she was constantly to adapt to what she thought people wanted her to be.
She didn’t realize it until she was in her 30s.
And it wasn’t just the struggle to be liked. Bell admits to battling anxiety and depression as well.
“I struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. My mom sat me down when I was probably 18 and she said, ‘There is a serotonin imbalance in our family line and it can often be passed from female to female’,” she says.
Bell’s grandmother even underwent electroshock therapy. Bell’s mom – a nurse – ensured that an open dialogue concerning mental health ensued, telling Bell, “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.”
Of course, Bell isn’t alone in her struggles. No matter how “perfect” everything looks on the outside, more people than you would imagine are battling inner demons on the regular. As the long-held mental health stigma continues to erode, more young Hollywood women are speaking up about their struggles. Most recently, this includes Cara Delevigne and Ruby Rose.
At the same time, a growing number of non-famous millennials are also “coming out” with their struggles in everything from anxiety to eating disorders.
And it’s about time.