Kristen Bell opens up about living with depression and anxiety in this touching interview.

Seeking help shouldn't be shameful, and Kristen Bell shows why.

You probably know Kristen Bell from one of her many upbeat, bubbly characters in TV shows and movies.

And if you're a parent, you may most recently remember her as the voice of Anna in "Frozen."


GIF from "Frozen"/Walt Disney Animation Studios.

But in a recent interview, Bell opened up about something she hadn't really made much mention of before: depression and anxiety.

On an episode of "Off Camera with Sam Jones," Bell was asked how she differed from the characters she plays. Her answer was both honest and unexpected. She, like millions of others across the U.S., struggles with depression and anxiety.

GIFs from "Off Camera with Sam Jones."

It's thanks to some important advice from her mom that Bell learned there's nothing to feel ashamed of when it comes to depression.

Bell's mother, being a nurse, knew that there was some risk that her daughter would develop depression or an anxiety disorder, given that both she and Bell's grandmother had experienced it.

And with her mother's help, Bell found a prescription that helped ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Hearing her open up about this was powerful in that many people living with anxiety and depressive disorders — myself included — are made to feel weak and alone for seeking medical intervention. Thanks to Bell's mom, she learned at an early age that those who shame others for seeking help simply don't understand.

And as her mom told her, "The world wants to shame you for [seeking medical intervention]."

A survey from the National Mental Health Association once found that 54% of people "think of depression as a sign of personal or emotional weakness." A more recent survey discovered 17% of people "see taking medications (for problems with emotions, nerves, or mental health) as a sign of weakness. In 2004, a study found that 15% of respondents "see therapy as a sign of character weakness." And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 25% of adults with mental health symptoms feel that people are caring and sympathetic to people with mental illness.

That is what stigma looks like.

Toward the end of the interview, Bell opens up about the double standard the world seems to have in how mental health is treated in relation to physical health.

And it's a point others have made time and again: You wouldn't deny someone with diabetes access to insulin, so why would you deny someone with depression prescriptions that would greatly improve their own lives?

In reality, you can't have full physical health without taking into account mental health.

When it comes to talking about mental illness and mental health, Bell isn't the only celebrity helping break down stigma.

In an interview last year with Upworthy, Sarah Silverman opened up about living with depression and anxiety. Lena Dunham has been outspoken about living with obsessive compulsive disorder, Demi Lovato isn't ashamed to talk about what it's like living with bipolar disorder, and Jon Hamm has discussed how his depression affects his personal life and career.

Each of these celebrities help chip away at the stigma surrounding mental health. They help bust stereotypes, and they give hope to those facing the same struggles. Their voices are important, Kristen Bell's voice is important, and your voice is important, too.

You can check out Bell's heartfelt interview with Sam Jones below.


Family

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family

California has a housing crisis. Rent is so astronomical, one San Francisco company is offering bunk bedsfor $1,200 a month; Google even pledged$1 billion to help tackle the issue in the Bay Area. But the person who might fix it for good? Kanye West.

The music mogul first announced his plan to build low-income housing on Twitter late last year.

"We're starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We're looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Cities

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.

That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended