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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.

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

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.


Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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