Kristen Bell has a message for anyone facing a mental health issue: There’s absolutely no shame in asking for help.
The “Frozen” star recently opened up about her own experience with depression and anxiety in an interview with “Off Camera with Sam Jones,” where she stressed the importance of seeking treatment for mental health conditions. Bell revealed that she has a family history of mental illness and praised her mother for educating her early about prioritizing her mental health needs and ignoring stigma.
“[My mom] is a nurse and she had the wherewithal to recognize that in herself when she was feeling it and when I was 18 said, ‘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,'” Bell said.
“You have to be able to cope with it,” she continued. “I present this very cheery, bubbly person but I also do a lot of work. I do a lot of introspective work … I got on a prescription when I was really young to help with my anxiety and depression and I still take it today and I have no shame in that.”
Nearly one in five American adults will experience a mental health disorder in a given year. Despite how common it is, it’s still highly stigmatized — and that’s a huge problem. Research shows negative perceptions can hold people back from seeking treatment and sometimes prevents individuals from revealing issues to their doctors.
In the medical community, you would never deny a diabetic his insulin. Ever. But for some reason, when someone needs a serotonin [reuptake] inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy. — Kristen Bell
In her interview, Bell also called out the misguided idea that mental health is separate from a person’s holistic wellbeing, once again crediting her Mom for the refreshing perspective. If you wouldn’t judge someone for getting medication for their physical disease, then the same courtesy should be extended to someone with a mental health condition, she said.
“If you do decide to go on a prescription to help yourself, understand that the world wants to shame you for that, but in the medical community, you would never deny a diabetic his insulin. Ever,” she said. “But for some reason, when someone needs a serotonin [reuptake] inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy or something.”
Yet another celebrity nails the hypocrisy of mental health stigma. Well done.
Watch the rest of Bell’s Off Camera interview on mental health in the video above.
Clarification: This article has been updated to expand on the language used by Kristen Bell to describe serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a common class of medication used to treat depression.