Skip Nav

Kristen Bell Talking About Anxiety and Depression

Kristen Bell Opens Up in a Personal Essay About Her Struggle With Anxiety and Depression

There are tons and tons of reasons to love Kristen Bell, but she worries about the haters just as much as the rest of us. In a recent no-holds-barred interview with a show called Off Camera, the actress came clean about her personal struggles with depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness. We've seen tons of brilliance from Kristen so far this year; she geeked out at the Game of Thrones premiere, recorded an amazing homemade music video with husband Dax Shepard, and even "prayed" for Kanye in a hilarious Instagram snap. These quotes, however, might show our favourite side of Kristen so far. Keep reading for the vulnerable snippets, then look back at her sweetest moments with Dax.

  • On wanting to be well liked: "I'm extremely codependent. 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 all the time because it really hurts my feelings when I know I'm not liked. And I know that's not very healthy and I fight it all the time."
  • On when she first started struggling with her personal issues: "I also struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. . . . My mum 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.'"
  • On getting help for herself: "[My mum's] a nurse and she had the wherewithal to recognise 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 paralysed with fear, this is what it is and here's how you can help yourself.'"
  • On the shame associated with mental illness: "I have no shame in that because my mum had said to me, 'If you start to feel this way, talk to your doctor, talk to a psychologist, see how you want to help yourself, and 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.' . . . But for some reason, when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they're immediately crazy or something."

Now she's opened up even further in her own words. Here are the most valuable bits from her personal essay on Motto.

  • On what her depression felt like: "I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade. I'm normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself. . . . For me, depression is not sadness. It's not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure."
  • On keeping her dark side hidden: "When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty. I didn't speak publicly about my struggles with mental health for the first 15 years of my career. But now I'm at a point where I don't believe anything should be taboo. So here I am, talking to you about what I've experienced."
  • On the importance of taking care of yourself: "Mental health check-ins should be as routine as going to the doctor or the dentist. After all, I'll see the doctor if I have the sniffles. If you tell a friend that you are sick, his first response is likely, 'You should get that checked out by a doctor.' Yet if you tell a friend you're feeling depressed, he will be scared or reluctant to give you that same advice. You know what? I'm over it."
  • On how to get past the stigma: "Talking about how you're feeling is the first step to helping yourself. Depression is a problem that actually has so many solutions. Let's work together to find those solutions for each other and cast some light on a dark situation."

We've seen tons of brilliance from Kristen so far this year; she geeked out at the Game of Thrones premiere, recorded an amazing homemade music video with husband Dax Shepard, and even "prayed" for Kanye West in a hilarious Instagram snap. These quotes, however, might show our favourite side of Kristen so far.

Latest Celebrity