Julia Roberts is notoriously private. But yesterday she made a very powerful personal announcement.

Thank you, Julia Roberts. From the millions of people who understand.

Julia Roberts is a notoriously private celebrity. She keeps her family out of the public eye – and it turns out that she has been keeping her stuggle with mental illness out of the public eye too.

In a searingly honest post, Julia Roberts wrote:

“As I look out my window and look back at my life, I realize that life is precious. You have to live every day like it’s your last. What people don’t know about me is that I had depression a couple years back. I never told anyone about it. I thought I wasn’t good enough or I was too old. I had to fight my way out of depression. The person who was holding me back from my happiness was ME. Now, I treat life like a child treats candy. Life is short, so live TODAY!”

Julia Roberts

Anyone has ever experienced depression can attest to the need to fight your way through. One hundred thousand people congratulated Roberts on her disclosure, saying “I’ve always thought you were an awesome actress, now I know that you are an awesome human being”.

Roberts’ post has also prompted others to share their own pain: “You are a beautiful person, I love your acting. When you’re troubled and feeling low, talk to someone. We lost someone not long ago that ment so much to everyone because that person never opened up about their depression. We all love you and we all wish for you to live a long happy life. God Bless You Julia Roberts.”

Julia Roberts: “Matching socks!”

Julia’s in a rare position of influence, which is why it is so important that she has used her power to give a voice to what can be a silent killer. It’s an encouraging message of hope to survivors and to those who are currently suffering.

And it’s a reminder that everything will be okay.

Thank you, Julia Roberts – and congratulations on your bravery.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Here are some more picsof your favourite actress.

Want to read more about this condition? Try:

Five things I’ve learnt from recovering from post-natal depression.

Thank you for talking about depression, Mitch Clark.

Jessica Rowe is searingly honest about her post-natal depression.