Kristen Bell might be known for her effervescent personality, but she’s revealed to Off Camera with Sam Jones that it’s the result of a lot of hard work. Hard work to manage her anxiety, the mental health condition she’s been dealing with for decades.
“I’m extremely co-dependent. I shatter a little bit when I think people don’t like me,” the 35 year old explained.
“That’s probably why I lead with kindness, and I compensate by being very bubbly all the time, because it really hurts my feelings when I’m not liked.”
1. Open communication.
Bell says it can be easy to feel like you’re alone in your suffering, but it’s important to talk about it.
“I’ve always had a really open and honest dialogue about that — especially with my mum — which I’m so grateful for, because you have to be able to cope with it,” she said.
“I mean, I present this very cheerful, bubbly person, but I also do a lot of work.” (Post continues after gallery.)
2. Get help early.
The best thing you can do is to seek help as early as possible, something Bell credits as being extremely valuable in her own experience with the condition.
“I got on a prescription when I was really young to help with my anxiety and depression and I still take it today,” she told Jones.
(Watch: How to turn your anxiety into something empowering. Post continues after video.)
3. Treatment isn’t “one size fits all”.
Bell is adamant that seeking mental health treatment is a personal journey, one no one should feel ashamed about.
“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 — ever’,” she said.
“But for some reason when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy or something.”
4. Never feel ashamed.
Above all, Bell stresses you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about what you're going through. It's a mental health issue that requires treatment and/or medication just like any other health issue.
"It’s a very interesting double standard that I don’t often have the ability to talk about, but I certainly feel no shame about," said Bell.
If this post brings up issues for you, you can visit Beyondblue online, or call them on 1300 22 4636. You should also talk to your local GP or mental health professional.
How do you cope with your anxiety?