Maybe it's just me, but Kristen Bell feels like one of those celebrity moms I could become BFFs with in an instant. She's brutally honest about the challenges of parenthood — whether it's breastfeeding, needing caffeine in the mornings before talking nicely to her children, or her kids getting anal worms. This is something parents today appreciate in a world filled with seemingly perfect lives plastering social media feeds. Something else this funny actor hasn't shied away from is opening up about her mental health struggles. And honestly, Kristen Bell's moving video about depression and anxiety should be required viewing.
For the video, a fresh-faced Bell looked directly into the camera and shared her experience with depression and anxiety. Her powerful testimony is actually part of The Child Mind Institute's #MyYoungerSelf campaign, which aims to end the stigma of mental health and learning disorders, E! Online reported. "I have suffered from anxiety and depression since I was 18, which was *muffle muffle* years ago," Bell began. "What I would say to my younger self is don't be fooled by this game of perfection that humans play. Because Instagram and magazines and TV shows, they strive for a certain7 aesthetic, and everything looks so beautiful. People seem like they don't have any problems. But everyone's human." She continued:
Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes. And you deserve to feel just as beautiful on days you don't wear makeup and the days you don't shower — and the days that you feel like you're depressed. And you have an obligation to take care of yourself from the inside out. Because that's how you can truly feel beautiful.
Bell went on to say that there are resources out there for those who are feeling anxious or depressed — whether it's therapists, doctors, or both. She stressed there are solutions, and that no one is alone in having these feelings. "Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about who you are," Bell said. "There are plenty of things to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. If you forget your mom's birthday, feel embarrassed about that. If you are prone to gossiping, feel ashamed about that." She continued:
But never feel embarrassed or ashamed about the uniqueness that is you. Because there are people out there to help — and we're all just human.
Although Bell was the first celebrity to kick off the #MyYoungerSelf campaign, there will actually be a new video — featuring a different celebrity/well-known person — posted every day in May, according to a teaser video posted on The Child Mind Institute's blog. This video explains that more than three dozen actors, Olympians, authors, comedians, and businesspeople will be sharing messages of hope to their younger selves. Among these individuals will be: Chamique Holdsclaw, Michael Phelps, AJ Mendez, Wayne Brady, Emma Stone, Mayim Bialik, Jesse Eisenberg, Sarah Silverman, Tim Howard, Clark Gregg. "There is no part of you that you should be ashamed of," Sarah Silverman sums up perfectly in the promo. An important statistic, along with a call to action by The Child Mind Institute wraps up the video:
Mental health and learning disorders affect 1 in 5 children. Let's bring them the hope they deserve.
For the record, this is't the first time The Child Mind Institute has used #MyYoungerSelf to raise awareness for mental health and learning disabilities. Back in 2017, the organization organized the release of similar videos for the same cause.
Kristen Bell has also spoken out about her personal struggles with depression and anxiety in the past, as Time reported. In a piece written by Bell herself, she described what so many people who have lived through this reality have grappled with, writing:
There was no logical reason for me to feel this way. I was at New York University, I was paying my bills on time, I had friends and ambition—but for some reason, there was something intangible dragging me down. Luckily, thanks to my mom, I knew that help was out there—and to seek it without shame.
Like Bell, I have personally dealt with the hell this is depression and anxiety — and she describes it so well. These feelings of worthlessness and uneasiness would creep up on me out of nowhere, but it never made sense. I've always been a fairly driven person. I recognize that I'm incredibly blessed with three children, a career a I love, the ability to take time to myself, a support husband, etc. Yet, I felt like a miserable, horrible human being. After finally admitting to myself that what I was feeling wasn't normal, I was able to reach out to my primary physician. And I feel so much better because I was able to get the help I so desperately needed. With the help of this campaign, I have a feeling many more children (and adults) will begin the first chapter of their healing journeys, too.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.