Michigan native Kristen Bell writes powerful essay on depression

'There's nothing weak about struggling with mental illness'


Actress Kristen Bell is speaking out on the stigma that surrounds depression and mental illness. 

The metro Detroit native and Shrine High School graduate opened up in an essay posted on Motto this week, calling for an end to being silent about depression.

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.

Bell cites a study that says nearly 20 percent of American adults face some form of mental illness.

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.

The actress also chastised those who judge others for battling mental health issues.

"It's a knee-jerk reaction to judge people when they're vulnerable."


Earlier this month, Bell appeared on "Off Camera" to talk about her struggles with depression. 

She spoke of her family's history with depression, and how her mother actually warned her of the symptoms when she turned 18.

"I have no shame in that because my mom 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,'" she recalled, adding a warning from her mother. "'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."

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