Kristen Bell is opening up about her battles with depression.
In a new essay on Motto, from the editors of EW sister site TIME, the Veronica Mars star explains how she never discussed her mental health for the first two decades of her career. “But now I’m at a point where I don’t believe anything should be taboo,” she wrote. “So here I am, talking to you about what I’ve experienced.”
Bell previously discussed the topic in an interview earlier this month, revealing her mother, a nurse, “had the wherewithal to recognize 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 paralyzed with fear, this is what it is and here’s how you can help yourself.”
Writing for Motto, Bell noted how “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.”
She went on to discuss the stigma that comes with mental health issues despite the fact that 20 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from it. “It’s a knee-jerk reaction to judge people when they’re vulnerable,” wrote Bell. “But there’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness. You’re just having a harder time living in your brain than other people. And I don’t want you to feel alone.”
Read Bell’s full essay over at Motto.