Despite Anxiety Disorders affecting 40 million American adults and Major Depressive Disorder affecting 16.1 million American adults in a given year, mental illness isn't often talked about or disclosed by people suffering, except maybe to a therapist or trusted loved one. The stigma surrounding mental illness often leads the sufferer to conceal their struggle from others. This concealment then furthers the cycle of stigma and shame around mental illness when a depressed individual doesn't know anyone around them that is struggling, they can easily feel alone and ashamed. It takes courageous people that open up about their personal experiences to help normalize mental illness and give permission to all of us to talk about our struggles with mental illness and seek help.
Kristen Bell is one of these people. In this article she opens up about her past and current struggles with anxiety and depression and her use of medication to help her feel better. Hearing from others about their struggles helps decrease stigma around these diseases and can decrease the unnecessary self-judgment that gets added on top of mental illness.
Anna Clark is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that specializes in working with eating disorders, including bulimia, binge eating, chronic dieting, compulsive eating, emotional eating and anorexia.