Kristen Bell got real about her struggle with depression and anxiety in a recent interview according to People. Bell, who is known for her roles in the Disney classic Frozen and the television cult phenomenon Veronica Mars, admitted to being “extremely co-dependent” and a need to feel liked by others during a video taped interview between Kristen and Sam Jones on The Off Camera Show.
Bell went on to discuss that, growing up, she often changed her interests in an effort to stay popular, but Kristen acknowledged that she didn’t realize the unhealthy pattern until later in life.
“I really didn’t realize that until I was in my thirties, that I had sort of changed for everybody,” Bell continued much to the surprise of Jones, “And I think I also struggled a lot with anxiety and depression.”
Kristen continued the conversation by explaining that it was her mother who discussed their family’s history of mental illness. According to Bell, her mother, who is a nurse, explained that an imbalance of serotonin levels tends to run in their family, even noting Kristen’s grandmother was one of the first people to have electroshock therapy during its trials to treat depression.
While Jones genuinely seemed surprised by Kristen’s candor, Bell continued telling her story as a means of breaking the social stigma associated with mental illness.
“I got on a prescription when I was very young to help with my anxiety and depression and I still take it today. I have no shame in that,” Bell stated noting that it was through her mother’s guidance Kristen was able to find the best way to cope with her issues.
Kristen Bell is married to fellow actor Dax Shepard, who has also been frank regarding his own mental health struggles. Recently Dax revealed how he recovered from being molested as a child, and according to Daily Mail, Kristen commended Dax for his willingness to be vulnerable. Whether it was Shepard’s vulnerability that prompted Bell to open up to or just Kristen simply trying to be a champion for mental health awareness, Bell’s own admission of dealing with depression and anxiety will likely help others.
Both Kristen and Dax are known for their comical roles, but their public sharing of dark moments might be a source of light for those who find themselves struggling with similar circumstances. While mental illness is no laughing matter, Bell and Shepard have also at times used humor to share their stories. In one particularly entertaining moment, Kristen described her reaction to a birthday surprise from Dax in an interview with day time television host Ellen Degeneres. The video of Bell’s meltdown went viral garnering more than twenty million views on YouTube.
Though Kristen’s bubbly exterior may, at times, be covering up what Bell described as a feeling of “no sunlight” around her or being “paralyzed by fear,” Kristen admits that she works very hard at monitoring her own feelings and taking the steps necessary to deal with her depression and anxiety. Perhaps that is part of the reason Bell chooses roles in which laughter is the main goal.
Kristen recently reunited with Forgetting Sarah Marshall co-star Mila Kunis for this summer’s Bad Moms and also starred in the comedy The Boss with the hilarious Melissa McCarthy, which is currently in theaters. Bell is also set to reprise her role as “Anna” in Frozen 2. But despite her acting lucrative career, Kristen told Good Housekeeping last year that it was actually motherhood that gave her the most joy.
“Motherhood right-sized everything for me. I’m happier, and I was pretty happy before,” Bell said. And even if she struggles with anxiety and depression from time to time, it sounds like Kristen’s willingness to be open about it will help her own children should they face similar struggles.
For Kristen Bell’s full interview on depression and anxiety, click here.
[Kristen Bell cover image via Ethan Miller/Getty Images.]