Bella Hadid Opens Up About 'Excruciating And Debilitating' Anxiety And Depression

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Alexandra Lozovschi

Bella Hadid is getting candid about her mental health struggles. The 25-year-old Victoria's Secret model, who last year revealed on Instagram she's been battling "extreme depression and anxiety" since she was a teenager, further opened up her "excruciating and debilitating" depressive episodes in a recent interview with WSJ Magazine.

Speaking to the publication for its My Monday Morning series on January 17, the supermodel shared how she overcomes the anxiety of getting dressed every morning, while also shedding new light into the raw selfies of her crying which she posted in November.

Details below.

Anxiety Struggles

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While it may be hard to imagine that a fashion icon like Hadid has a hard time putting an outfit together in the morning, the 2016 "Model of the Year" confessed that her mental health struggles are why hasn’t used a personal stylist “in a long time.”

Noting that she's been sans stylist for "maybe two years now," Hadid explained that she was "in such a weird place mentally that it was really complicated for me to get out of the house and put an outfit together, especially with the anxiety of [paparazzi] being outside and all that."

However, the supermodel, who says she's now feeling "better," has slowly learned how to cope with her anxiety and tune out people's opinions about her personal style.

"In the last year, it was really important for me to learn that even if people talk about my style or if they like it or if they don't, it doesn't matter, because it's my style," Hadid told WSJ Magazine. "When I leave the house in the morning, what I think about is: Does this make me happy? Do I feel good in this and do I feel comfortable?"

Battle With Depression

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Hadid first opened up about her mental health struggles on Instagram in September, sharing that she has “suffered from extreme depression and anxiety” for most of her teenage and adult life.

“My social anxiety was something that slowly crept up on me as I grew into my twenties,” she wrote at the time. “It got harder for me to go out without having one drink to calm my nerves, which made me not want to go out at all, so I was just hibernating between jobs.”

The model, who made her New York Fashion Week debut in 2014 at the age of 18, explained that she "had tried everything to help myself feel better" since she was 14.

“With a life that is constantly pushing a social regime, along with working 13 hour days, every single day, I knew this wasn’t a sustainable life for me,” she added.

Crying Instagram Confession

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Hadid further detailed her battle with depression in a subsequent post in November, sharing a number of selfies in which she was crying.

"This is pretty much my everyday, every night for a few years now," she wrote, adding: "Social media is not real. For anyone struggling, please remember that. Sometimes all you’ve gotta hear is that you’re not alone."

Stating that she wanted to "share her truth," Hadid continued: "I’ve had enough breakdowns and burnouts to know this: if you work hard enough on yourself, spending time alone to understand your traumas, triggers, joys, and routine, you will always be able to understand or learn more about your own pain and how to handle it."

See her post below.

Explaining The Selfies

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Two months after the emotional post, Hadid explained her decision to share the selfies to WSJ Magazine.

"I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo," she provided context to the publication. "It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling."

The supermodel further addressed the selfies: "I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn't know why. That was over the past three years. [When I posted them] it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way."

Hadid continued: "Even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth. I felt like it was just good for me to be able to speak my truth and at some point I wasn't able to post nice pretty pictures anymore. I was over it."

Overcoming Mental Struggles

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Speaking honestly about her current mental state, Hadid told WSJ Magazine that she's learned to deal with her struggles on a day-by-day basis.

"I do have good days. Today is a good day. My brain fog is feeling better, I don't feel depressed. I don't have as much anxiety as I usually do," she said. "But tomorrow I could wake up and [be] the complete opposite. That's why I get so overwhelmed."

Sharing how important it is for her to express her genuine feelings and mental states, the model said she draws comfort from knowing that she's not alone in her struggles.

"Walking outside, being able to remember there are so many people going through things and have similar patterns to me, it makes me feel better," she said. "I don't know if that's not what people want on Instagram, and that's fine. I don't have to be on Instagram forever. I feel like real is the new real, and that's what's important to me."