Kristen Bell Speaks To Her Younger Self In New Mental Health Campaign

By David Konow 05/08/18

"People seem like they don’t have problems, but everyone’s human. Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes.”

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell, the star of Frozen, The Good Place and Veronica Mars, has been very open with the public about her struggles with anxiety and depression, and now she’s speaking out on behalf of the Child Mind Institute, a non-profit organization in New York that helps young people with their mental health.

In addition to having a number of programs for young people, the Child Mind Institute is kicking off Mental Health Awareness Month by debuting new videos featuring celebrities in a series of videos called "My Younger Self."

To kick off the series, Bell spoke out about how many young people struggle with their self-image, and what advice she’d give her younger self today.

“I have suffered from anxiety and/or depression since I was 18," Bell said. "What I would say to my younger self is don’t be fooled by this game of perfection that humans play. Because Instagram and magazines and TV shows, they strive for a certain aesthetic, everything looks so beautiful, and people seem like they don’t have problems, but everyone’s human. Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes.”

Bell then went on to talk about the importance of self-care, and that feeling good should not depend on how you look.

“You deserve to feel just as beautiful on the days you wear no makeup and the days you don’t shower, and the days you feel like you’re depressed. You have an obligation to take care of yourself from the inside out, because that’s how you can truly feel beautiful.”

Wrapping up her message, Bell emphatically told her listeners never to be embarrassed to get help. “There are resources out there, if you’re feeling anxious, of people to talk to and doctors to interact with and there are tons of solutions out there for you. You are not alone. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about who you are. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about the uniqueness that is you, because there are people out there to help and we’re all just human, and you can do it.”

Bell had previously told Off Camera With Sam Jones that her mother sat her down at the age of 18, and explained that depression ran in the family. Bell’s mother is a nurse, and she was able to explain the chemical imbalances people have in their brains.

“She said there is a serotonin imbalance in our family line, and it can often be passed from female to female.” Seeing that her mother had “the wherewithal to recognize [depression] in herself,” Bell was inspired to get help as well.

Before going on medication, Bell’s mother told her, “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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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.