Riverdale's Lili Reinhart Opens Up About Depression, Getting Treatment

By Maggie Ethridge 02/20/19

“We are all human. And we all struggle. Don't suffer in silence. Don't feel embarrassed to ask for help," Reinhart noted on Instagram.

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Lili Reinhart discussed depression battle on Instagram

Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart announced through Instagram that she is again seeking help for anxiety and depression.

The 22-year-old actress is best known for playing Betty Cooper on Riverdale—the role that launched her into stardom. By then, Reinhart had already experienced profound bouts with depression.

At 18 she was trying to make it in Hollywood. But the isolation and non-stop auditioning made her physically sick from depression, and she moved home to North Carolina. After six months of rest, she returned to Hollywood, eventually landing the starring role that would make her a household name.

Reinhart has been public about her mental health struggles, but not without concerns about the level of transparency she’s chosen. She told Teen Vogue, “It’s very much a constant balance of what do I share? What do I not share? I want to be authentic, but I also don’t want to give everyone parts of myself that they don’t need to know about.”

Still, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the show’s creator and showrunner, told Teen Vogue, “She has a lot of contradictions, but the big thing is there’s nothing we can’t write for Lili that she cannot do. She’s sort of fearless.”

This week Reinhart spoke about her depression and anxiety on Instagram, encouraging anyone experiencing similar difficulties to speak out and get help if they’re feeling overwhelmed. 

“Friendly reminder for anyone who needs to hear it,” Reinhart wrote. “Therapy is never something to feel ashamed of. Everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist. Doesn't matter how old or 'proud' you're trying to be.”

The actress then added, “We are all human. And we all struggle. Don't suffer in silence. Don't feel embarrassed to ask for help. I'm 22. I have anxiety and depression And today I started therapy again.”

Reinhart shared that her “journey of self-love” included therapy and medication.

Selena Gomez is another young star who has been open about her mental health issues, which has included mental health breaks and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. DBT teaches skills such as emotional regulation, improving communication, and incorporating mindfulness practices.

Gomez told Vogue, “I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart."

Reinhart told Ocean Drive magazine a year ago, “I know so many other young people have [struggles with mental health], and I didn’t have someone who was talking about it. I remember being in middle and high school and hearing Demi Lovato speak up about her mental illness and that was comforting. But I wanted more people to stand up. I needed more people to relate to. I was like, all these people can’t be so happy, can they?”

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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