Kristen Bell Opens Up About Depression: 'I Was Permanently in the Shade'

by Leena Tailor 3:55 PM PDT, May 31, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Kristen Bell has candidly opened up about her struggle with depression, revealing she felt “worthless” and “like a failure” during her battle with the mental disorder.

In a new essay for Motto, the 35-year-old Frozen star recalls how her mom sat at her down when she was 18 years old to encourage her to get help if she ever felt a “dark cloud” following her. That cloud came when Bell was in college.

“I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade,” the Veronica Mars actress confesses. “I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself.”

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“There was no logical reason for me to feel this way,” the mom-of-two adds. “I was at New York University, I was paying my bills on time, I had friends and ambition – but for some reason, there was something intangible dragging me down. Luckily, thanks to my mom, I knew that help was out there – and to seek it without shame.”

Bell, who is married to actor Dax Shepard, first revealed her longtime struggle with mental illness in a recent interview with Off Camera With Sam Jones.

After staying silent on the matter for the first 15 years of her career, she no longer feels the subject should be "taboo."

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“For me, depression is not sadness,” the House of Lies star continues in her essay. “It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong.”

Bell called for “mental health check-ins” to become a regular part of health regimes and encouraged others suffering with the illness to seek help.

The actress isn’t the only one in her family with a once-secret longtime struggle – find out about Shepard’s 12-year turmoil in the video below.