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Kristen Bell is over staying silent about her 15-year battle with depression: 'I felt worthless'

9The FIX logo 9The FIX 1/06/2016

Actress Kristen Bell has penned a powerful essay on her decades long struggle with depression and anxiety.

The 35-year-old star, who first experienced depression as a teenager, explained in her piece for Time's Motto website that it was her mother's advice that initially helped her to seek out help.

"When I was 18, my mum sat me down and said, 'If there ever comes a time where you feel like a dark cloud is following you, you can get help. You can talk to me, talk to a therapist, talk to doctor. I want you to know that there are options'." she recalled.

And now, Kristen, who was studying at NYU when the illness returned in her twenties, says she's sick of staying silent about her condition.

"I didn't speak publicly about my struggles with mental health for the first 15 years of my career," she wrote. "But now I'm at a point where I don't believe anything should be taboo. So here I am, talking to you about what I've experienced.

© Provided by The Fix "Here's the thing: For me, depression is not sadness. It's not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. It's 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. It's important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realise that they are  worthless and that they do have something to offer. We all do."

The star ended her essay by challenging the stigma around mental illness, encouraging people to make seeing a mental health professional a part of their general health routine.

"Mental health check-ins should be as routine as going to the doctor or the dentist," she wrote. "Talking about how you’re feeling is the first step to helping yourself.

"Depression is a problem that actually has so many solutions. Let's work together to find those solutions for each other and cast some light on a dark situation."

We couldn't agree more, Kristen.

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