Kristen Bell on her anxiety: ‘I shatter when I think people don’t like me’


Kristen Bell has a YouTube interview with The Off Camera Show where she gets quite candid about her issues with anxiety and depression. She also admits that she’s been taking medication for it since she was a teenager. (She actually did this interview about a month ago, but outlets are just picking it up now.) I find this surprising about her because she comes across as very outgoing and type A. She explains her personality as a coping mechanism though. Kristen’s husband, Dax Shepard, recently opened up about the fact that he was sexually abused as a child. Maybe Dax influenced Kristen to be more candid with the public. Whatever inspired them to speak out, they both seem brave to me. Here’s some of what Kristen said and you can see the video above:

On feeling insecure
I’m extremely codependent. I shatter a little bit when I think people don’t like me. That’s part of why I lead with kindness and I compensate by being very bubbly all the time because it really hurts my feelings when I’m not liked. I know that’s not very healthy and I fight it all the time. Looking back I was always nervous right under the surface that someone would reject me so I changed who I was often. I changed my interests to what my friends liked. I didn’t realize that until I was in my 30s.

On her anxiety and depression
I also struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. My mom sat me down when I was probably 18. She said there is a serotonin imbalance in our family line… My grandmother was one of the first people they tested electroshock therapy on. She would lock herself in her bedroom and drink for two days and they would slide food under the door.

Her mom told her how cope
My mom [is] a nurse and she had the wherewithal to recognize that in herself… When I was 18 said if you start to feel [this way] this is what is is and here’s how you can help yourself.

She takes medication
I present this very cheery bubbly person but I also do a lot of work… I check in with myself when I need to exercise. I got on a prescription when I was really young to help with my anxiety and depression and I still take it today. I have no shame in that.

On the double standard for psychiatric drugs
My mom said to me ‘If you start to feel this way, talk to your doctor… if you do decide to go on a prescription understand that the world wants to shame you for that, but in the medical community, you would never deny a diabetic his insulin.’ For some reason, when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy or something.

[From The Off Camera Show via People]

I could relate to this so much. I have what’s probably moderate social anxiety and moderate depression, which is so much better when I exercise. (I’ve tried medication but it didn’t work for me.) I don’t try too hard like Kristen though and people sometimes think I’m a snob, which is easier for me than making small talk. I’d rather stay home than to go to a party and then try not to think for days about the ways I screwed up talking to people. (Intellectually I’m sure it’s not as bad as I imagine, but I still do that.) This is also part of the reason why I don’t do Facebook. I’ll think way too hard about the ways I’m interacting with people even online.

Kristen has another interview segment with The Off Camera show where she revealed how sensitive and empathetic she is, even when she doesn’t want to be. She got choked up describing an inspiring Real Sports segment about armless archer, Matt Stutzman, and said that she cries over everything. (We saw her sloth encounter, we know this.) Like her social anxiety, she can fixate on the negative. “I love positive stories, but the negative ones just sit in my heart and fester there and I think about them often.” She said that this does help her in her career though because she’s able to empathize with characters and cry on cue.

In her third segment with Off Camera, Kristen talked about her relationship with Dax. She said that she’s an optimist who trusts people and that Dax is a pessimist. She used to see the world in black and white but Dax helped changed her worldview. These two are growing on me.

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64 Responses to “Kristen Bell on her anxiety: ‘I shatter when I think people don’t like me’”

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  1. InsertNameHere says:

    I completely identify with what she’s saying. If I didn’t already adore her for being VMars, this would do it.

  2. Ashley says:

    I feel like she could have been describing me… Wow

  3. Amelia says:

    A mental health charity I work with had this all over their Facebook page this morning, I’m quietly thrilled Celebitchy picked it up <3

    I love the insulin/SSRI comparison; its a brilliant way of communicating how vital medication can be to some people with mental health disorders. Although it doesn't work for everyone, it's a daily lynchpin in my routine.

  4. Kittahlove83 says:

    I’ve had anxiety attacks since I was 8, struggled with depression my whole life… I personally feel it makes me more depressed to think I’ll be on drugs to seem “normal” for the rest of my life. I feel awful for anyone dealing with a mental illness & I’m happy celebrities are coming forward bringing awareness.

    • V4Real says:

      Just like Chris Evans on yesterday’s post. People were giving him shit about his anxiety. I will give some a pass because they weren’t aware that he suffered from it but sometimes you have to actually read the article before you pass judgment.

      • RUDDYZOOKEEPER says:

        It makes me angry that Chris Evans is belittled, mocked, and crucified for revealing and speaking honestly and articulately about his anxiety and social interaction issues. (“YOU’re in the wrong line of work!” “Why take a role in the Marvel franchise?” “SUCK IT UP!”) I don’t get the double standard. At all.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Don’t think of it as being ‘normal’ or not normal. For me it helped a lot to just think that a part of my body is different from others but this isn’t bad, just a fact. Much like people can be taller or heavier some people can have less serotonin than others.

      We have medicines and therapy now to ensure children who would have been quite small can grow to an average height, thus for me there’s nothing wrong with me balancing my serotonin levels so I can compete on an average level.

    • drnotknowitall says:

      Never feel ashamed for having to take medication. I know this is overused in my field, but it really is the best example. Would you feel shame for having to take insulin? The brain is an organ just like any other organ. Unlike other organs, however, it can be physically altered by a number of variables. Sometimes head trauma can lead to severe mental illness. Sometimes organic issues are in play. Sometimes emotional or physical trauma can alter the functioning of this highly complex organ.

      I think the confusion stems from using the term “mental” illness, implying that it is imaginary or somehow not a real and concrete group of ailments. I sometimes tell my patients to say that they have a brain illness because they so fear the stigma of saying they have a “mental illness.”

      I hope this helps

  5. Kristen820 says:

    I relate to a LOT of what she’s saying. Especially the empathy. It’s a wonderful gift, but extremely draining at times to feel your own, and everyone else’s, emotions. Kudos to her for speaking out!

    • I Choose Me says:

      Me too. I also have social anxiety to the point that I was agoraphobic as a teenager. I had to fight really hard to get out of that mindset and learn to recognize intrusive thoughts for what they were. Luckily my mom is amazing and helped me through it.

  6. Alma says:

    Anxiety and depression runs in my family as well. I’m glad more people are opening up about this. Kudos to her for her bravery.

  7. finis says:

    Oh my gosh. I relate to everything she says. I’m so glad she’s being open about her struggles with anxiety and depression. It helps to know that there are others out there who are just like me.

  8. lucy2 says:

    I recently discovered the Off Camera podcast, and then later that it was also a show. It’s really good, very in depth conversations. Kristen and Dax’s episodes were both very interesting.
    I applaud her for speaking up on this, I have to imagine that’s very difficult to do publicly. I also really applaud her mom for everything she did to help her daughter through it, especially after her own experiences.

  9. Angelica says:

    Oh my gosh, I can relate to both Kristen and Celebitchy! I can come off pretty snobby at times, a Carrie Underwood, if you will (not that I know whether she has a true issue or not), but it’s because of a legit social anxiety that I carry with me. I’ve tried medicine when I was young, but when I became of age I couldn’t afford it anymore, I’m a poor folk, no insurance, so I just cope. I stay stupid happy with my close friends and family after I’ve broken through, because I’m not capable of letting the bad show through all the time. Or I act like I’m laid back when I’m actually high-maintenance. It usually comes out after being bottled up for a long period. It’s so difficult not knowing how to respond to a comment, how to hug people at the appropriate time, how to express empathy to someone else’s pain, but I feel just the same, maybe more, as everyone else. I also don’t do Facebook, I have one, but it’s a do-over from a deleted account and I’ll just hop in to say happy birthday or share one of my kids’ milestones, advertise a litter of kittens, etc, but I won’t go back to commenting or airing out daily goods and bads because I’ll likely delete it anyway, because I feel stupid afterward. #anxietysucks #depressionsucks #exerciseftw

    • tealily says:

      I relate to the “snobby” thing too. I had someone who had become a good friend tell me once that he thought that I didn’t like him when we first met, but the truth was that I was just really nervous around him because I didn’t know him. That was the first time it ever occurred to me that I came off that way, and since then I’ve tried really hard to be friendly and bubbly, as Kristen does. Some days that’s not possible though. ( I can also relate to the broke thing. Fortunately, exercise helps me too!)

    • drnotknowitall says:

      I understand what you mean about not having the resources to seek treatment.

      I don’t know if many people are aware of this, but there are many physicians and free clinics that provide pro bono services. You can call any number of crisis and/or intervention hotlines to find a local provider.

      If all else fails and you find yourself in a mental health crisis, go to the ER. They cannot turn you away and they must provide necessary medications. You would not, however, be allowed to leave after being treated. Psychiatric emergencies usually require you be admitted for at least 72 hours, but that is better than the alternative of not having medication. America is a disgrace that we have so many ill people without access to proper treatment.

      • Name says:

        The ER does not always keep you for 72 hours. You are only held if you present a danger to yourself or others. Most ER’s can not afford to give up a bed/space because of budgetary reasons and therefore they will be actively looking for a way to get you treated and out if you are only presenting signs of anxiety/depression in the non suicidal form.

        I do not mean to nit pick you, I just don’t want anyone to read this and not go get help because they think they will be held on a mandatory overnight psych evaluation

        I do not believe in sharing intimate details online so I will refrain from saying anything further than I know this from experience and I only hope to help others.

        I hope you all have a nice day.

  10. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Gosh, as someone who does have these same feelings and who is pretty bubbly and happy-go-lucky (on the outside at least) it still always surprises me when others describe feeling and being the same.

    I have to admit I’d have never picked her as being someone with anxiety and depression by that’s the point. It doesn’t discriminate and you can’t tell from the outside.

    I have ADHD as well and being type A is my coping mechanism. I hate leaving things to other people because then I feel helpless and my anxiety just spirals. If it’s in my hands then I have control and can fix problems myself. It’s funny because I always joke that I have two approaches to life. If there’s a problem either I find a solution immediately and fix it or I never deal with it again (which of course tends to end more badly than good).

    Always happy to hear celebs talk about their mental health. Also: serious shout out to Kristen’s mom, seeing her talk from a logical stand point and give her daughter that level of intelligent and compassionate support is f-king amazing.

  11. shannon says:

    Veronica Mars forever.

  12. JenB says:

    Wow, what a profound and brave interview. I can really appreciate what she is saying. I feel like she really touched on how many women feel. I feel there is a greater pressure for women in general to always be likable and friendly. And slim, and attractive, well groomed, lady like, always love everything about motherhood, sexy but not easy…the list goes on.

    I’ve often thought about seeking medication for moderate depression and anxiety. It’s gotten worse in the last several years but I’ve never felt suicidal…just very low and have a hard time functioning some days. But I’ve read many negative reviews about the depression medications which concern me-and the success rate wasn’t compelling. And there’s a guilt because I feel ashamed to be depressed “for nothing.” I haven’t suffered a major tragedy, my needs are met, my family is healthy, etc. I know exercise has proven to be a definite help but I’m finding it impossible to get going with it. It’s getting harder to tap into really caring about anything.

    • ab says:

      I’m in the boat with you. I’ve never gotten help for my anxiety/depression mostly because I don’t feel like I have a “reason” to be this way. even though intellectually I know there doesn’t have to be a reason. I’ve also been in a slump lately and trying to get through it is difficult. I’m a SAHM which I think enables my anxiety because I can go for a week without leaving my house to do anything other than take my kid to/from the bus stop. trying to force myself to get out, do something, exercise is the worst. ugh just typing this comment is raising my heartrate! lol.

      • Carol says:

        I can totally relate to what you all stated. I too have dealt with depression pretty much my entire adult life. And I completely understand the feeling of shame for having it since I haven’t experienced anything too traumatic to get depressed about. Medication has helped at times, but its efficacy faded through time. But that is just me. For some people medication is a god send. I applaud any celeb who comes out and speaks about their own depression in an honest way. Hearing other people talk about their own battle with mental health issues like on this site can sometimes make suffering from depression less lonely

    • Mop top says:

      JENB, if you (and others) continue feeling depressed, or “feeling-less,” there are counsellors who will work with those who don’t have insurance or have limited means. I hate to see you waste any of your life feeling this way! I also feel sad when those who may really need meds are hesitant to try them. You have a legitimate medical condition, and anti-depressants can be an important part of treating the condition. I have been on Paxil 21 years, and while it is not perfect, I thank my lucky stars that I have had it in my life. I look at my life as “before anti depressants” and then my life after finding them. Antidepressant might not be for you, but don’t totally discount them. They really could be a great help. I’m thinking about you, as well as all of us who deal with this condition every single day!

    • tealily says:

      If you’re having trouble functioning, I really encourage you to talk to your doctor or a counselor and at least talk about options. And it’s true, some medications have bad side effects, but everybody reacts differently to different medications. It might be worth trying a couple before you rule them out. I’ve used them over periods that I’ve needed help and they’ve been a godsend. Also, please to be ashamed of nothing “triggering” your symptoms. Sometimes it just works that way!

      • tealily says:

        Also, I totally get what you’re saying about how exercise helps but it’s hard to get going. Running has helped me more than anything in dealing with my anxiety and depression, but when I hit a really stressful period last year, I abandoned it because it felt like just one more think on my plate that I couldn’t handle. I JUST started back to it this week, and it’s only because I’m starting to feel a little better. I know it really could have helped me this past year, but sometimes you just do what you can.

    • JenB says:

      Thank you ladies for your kind posts! I think I need to look into something and see how it goes …

    • drnotknowitall says:

      Moderate depression and anxiety don’t usually require medications. Lifestyle changes, sleep changes, diet changes can all be effective in dealing with mild to moderate depression. A good psychiatrist should not be a pill pusher. That said, if the depression and/or anxiety interferes with your day to day life or you feel that you cannot manage enough to even attempt lifestyle changes, then sometimes medication is required. Does it have side effects? Some patients have little to no side effects. Some patients have extreme side effects. Most physicians will take a full medical history and a full symptom run down. Not all depressions are the same. For example, someone who has depression that presents with insomnia and loss of appetite is going to need a medicaiton that is different than a patient who presents whose depression presents with hypersomnia and overeating. Sometimes it takes a few tries of a single medication at different dosages or a several medications before there is improvement. I know that can be frustrating, but that is the reality we live in. In the long run, most side effects are short term – about 2-6 weeks – and the benefits are usually apparent within the first 4 weeks of treatment.

      Not all people need medication, but if you are one of the people who do, then don’t be afraid of getting help.

    • Name says:

      Sometimes just speaking with a therapist once or twice a month helps.
      Just incase your insurance does not cover it, most therapist average about 80-150$ an hour out of pocket. Sometimes it is worth the cost of admission just to hear a qualified adult tell you, “I understand you and I do not judge you. I am here to help you feel good. You do not have to suffer.”

  13. AlmondJoy says:

    I feel for her and can relate. I too suffer from anxiety… Mine shows and appears in different way but I can completely identity with her.

    I’m so glad more people in the public eye are speaking up about this. Hopefully the more experiences we hear, the less shame someone living with anxiety (in secret)has to feel. To my fellow anxiety sufferers: Let’s unite! ❤️

    • Ames says:

      Amen. She’s speaking up in an educationally useful way, and with such compassion. We need more of that, if only to counter the “depression is my muse” garbage that’s out there (I’m looking at you Kristen Stewart).

  14. lucy2 says:

    “I love positive stories, but the negative ones just sit in my heart and fester there and I think about them often.”
    I just went back and re-read this, it’s so me too`. Just the other night, I’d read a couple of news stories, and had to stop. Bigotry, unfairness, misplaced anger, cruelty, spreading of untrue information. It’s hard, I want to be knowledgeable and stay informed, but it can all weigh heavily sometimes.

    • tealily says:

      Yup, the whole “don’t read the comments” thing. I really shouldn’t read the comments.

    • Luxe says:

      I study history and some of it is soooo draining. I watched a documentary on Hiroshima last week and sobbed for over an hour afterwards. I watch a lot of documentaries and read a lot of books, so I cry a lot. The refugee crisis and other horrible world news makes me feel physically ill sometimes. I try to take breaks from it or I get in a really sad and really cynical place.

  15. Ames says:

    At first, I thought “well, is she in the wrong business or WHAT?” but good on her for talking about it.

    She always struck me as cheerleader-y perky – which has always annoyed me on some fundamental level I can’t quite explain – and when she and Shepard got together I thought “ew, isn’t he that ‘Jackass’ idiot?”

    And then, a few years ago, I happened upon Dax’s “letter” to his recently-passed father. It’s called “My Father’s Horniness,” and it blew me away. It’s phenomenal.

    These two are good people, and I wish them the best.

    • tealily says:

      Not to split hairs, but he was on that Ashton Kutcher show, not Jackass. Not that that’s better. However, he was also on Parenthood and more than made up for it!

  16. knower says:

    I’d just like to say that I really like this woman.

  17. Rhiley says:

    I also appreciate what you have written about social anxiety, CB, and feel that I relate a little more to your experiences than to KB’s. I have moderate social anxiety, depression, and general anxiety that I maintain through exercise, and fortunately, a stable relationship with someone who gets me. I quit drinking which really did make things a lot worse for me when I thought it was helping me deal. Since I stopped drinking a lot has gotten better- age helps to- but it never fully goes away and it is always there.

    • Kittahlove83 says:

      I too have issues with drinking, I think it’s me trying to self medicate. I’d venture to say a lot of addicts are probably self medicating due to mental issues, and you’re right – it generally makes things worse. Now I’m on my 3rd kind of anti-anxiety medication & I cant really tell if I’m getting any better. Living with Crazy relatives & having a terrible job also doesn’t help. I really just want to stay locked in my room safe with my furbabies all day everyday.

  18. Stacey says:

    One of the fundamental rules of journalism is that reporters should never make the story about themselves. I think the same should be true for blogging for $.

    That said, Kristen and Dax seem fantastically flawed, real, likable and incredibly likable.

    • tealily says:

      I enjoy the personal touch in the blogs on here. It’s one of the reasons I read this site.

    • Antigone says:

      I disagree. I appreciated the fact that Celebitchy shared her experiences. I can really relate to feeling anxious about what you said, did, etc after a party or social interaction because I struggle with that, too. I’m also not on FB much for similar reasons. I have a few good friends and have gotten pretty good at appearing outgoing when I need to be but I’m not comfortable with it a lot of the time.

    • mee says:

      i like hearing that others feel the same way. i have social anxiety, am introverted, and often feel so very awkward. i don’t compensate like kristin bell and instead go into a shell so i appreciate hearing what celebitchy said about her coping mechanisms. i also manage my moods with exercise and yoga

    • Frannydays says:

      Yea, no. CB’s experiences sound eerily like my own and having someone speak out and put into words what I have felt so many times is priceless. I am grateful to have someone to relate to and am so glad she shared her personal story with us. That’s why I love this site and the bloggers.

    • Bisola says:

      Funny enough it was just recently on CB that I realized that what I had was social anxiety.
      The Demi Lovato/Nicky Minaj post.
      I never knew that the need to be liked and the irrational fear and hurt I felt when someone one didn’t like me or snubbed me had a name.
      Even in the office, I am such a do gooder lol. I try to avoid not being liked by everybody. Which of course is technically impossible and so exhausting.
      And then some days I overompensate by not drawing away from everyone.
      Kudos to celebitchy for talking about hers.
      Thanks.
      Would never have put a name to mine if others on that post hadn’t spoken up about the symptoms.

    • Susan says:

      Disagree Stacey. This not a front line report from a war torn country in the WSJ. This is a gossip blog and a (mostly) happy little family of gossip lovers! Kudos CB for your sharing, trust me, WE LOVE IT!

  19. Starkiller says:

    I am hearing famous types talk about these issues more and more. I really, really hope that it’s a genuine effort to reduce social stigma, and not a situation where social anxiety is going to become the new “I was bullied in school” amongst celebrities. I really hope not, because wht a slap in the teeth that would be to actual sufferers.

  20. Lindy says:

    This made me like and respect her even more.

  21. Lauren says:

    I really love her and Dax as a couple. I recently read an interview by Dax where he talks about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a neighbour and the addiction issues he had a result of keeping it a secret. I believe Kristen and his mother were a huge part of him getting help and realizing he didn’t have to seek forgiveness for what was not his fault.

  22. MSat says:

    Big points to her mother for sitting her down at 18 and talking to her about it, helping her understand what depression and anxiety might look like and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. More parents should do this. It’s right up there with talking to your daughter about her cycle, etc. So many kids who have a mental illness feel isolated and can’t talk with their parents about it.

  23. Whirldly says:

    Me too. Depression, anxiety, ADD. Dysthymia (general, low-grade depression) all my life, with periods of major depressive disorder… currently about 4 years in with MDD this time. Sadly, after periods of successful medication treatment over the years, my depression is now treatment resistant and experimental trials (recently finished two months of daily repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation – RTMS – which was insuccessful) are my only hope.
    But you’d never know.
    I look good (I am obsessive about looking normal) I am bubbly and friendly and highly empathetic. And I have gradually withdrawn from almost every friendship I had and leave home as rarely as humanly possible, though when I do, I look polished and friendly and confident.
    But the world feels too painful and full of possible rejections, despite the fact that people are drawn to me and are almost universally kind.
    I remember reading about (some/many) autistic people who find sound and touch excruciating – and that’s kind of what the world (people) feels like to me now.
    But honestly – you’d never know.

    • anna says:

      i hear you.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Hugs. It’s not much but when you feel as though no one cares or you aren’t important, just know telling your story here has made others think and care about you even though you don’t know their names or faces.

    • drnotknowitall says:

      What do you mean your depression is treatment resistant? Forgive me for asking, I am a psychiatrist and I am curious about your statement.

      • Whirldly says:

        Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder. I’m one of the one in three depression sufferers who don’t respond to medication. Beginning about 20 years ago, I started on Prozac (worked for about a year) then tried a few others, before being put on Wellbutrin, which worked pretty successfully for about 10 years. I thought I was fine, so stopped the drug (big mistake) and gradually got worse and worse until I realised I had to go back on medition again. Sadly, Wellbutrin didn’t work this time, nor did the next 5 or 6 drugs we tried (new, old, anti-psychotic, off-label, everything available) which made me either physically sick or emotionally destroyed. Finally I was referred to the top mood disorders clinic in Toronto which diagnosed me as treatment resistant and recommended a trial of rTMS.
        There might be a new ketamine-type drug trial beginning in the next year, or they might recommend ECT (which scares me silly.)
        For those who are treatment resistant, basically all there IS is hope.

      • drnotknowitall says:

        @Whirldly

        1. Medication resistant major depression happens, but that does not mean there are no treatment options.

        I don’t support the idea of “treatment resistant.” There are many combinations and medications, some off label, that can address difficult to treat major depression. Sleep, exercise, medications, stress management, are all part of a good treatment plan.

        2. Ketamine treatments have been widely used by physicians to treat medication resistant depression since at least 2006. Although not approved by the FDA for this purpose (it is usually used as an anesthetic), many of us have used ketamine off label to treat our patients. I have used ketamine with several difficult cases. So you don’t need to wait for a new drug because ketamine treatment is already available.

        4. ETC is very effective in the treatment of medication resistant depression. It is not the evil thing from the past that many people believe it to be. The patient is under general anesthetic while a mild seizure is triggered via a the use of electrical impulses. The patient has no memory of the treatment. While the short term side effects can be a bit scary, they are usually short term. Most importantly, patients find relief from their depression.

        5. I don’t know your case history. I am NOT recommending any type of treatment. I am simply suggesting that you don’t have to live on hope alone. Ketamine, ETC, or new antidepressents such as Symbax, as well as combinations that include such medications as lithium are all good options that you need to review with your mental health provider. I would also suggest discussing monoamine oxidase inhibitors with your physician. While this class of drugs is much older than SSRIs, they have shown to work with depression that is resistant to newer medications.

        In short, you may not be responding to the standard medication or even combinations, but that does not mean that you have no treatment options. I urge you to discuss all of this with your physician. If they are unable to provide an open dialogue about some of the more controversial treatments, I would seek a second opinion or even a third. But hope is not all you have. You just need hope to buy time until you can find a good treatment option.

        You will be okay. Remember that.

      • MMB says:

        DRNOTKNWITALL, I know I’m not responding in the correct place but there was no reply option below. I want to sincerely thank you for your thoughtful & encouraging words. I don’t think I’ve discussed my issues at all in years. Even here with the comfort of anonymity, I couldn’t seem to include everything I’ve gone through that has brought me to this point. Just a few “highlights” if you will. But I always feel as if it’s not THAT bad or I should be able to deal with it all on my own. But no matter what anyone has gone through, I know we can’t compare ourselves to others’ experiences or minimize the impact because “so and so has it worse…” it’s all very real, personal & it does shape & influence us & who can truly measure individual pain? As my grandma loved to say; we all have our crosses to bear (so to speak). You telling me I do need to be in therapy really hit home, because I know you’re absolutely right. I’ve just continued to willfully ignore that truth for years. The last counselor I saw told me during our last session that she purposely scheduled me last because I absolutely exhausted her. That getting me to open up was like pulling teeth. I realize though, that you don’t always instantly mesh with the first professional you see. And if you’re serious about trying to get better, you keep trying until you find the best fit. I have several health issues that I try to hide. Some I can’t. I need back surgery as soon as possible but I keep pushing thinking I can go a little longer, I don’t want to be away from work, disappoint my boss or co-workers, etc. & tell myself once I’m physically “better” I’ll work on the mental aspects. But that’s simply fear that once I let it out I’ll lose whatever perceived control I have over my life. Once I crack I won’t be able to pull the pieces back together. But the point is TO crack, give over, & then build myself back up with (hopefully) stronger “stuff” – I’m using this forum & your kind comment in a “dear diary” type of way & feel like a jerk doing so. And feel like I should delete it all. But really, that tells me that you’re exactly right in recommending therapy! Apparently I AM ready to talk… thank you very much for your kindness, insight, and taking the time to address my comment/issues! You’ve done a world of good with your wisdom & empathy for more than just me on this forum. Thank you!

    • MMB says:

      It’s a relief to read about everyone’s experiences on here. I’m really identifying with the responses & feelings. I grew up with checked out, selfish parents with no support – my mother was a serial cheater from an abusive, alcoholic home & has been diagnosed with NPD among other things (she also uses illness as a way to keep my father, sister & me “close”) I learned very young that it was my job to take care of her & subsequently raised my little sister. At 44, I very recently learned that my father is not my biological father. Like others have stated, I’ve been diagnosed with adult onset ADHD as well as depression. I’ve dealt with rape at a young age & have gone through numerous deaths of close friends & family members in quick succession. 11 people in 18 months at one point. But I pushed my feelings aside & did everything I could to take care of my loved ones. I’ve covered my pain by appearing outgoing, happy, confident. I won’t leave the house without makeup & continuously project the antithesis of how I really feel. Like many others have said, inside…it’s a whole different story. I’ve tried counseling with mixed results. Even in that situation I can’t seem to let my guard down which defeats the entire purpose. I’ve tried antidepressants & currently have at least 2 years of Wellbutrin filling the cabinet. I went from appearing very social & “on” all the time to preferring to retreat with my books & dog & if I don’t have to work, I don’t leave the house unless I must. I fixate on atrocities or things that upset me & rarely am able to tune out or make my brain stop long enough for sleep. And I feel loads of guilt for the friendships I’ve lost simply by not being able to force myself to engage. It all became too overwhelming. I read something once that resonated with me (and reminded me of Whirldly’s words above). Something about feeling as if your skin is peeled back & raw and all of the world’s corners being too sharp. I wish I could remember the exact quote. I have no idea how to wrap this up. I never comment on here but am a faithful reader & learn so much from all of you. Thank you for providing a safe forum to speak freely & enable me to drop both the mask I keep in place & burden of silence even for a few moments.

      • drnotknowitall says:

        I often call it standing skinless in a salt storm. I urge you to get treatment so you can leave the house. In your case, where there is past trauma, medication alone will not be enough. You need to be in therapy. I hope you will find comfort in knowing that I have treated patients much worse off than you who have bounced back. My specialty is pediatric psychiatry. I have treated children and young adults with sexual abuse backgrounds who have a difficult time functioning. There is a way back. I have seen it. You have to work hard, but there is a way back. My thoughts are with you.

  24. Rux says:

    I am not only in so much love with her and her&Dax but I am really impressed by her Mom. My Mom was ALWAYS all about appearances. I am so happy for Kristen that she had that positive, knowledgeable support system at home.

  25. Magnoliarose says:

    It is a good thing when stars open up and shine a light on something like this. It is hard to understand if it isn’t a personal struggle. I can relate to using exercise for mental health. I have terrible PMS and I know it Is coming because suddenly it is like everything feels bleak and I’m overly emotional. Everything feels hopeless, anxious and I can’t sleep well. It is necessary that I run regularly to avoid it.
    Social anxiety must be awful. My heart goes out to those who have it. It explains some of the shy people I know maybe.

    • ClaraBelle says:

      Describing the onset of PMS as feeling BLEAK and HOPELESS really brought back memories .(way past my fertile days now). I too recall knowing that my period was a day or two away when I would be suddenly hit with a sense of seemingly out-of-the-blue DESOLATION. I didn’t have depression otherwise, and the abruptness of this mood change was bewildering. I finally figured out that this bleak mood was a precursor of “the curse”. Made me feel a little better to know that it would end (which was also often abrupt). I definitely learned that so much about mood and/or our “personality” is often determined by brain chemistry,

  26. drnotknowitall says:

    Good for her. Imagine if people shamed diabetics for taking their insulin. It really shows just how uneducated our society is about something as simple as an organ getting sick.

  27. dj says:

    I am so glad KB came out and discussed her mental health issues. As a mental health clinician, it is so important that people see celebrities, etc. as having issues to and not be ashamed. This. is a good step forward. I commend her and her honesty. I tell people that mental health is on a continuum, it is not black and white often. Sometimes it is on 1 end of the continuum or another. I also use the diabetes analogy. However, the peer reviewed studies show medication and therapy have the best results. Please people look for therapists who provide counseling on a sliding-scale. There are some out there. It breaks my heart to hear so many in need. Kudos for all your bravery everyone who has shared their struggles (any kind) here!