Kristen Bell says she 'felt irresponsible' for having a 'bubbly' image while battling depression

Kristen Bell posed for the latest issue of Women's Health and got personal about mental health and CBD oil. (Photo: Dennis Leupold for Women’s Health)

Kristen Bell is continuing to champion for mental health, crediting CBD oil, an antidepressant and therapy to help her depression and anxiety.

The actress, who reprises her role as Anna in the upcoming Frozen II, decked the November cover of Women’s Health (on stands Oct. 15), sharing with the magazine how she stays physically and mentally healthy. In addition to daily hemp milk protein shakes and a regular “garbage disposal salad,” Bell takes in the occasional therapy session, a daily SSRI antidepressant and a dose of CBD oil, the latter of which allows her to stop analyzing her to-do list, reports the mag.

Bell, 39, also dips into a “toolbox” she created with Dax Shepard, her husband since 2013, giving him a heads up when she’s sad, so he won’t personalize her mood. And she takes advice from his AA meetings. “You just have to do the next right thing. You just stand up. That’s the next right thing. Then you brush your teeth. That’s the next right thing. It’s very one-step-at-a-time,” Bell told Women’s Health. (Shepard has been sober for 14 years, he told People in March).

Bell has spoken a lot about mental health, crediting her courage to Shepard, who reportedly urged her to open up. Addressing whether she was nervous to reveal those intimate details to the world, Bell told Women’s Health, “Yes, for the first 10 minutes. I realized that this is the shame that prevents people from talking about it. I immediately felt irresponsible, because I do care about depression not being taboo, yet I present this bubbly, outgoing girl who seemingly gets through life with a smile on her face, and I’d never discussed that some days, I don’t.”

Kristen Bell is sharing how she maintains her mental health in the latest issue of Women's Health. (Photo: Dennis Leupold for Women’s Health)

During a 2016 interview with Off Camera with Sam Jones, Bell revealed little-known details about herself. “I’m extremely co-dependent. I shatter a little bit when I think people don’t like me,” she said. “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 know I'm not liked. And I know that's not very healthy and I fight it all the time."

Bell later said in that interview, "I also struggled a lot with anxiety and depression ... My mom sat me down when I was probably 18 and she said, 'There is a serotonin imbalance in our family line and it can often be passed from female to female ...'"

As for the medication Bell has taken since a young age, she told Jones,"I have no shame in that because my mom had said to me, 'If you start to feel this way, talk to your doctor, talk to a psychologist, see how you want to help yourself, and 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, ever.' But for some reason, when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they're immediately crazy or something."

To seal her point, Bell wrote a 2016 essay for Time titled “I'm Over Staying Silent About Depression,” in which she clarified some misconceptions.

“Here’s the thing: For me, depression is not sadness,” Bell wrote. “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. It’s important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realize that they are not worthless and that they do have something to offer. We all do.”

Last year, Bell, who shares two daughters with Shepard — Lincoln, 6, and Delta, 4 — partnered with the Child Mind Institute to share advice to her younger self: “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, and everything looks so beautiful, and people seem like they don't have any problems, but everyone's human. Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes."

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