A few days ago Cara Delevingne took to Twitter to explain how dealing with mental illness made being a supermodel pretty tough.
I suffer from depression and was a model during a particularly rough patch of self hatred.
I am so lucky for the work I get to do but I used to work to try and escape and just ended up completely exhausting myself.
I am focusing on filming and trying to learn how to not pick apart my every flaw. I am really good at that.
Okay…. Rant over. Just wanted to clarify and word vomit a little.”
I suffer from depression and was a model during a particularly rough patch of self hatred
— Cara Delevingne (@Caradelevingne) April 1, 2016
Days later, Ruby Rose also posted about her own struggle.
As someone who suffers with anxiety, panic attacks, and periods of depression, I think Cara and Ruby sharing these things is a very, very good thing.
Yes, I get why some people don’t like it. There are people who think that someone who’s famous has no right to discuss such a big, serious topic.
And we don’t necessarily want famous faces being to be the definitive face people think of when they hear about mental illness.
I get all that.
But I’m of the opinion that celebrities sharing their struggles also does a lot of good.
When they admit that they’ve experienced issues with mental health, it does a number of important things.
One: It gets us talking about mental health in a big way.
Two: It breaks down the silence and stigma surrounding mental illness – because if we can talk about Cara Delevingne having depression, maybe it’s okay for us to talk about what we’re going through, too.
Also, when a celebrity speaks out, it reminds everyone that people who seem to have everything can be pretty miserable.
Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders – they’re not moralistic beings that judge how sad you should be, based on your current wage and living situation.
You can have everything you could possibly need in life and not be happy. It’s not a choice. It’s not being ungrateful, or moaning, or not realising that other people ‘have it much worse’.
It’s your brain malfunctioning. It can happen to you even if you ‘should’ be the happiest person around.
The face of depression isn’t just a person who cries all the time. They can be cheery and chatty and confident.
Mental illness is an invisible illness.
You can’t tell what someone’s going through just by looking at them.
When a celebrity admits they have a mental illness, it works to add another story and face to what we think of when we think of mental health and helps break down the negative stereotypes of what people with mental illness are like.
And for people going through similar stuff, a celebrity being open about their issues makes us feel less alone – and reminds us that we can get through this.
If someone with depression can battle through it, work hard, and be mega successful, we can, too.