Game of Thrones' Cersei Lannister is probably one of the least outwardly vulnerable characters on TV. The actress who plays her, however, has no problem opening up about her internal battles. Lena Headey got real with fans on Twitter about her experiences with anxiety and depression after a follower asked her if she ever feels insecure.
"I overthink for sure. I am familiar with depression. I get HUGE anxiety," Headey responded. "Anxiety is a beast. You have to talk to beasts. Release them back into the wild. Easier said than done I know but still. Good to Practice." She continued, "Anxiety. Depression. It's real and it's chemical. It's also spiritual. .. stay with me everyone (and before you ask, yes I'm ok)."
Headey also talked about some of the reasons she believes so many of us are facing mental health challenges today. In her mind, the prevalence of death and devastation throughout the world has a very real effect on our well-being. "Globally we see constant destruction of human lives. Which no matter your belief, has an effect. If we scale it back to family and community," she tweeted. "It's been lost to greed and aspiration, no wonder we have anxiety, no wonder we overthink ..we're slammed with bullshit...
The 43-year-old also slammed the toxic culture of being pressured into believing we aren't enough as we are — that we always need more. She wrote in a series of tweets: "Tricked into thinking. You don't have enough. You're not enough. Pretty enough. Thin enough. Rich enough. Capable enough. Successful enough. Well here's the truth. You are enough... in fact you're who you're meant to be which is BEAUTIFUL...Let's REMEMBER that."
Following her message of compassion and self-love, Headey encouraged people to be their true selves — flaws, insecurities, and all, as frightening as that may be. "Don't be afraid to let someone really SEE you. Magic happens when you are vulnerable and truthful and HUMAN," she tweeted. "Try one conversation face to face without hiding your true self. You'll feel terrified maybe .. for a second .. and then BOOM ...Drop the Mike. You fucking did it. Swagger home with some complex fucked up shared human realness." She also offered some words of support to a couple of followers feeling too scared to show their true selves like she suggested: "Your thought will become an action. I know it. Deep breaths.This is the hard part. LOVE YOU first. Don't second guess someone's reaction."
It's incredible what one strong woman can do with a string of 140-characters. Good for Headey for using her platform to normalize and spark an open discussion about mental health — hers, ours, and everyone's.