Any fan of the CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend knows that creator and star Rachel Bloom has always been unflinchingly open and hilariously honest about mental health. But Bloom says that she wasn't always so forthcoming when it came to talking about her struggles with both depression and anxiety.
In a new video for the Child Mind Institute, Bloom said that amongst other things, she would want her younger self to know that it's important to talk openly about mental health.
"Sometimes the worst parts of having anxiety and depression or those dark moments are feeling like you are the only person who has this, and you are weird and you are broken, and why don't you just snap out of it," she says in the video. "And once you're open about it, you start to realize a lot of people have this, and a lot of people have a lot of the same exact fears and ways that their mind spirals that you do."
When she became a writer, Bloom says, she realized more and more how important it is to open up about mental health problems to help eliminate the stigma, and help eliminate the shame around mental health treatment.
Bloom is now teaming up with the Child Mind Institute as part of a campaign called #MyYoungerSelf, which is aimed at raising mental health awareness for children. The campaign is also part of an initiative from the Institute called Speak Up For Kids, designed to educate and provide accurate information about children's mental health.
In the video, Bloom says that she wants her younger self to know that getting into a "spiral" of anticipation when it comes to anxiety isn't productive.
"You're not a psychic — you can't predict what's happening," she says. "And anticipating the worst doesn't prevent the worst from happening, it only makes you more and more upset about what could be nothing."
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety and depression are amongst the most common mental health disorders. The ADAA estimates that about 40 million Americans aged 18 and older suffer from anxiety, while over 15 million people suffer from depression. It's also not uncommon for someone to suffer from both anxiety and depression, the ADAA says.
“I would tell my younger self that once you get treatment, you learn to be one of those people who knows how to think in the present," Bloom continues in the video. "And more importantly you can live with yourself and live with your thoughts and you don’t have those moments late at night when you’re afraid to be alone with your worries and your thoughts and you can’t sit still. I can now sit still and be with myself."
Talking about mental health, she says, is important "because a lot of us are going through the same thing. And for me, talking about it, being open about it helps expel some of the bad poison."
If you are experiencing anxiety and are in need of crisis support, please call the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.
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