Shannon Purser didn't just steal everyone's hearts thanks to her role as Barb on Stranger Things — we also fell in love with her after she made a habit of being candid about her sexuality and mental health. Back in April, she came out as bisexaul ("I've only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends. It's something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don't like talking about it too much.") and a few weeks later, she spoke up about what she felt were problematic aspects in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
"I had a really, really bad case of it," she explained. "Everybody hears OCD and they think, 'Okay, you like to clean or be organized.' That’s really not what it is, especially not for everybody."
Instead, Purser's OCD manifested as being self-conscious to a "debilitating" degree.
"I didn’t feel comfortable talking to people," she admitted. Luckily, however, she's made great strides with her mental health thanks to therapy.
"I will sing the praises of therapy," she said. "I think everybody should be in therapy. It helps so much to have somebody educated you can talk to."
While Purser hasn't totally overcome her OCD — she still has days when she's "very hyper-aware"— she does feel like she's landed on her feet. Now, she's using her time in the spotlight to be the role model she wished she had.
"I think there’s a big stigma surrounding [mental illness] right now," she continued. "And it’s one that I would really love to kind of help clear up and shed some light on."