In the last several years, so many celebrities have come out about their mental health issues that it’s almost become cliché.
Of course, it makes sense. In 2020, NIH estimated 52.9M adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental illness, so its no surprise that so many celebs would be included in that number.
The model described uncontrollably crying for seemingly “no reason,” feelings of inadequacy, and trying hard to hide her symptoms from her friends and family — all things that many others with depression can relate to.
Bella first recalled experiencing symptoms of depression a few years ago, which started with her crying multiple times a day. She said,
“For three years while I was working, I would wake up every morning hysterical, in tears, alone. I wouldn’t show anybody that. I would go to work, cry at lunch in my little green room, finish my day, go to whatever random little hotel I was in for the night, cry again, wake up in the morning, and do the same thing.”
Things came to a head in January 2021 when Bella had a bit of a breakdown. She recalled,
“I became manic. I bleached my hair. I looked like a troll doll. Then I dyed it — it looked like a sunrise. That should have been the first sign.”
After weeks of suicidal thoughts, she finally sought treatment. She spent two and a half weeks at an in-patient facility and started talk therapy and anti-depressants.
But, as most people with major depression know, this doesn’t solve all of your problems forever. Although Bella did significantly better for a while, she suffered another bout of depression in September, right before New York Fashion Week. She ended up having to back out of her commitments for the sake of her mental health. She explained,
“When you are forced to be perfect every day, in every picture, you start to look at yourself and need to see perfection at all times, and it’s just not possible. That month off was really helpful for me.”
Even though Bella now prioritizes her mental health, it took her a while to realize she should reach out for help. As a supermodel at the top of her career, Bella didn’t always feel like she deserved help. With a seemingly perfect life, who was she to complain?
“For so long, I didn’t know what I was crying about. I always felt so lucky, and that would get me even more down on myself. There were people online saying, You live this amazing life. So then how can I complain? I always felt that I didn’t have the right to complain, which meant that I didn’t have the right to get help, which was my first problem.”
And even though she has finally gotten help, it doesn’t mean she still doesn’t have bad days. She even admitted to crying the morning of her Vogue interview.
“To have to wake up every morning with this brain — it’s not cute. So now everything that I do in my personal life is literally to make sure that my mental state stays above water.”
For those of us with Major Depression with a capital “D,” Bella’s story is one we can easily relate to. Crying without knowing why, feeling like you don’t have any good reason to be depressed — these are things that many of us have experienced ourselves.
On top of that, Bella’s story is a reminder that you can do “all the right things” — therapy, medication, self-care — and still experience depressive episodes.
Unfortunately, major depression is something that many of us, like Bella, will have to contend with for the rest of our lives. Things like therapy and medication can help tremendously, but it’s certainly not a permanent fix. Managing your depression symptoms is a life-long process. But it sounds like Bella might finally be on the right track.