Bella Hadid Gets Candid About Her Struggle With Anxiety And Depression - Women's Health

Bella Hadid Gets Candid About Her Struggle With Anxiety And Depression

“Social media is not real. For anyone struggling, please remember that.”

To scroll through Bella Hadid’s Instagram page is to see a woman at the height of her career. From walking the runway for leading fashion designers and fronting campaigns for luxury brands, to gracing magazine covers the world over, Bella has ascended the ranks to become one of the most in-demand models in the world. Where there were the iconic faces of Heidi Klum and Gisele, Bella is leading a new generation. It would be easy then, to assume hers is a life one could only ever dream about, but as Bella herself admits, just like anyone else she’s also struggled with anxiety and depression. In fact, such struggles are a daily challenge. 

The supermodel took to her social media to share a series of selfies depicting herself crying, along with an empowering message about mental health and the illusion that is Instagram. It comes after Willow Smith opened up about her own mental health battles in a video interview, during which Willow expressed: “All humans are different and every single human has something so unique and special to offer, and people forget that everyone is basically feeling the same way: lost, confused, not really sure why they’re here. That anxiety, like everyone is feeling that and trying to cover it up in some sort of way.”

In sharing images of her vulnerable self during times of great anxiety and sadness, Bella sparked a conversation with her 47 million followers in which she exposed the reality of life that is so often ignored, obscured and covered up by Instagram. “Social media is not real,” she writes. “For anyone struggling, please remember that. Sometimes all you’ve gotta hear is that you’re not alone. So from me to you, you’re not alone. I love you, I see you, and I hear you.”

Opening up about her own struggles, Bella admits that when it comes to mental health, no two battles are the same and depression and anxiety can look different on everyone. “Self help and mental illness/chemical imbalance is not linear and it is almost like a flowing rollercoaster of obstacles…it has its ups and downs, and side to sides,” she explains. “But I want you to know, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and the rollercoaster always comes to a complete stop at some point.” 

Bella stresses that in dealing with her own mental health struggles, she’s not only grown but learned more about herself. She knows now that while feelings of sadness and helplessness can arise at random, she has the awareness now that such feelings subside with time, that they ebb and flow by nature and so she can trust that “even if it’s a few days, weeks, or months, it does get better.”

“It took me a long time to get that in my mind, but I’ve had enough breakdowns and burnouts to know this,” she adds. “If you work hard enough on yourself, spending time alone to understand your traumas, triggers, joys, and routine, you will always be able to understand or learn more about your own pain and how to handle it which is all that you can ask of yourself.”

According to Beyond Blue, it’s estimated that in Australia 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, with over 2 million experiencing anxiety. The latter is now considered the most common mental health condition, with one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – experiencing it at some stage in their life. It’s believed that as a result of the global pandemic, there’s been a spike in rates of depression and anxiety. 

In sharing her story, Bella has encouraged countless others to open up about their own mental health struggles and in doing so, the veneer of social media’s picture-perfect illusion is being scraped off for something more real and vulnerable. While some will always be quick to point out the privilege surrounding celebrities, it shouldn’t detract from the courage Bella has to come forward and be open with her fans. Now more than ever, we should value authenticity over perfection. 

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, help is available. Contact Beyond Blue for support via telephone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636. 

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