Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Kristen Bell Opens Up About Living With Depression In College

‘There’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness’

Kristen Bell refuses to stay silent about mental illness. Last month, she gave a refreshingly honest interview about her struggles with depression and anxiety. And now she's written a powerful personal essay about asking for help when she needed it most.

"When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty," the Veronica Mars star wrote Tuesday, May 31 on Motto.

At age 18, Bell got some memorable advice from her mother: to tell someone if she ever feels like "a dark cloud is following [her]." It took her 15 years to publicly speak out about her mental health, she revealed.

"When I was in college, that time did come," Bell continued. "I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade. I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself. There was no logical reason for me to feel this way. I was at New York University, I was paying my bills on time, I had friends and ambition — but for some reason, there was something intangible dragging me down. Luckily, thanks to my mom, I knew that help was out there — and to seek it without shame."

"Mental health check-ins should be as routine as going to the doctor or the dentist," Bell continued. "After all, I’ll see the doctor if I have the sniffles. If you tell a friend that you are sick, his first response is likely, ‘You should get that checked out by a doctor.’ Yet if you tell a friend you’re feeling depressed, he will be scared or reluctant to give you that same advice. You know what? I’m over it."

So are we, Kristen. So are we. Read her full essay about being "team human" here.