Dove Cameron has always been open about her mental health, and she isn't afraid to stand her ground when people overstep her boundaries.
On Tuesday (December 2), the star observed on Twitter that she had noticed an uptick in "articles speculating about 'why' I must be 'sad,' [and] feeling very frustrated with how the media/some people portray mental health." Her tweet came after another series of tweets she posted in late November that advocated for therapy as a resource if it was available to people.
She had previously mentioned how she was "feeling a bit lighter, but also heavily reminded of just how much real work I have to do/pain I have to untangle" following a therapy session. Yet that vague allusion was seemingly all it took for people to speculate what prompted her observation, or her pain — which is a dangerous practice, given that people can go to therapy for a number of reasons, and experts agree that multiple factors can contribute to stress or trauma.
So Dove put an end to any speculation by addressing the rumors head-on with Tuesday's tweets. "Yes, many things have happened in my life, there are probably many easily summarized reasons that an outsider could easily grasp, or label," she wrote, noting that she has experienced "many deaths, losses, many things that you could literally point to and say 'it’s probably that.' And while those things are massive contributing factors, and everyone holds grief and loss differently, I sometimes feel that defining sadness or suffering/any and all pain is very diminishing of the human experience of pain. Those things, those losses, define me in so many ways. But to say that they are the only sources of pain and sadness in my life, is simply not true," she underscored.
She also engaged with a fan who sympathized, and wondered how she felt about trying to unpack her own feelings in the public eye. "It’s also damaging that they already think they know, and that they assume that what they know about me is all there IS to know about me," Cameron added. "So when they talk about my life in 'highlights' like that’s the entirety of it, it encourages a narrow view of depression/trauma."
Everyone, no matter how successful or famous, is dealing with feelings to which most people will never be privy. Just because someone seems like they have it together, doesn't explain the full picture. There's no shame in seeking help, and going to therapy if it's the right option for you doesn't make you any less successful a person.
According to the Center for Disease Control, more than half of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder in their lifetimes. What's more, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in four young people aged 13-18 are affected by anxiety, and an estimated one in three adults will grapple with anxiety at some point in their lives. Those numbers can seem overwhelming, but they also underscore a vital truth: That people who are trying to navigate and take care of their mental health aren't alone. And just as crucially, there are resources available to people seeking help, at all cost points and geared to help people in different ways.
Or as Cameron put it, "This life is hard, y’all. and mental health/needing help is nothing to be ashamed of. [...] Before you can help anyone else, you must help yourself. You matter."
If you or someone you know is struggling with their emotional health, head to halfofus.com for ways to get help.