“You are worthy of being loved”
Opening up about one’s experiences with mental health is far from an easy thing to do, especially when stigma is still very real. Many celebrities, however, have begun to break this barrier in years past, one of them being actor Troian Bellisario. The former Pretty Little Liars star has been vocal about her journey with mental health, sharing her experiences with anxiety and an eating disorder in order to help young fans who may be going through similar battles.
In a recent video, Troian opened up once again about what she has faced, joining the Child Mind Institute‘s #MyYoungerSelf campaign. In the clip, she gives useful advice to her younger self about how to do deal with and embrace her feelings, whether they be happy, sad, or painful. “It’s totally normal for you to feel like somedays you might be overwhelmingly sad, or some days you might be very angry,” she says in the clip. “Some days you might be really happy, and all of these [feelings] are real, and they’re legitimate, and they’re yours.
She adds: “Don’t hide them or push them away…. You’re an incredible person, you’re a sensitive person… You don’t have to take it out on yourself or hurt yourself in any way because you are loved; you are worthy of being loved.”
The #MyYoungerSelf campaign was created in order for actors, athletes, and others in the public eye to share hope with those who may be dealing with their own mental health journey. Others who have participated in the campaign are Isaac Mizrahi, Bo Burnham, and Alyson Stoner.
Troian has been very vocal about her eating disorder in the past. In 2017, while promoting her film Feed, she told Teen Vogue: “For somebody who’s experienced it, you know that when that voice speaks, you feel compelled to listen. You’re either trying to avoid its punishment, or avoid the pain that comes from not listening to it. For somebody who doesn’t experience an eating disorder, they have to understand why somebody would be motivated to follow its orders.” In an essay for Lenny Letter, she opened up further, explaining that that voice follows her every single day, even if her eating disorder itself has alleviated as she’s grown older and attained help.
Troian ends the video saying, “You will grow and you will experience different things and I’m really proud of you,” reminding us all that we are seen, worthy, and loved.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, NEDA‘s toll-free, confidential helpline (800-931-2237) is here to help: Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM EST and Friday 9AM to 5PM. NEDA’s helpline volunteers offer support and basic information, locate treatment options in your area, and can help you find answers to any questions you may have.