In an essay published to Time magazine’s Motto earlier this week, Veronica Mars and House Of Lies actress Kristen Bell discussed her years-long struggle with anxiety and depression.

I felt plagued by 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.

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Known for her sunny demeanor and choice of upbeat roles, Bell wrote the essay with the hope that exposure will help lift the stigma that comes with speaking out about issues surrounding mental illness.

In April, Bell spoke even more candidly about the matter with director and photographer Sam Jones on his YouTube series “Off Camera.” In the interview she talks about the part that genetics plays in mental illness, revealing that her grandmother was one of the first people to be treated with electroshock therapy.

Both the on-camera interview and her essay emphasize how much having a dialogue, any dialogue, helps when feeling as if there is a “dark cloud” hanging overhead.

In order for all of us to experience the full breadth of team human, we have to communicate. Talking about how you’re feeling is the first step to helping yourself.

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