Bella Hadid Spoke Candidly About "Excruciating and Debilitating" Experiences of Depression and Anxiety

She feels it's important to share.

Bella Hadid in New York City
(Image credit: Getty/Gotham)

Bella Hadid has had a terrible time in the past few years, and she is bravely speaking out about her difficult experiences with depression and anxiety.

The model spoke to WSJ. Magazine about how she starts her weeks. For this interview, she felt it was important to share the bad as well as the good, which helps her—and her fans—feel less alone.

Speaking to the publication, she explained why she decided to post a recent Instagram post that included photos of herself crying on a bad day. "I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo," she said (via People). "It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling."

Attempting to describe what was happening, Hadid continued, "I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn't know why. [When I posted them] it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way."

Many celebrities are feeling more empowered to speak about their mental health difficulties these days, and that sentiment—that a problem shared is a problem halved, as it were—seems to be behind these vulnerable revelations. In recent months alone, Pete Davidson explained how much Bob Saget had helped him with his mental health, Naomi Osaka prioritized her mental welfare over the French Open, and Kristen Bell shared her best tips for taking care of herself mentally. I can't speak for anyone else, but these celebrities' willingness to talk about their difficult experiences really does help me feel less alone when I'm struggling.

Hadid also addressed the divide between social media and real life. "Even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth," she said. "I felt like it was just good for me to be able to speak my truth and at some point I wasn't able to post nice pretty pictures anymore. I was over it."

Asked if she struggles at all times, Hadid explained that it depends on the day. "I do have good day," she said. "Today is a good day. My brain fog is feeling better, I don't feel depressed. I don't have as much anxiety as I usually do.

"But tomorrow I could wake up and [be] the complete opposite. That's why I get so overwhelmed."

Opening up about her mental health on social media "made me less lonely because I had a lot of people that have reached out saying, 'I feel that way too,'" she continued.

"Walking outside, being able to remember there are so many people going through things and have similar patterns to me, it makes me feel better. I don't know if that's not what people want on Instagram, and that's fine. I don't have to be on Instagram forever. I feel like real is the new real, and that's what's important to me."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.