Cara Delevingne on Depression: Giving Fans Hope

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Cara Delevingne seems to have it all. She is a supermodel turned movie star, completely in love with her girlfriend Annie Clark, also known as St. Vincent, and from the outside, her life looks like it could be a dream. But, like the rest of us, she is human, and mental illness does not discriminate. Delevingne recently opened up about her own experiences with depression, revealing a deeper side to the star.

Delevingne opened up about her personal struggle, hoping that it would reach her fans and resonate with them. She stated, “Mental illness goes unseen, but hopefully I don’t want it to be unheard…I want to speak up for it.”  She began to speak up when she tweeted an explanation for her disappearance from the modelling world:

“Can we just set the record straight…I never said I was quitting modeling. I do not blame the fashion industry for anything.”

“I suffer from depression and was a model during a particularly rough patch of self hatred.”

As for the rumors of Delevingne returning to modelling with the new Saint Laurent campaign, she stated: “I never quit.”  She merely took a break, as the depression and stress stemming from her schedule began to manifest physically through psoriasis as well as psychologically. She stated that nude and sexual posing found in the modelling industry makes her uncomfortable. She said, “It makes me feel sick. It’s horrible and it’s disgusting, [We’re talking about] young girls. You start when you are really young and you do, you get subjected to…not great stuff.”

Photo by David M. Benett

Photo by David M. Benett

So how did she get through it? In a more recent interview with Elle magazine, Delevingne admitted that yoga helped save her life:

“For me, yoga’s the only way I can really feel things and check how I am. Because there is always pain somewhere, even if it’s completely irrational pain, and it’s always good to find it and get it out. If I don’t cry pretty much every day I will hold it in, and it will manifest in things that are destructive, like my skin.”

This unflinching honesty is the model’s way of trying to help others, as she knew that once fans started sharing their personal struggles with her, she had to do something.

“I couldn’t just sit there and listen to these girls, and boys, too, but usually girls, say this stuff, about bullying, about their sexuality, depression, and guilt and suicidal thoughts and just all of it, without being like, ‘I have been through that, and it’s going to be okay.’ If I can help a teenager go through a better time than they should be, then I am going to [expletive] do that. I mean, [expletive] being a teenager suuucccks. And I somehow came through the other end.”

Delevingne states that she was raised in a home where she was taught to repress her emotions, though she has now realized that manner of coping doesn’t work, and it isn’t healthy. She said, “Emotions should be put first. It’s the most important thing.”

Delevingne’s story is inspiring for many, and her fans now know that someone they look up to is not up on a pedestal. She’s human, she’s been there, and she understands. Hopefully, Delevingne will continue to be a role model to those who reach out to her. It is difficult to speak out about depression; there is still a stigma attached to mental illness, and keeping her struggle private is something Delevingne could have done for many reasons.

Instead, she chose to speak out, an action that could potentially save one of the teens looking up to her. Hopefully, other celebrities will choose to speak out as well, and do their part to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Photo by Stuart C. Wilson

Photo by Stuart C. Wilson

I'm an avid reader and love writing more than anything. My favorite authors include Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and J.K. Rowling. I love fashion, and though you'd never tell by looking at me, I'm a horror movie junkie. Painting is one of my talents, and my ultimate career goal is to be an author.

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