On top of being one of the world's most famous supermodels and a fashion icon in her own right, Bella Hadid is also an outspoken mental health advocate. Not only has she previously opened up about her life-long struggle with anxiety but she's also got real about her relationship with alcohol, creating her own non-alcoholic beverage brand Kin Euphorics.
Now, in her latest interview, she's spoken at length about her experience of navigating mental health in the fashion industry and struggling with disassociation from a young age.
“Growing up, I thought it was normal that I had this chronic anxiety and this disassociation, crying every day and not knowing who I was,” she told i-D. “Whether it was eating disorders or smoking a pack of Marlboros since the age of fourteen, I’m like, ‘Oh, this is what all of the kids are doing’.”
According to the mental health charity Mind, disassociation (also spelled as "dissociation") can be described as a feeling of disconnection; "If you dissociate, you may feel disconnected from yourself and the world around you. For example, you may feel detached from your body or feel as though the world around you is unreal." Disassociation is one of the ways that the brain responds to trauma and stress, with dissociative periods lasting between a few hours and days or even weeks and months.
Bella then shared how her mental health struggles and dissociative periods became more severe when she entered the fashion industry. "During that part of my life, I was so out of body, disassociating so much... I was so confused by what people saw of me. I still, even now, see comments on Instagram when I’m sitting on the couch and am like, ‘Are they talking about me?’ I don’t understand how I’ve gotten to this point where people either appreciate my work or know who I am.”
However, she noted that her early struggles are now helped through mental health treatment, specifically counseling. “I realized that maybe that was me trying to figure out why I felt that way. And in reality, all I needed was therapy.”
We're sending love and kindness to Bella on her mental health journey.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.
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