Health

Cara Delevingne Reveals Mental Health Struggle

October 6th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Cara Delevingne may be a big time model and actress, but her journey to the top wasn't easy.

In a new interview with OK! Magazine, the celebrity revealed her childhood was "sad" because her mother struggled with addiction, leading Delevingne into a spiral of depression. Delevingne is far from alone, as an estimated 350 million people suffer from depression all over the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

RELATED: Here's How to Deal With Stigma Surrounding Antidepressants

“My mother battled a heroin addiction for years and is now writing her memoir," Delevingne said. "As a child I suffered a lot because I wasn’t able to spend very much time with her, and then at 15 this terrible depression hit me. School was a nightmare for me and life felt awful."

When Delevingne discovered acting, however, she felt she could carry on.

"[A]cting was my only way to feel alive," she said.

Delevingne has commented before that acting was always more important to her than modeling. When she signed with Storm Models in 2009, she said acting was her true love. "I enjoy modeling," she explained, "but my passion is acting, that's what I want to do."

Delevingne's public remarks about depression come during Mental Health Awareness Week (and two months after she made headlines for having an awkward TV interview with "Good Day Sacramento," in which the anchors said she was "in a mood").

Delevingne told OK! magazine that worrying about the opinions of others is a "huge waste of time."

"I know something I might say, because I'm trying to be funny or because I'm tired or in a bad mood might get me into trouble and then people might feel entitled to judge you," she said. "I still think though, it's easier for me to be myself and be willing to say I am who I am."

Earlier this year, Vogue interviewed Delevingne for a cover story. The article received backlash for questioning Delevingne's bisexuality. However, the actress also opened up about her depression in the story.

RELATED: Cara Delevingne Just Made an Amazing Point About Bisexuality

"This is something I haven’t been open about, but it’s a huge part of who I am," Delevingne told Vogue. "All of a sudden I was hit with a massive wave of depression and anxiety and self-hatred, where the feelings were so painful that I would slam my head against a tree to try to knock myself out. I never cut, but I’d scratch myself to the point of bleeding. I just wanted to dematerialize and have someone sweep me away."

Delevingne explained that she saw therapists and went on strong drugs for her depression, though nothing quite worked. "I thought that if I wanted to act, I’d need to finish school, but I got so I couldn’t wake up in the morning," she explained in the Vogue interview. "The worst thing was that I knew I was a lucky girl, and the fact that you would rather be dead . . . you just feel so guilty for those feelings, and it’s this vicious circle. Like, how dare I feel that way? So you just attack yourself some more."

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.