Camila Cabello on battling the stigmas surrounding mental health, medication: 'It can save your life!'
Camila Cabello is done pretending.
In an interview with Wondermind, the "Bam Bam" singer, 25, sat down with its co-founder Selena Gomez and got real about her mental health journey, dealing with shame and what anxiety feels like to her.
"In the moment, everything feels dizzying and overwhelming and like you're on this ride thinking, Just help me get off. In my mind, it's a loop, like obsessive-compulsive stuff," Cabello said, adding that her anxiety can affect her physically as well. "In my body, it's a tightness, almost like I can't move, like my hands are tied and everything is just tied up."
Cabello was not always comfortable talking about her mental health and recalled times when she felt too ashamed to speak up about how she was feeling.
"I felt really anxious even talking about those things because I think before I went on that journey I was almost scared to be found out, like, 'This is weird, my brain is broken, this isn't normal,'" she told Gomez.
With the release of her latest album, Familia, however, Cabello has found solace and community in her newfound vulnerability, which is present throughout the album.
"When you talk about it and people are like, 'Oh yeah, that makes sense,' it's like, Oh wow, there's no big secret to hide. Once I opened up, these people didn't leave me. That was the most healing thing. Then, from having the songs come out and me being able to talk about those things in interviews, it feels like they don't hold so much power for me anymore, whereas before they really held all the power in my life," she said.
Stigmas surrounding therapy and medication previously played a role in Cabello's hesitancy to open up, but she now finds the rhetoric dated and frustrating.
"I feel like it [the stigma] exists even more in the older generations. People like my parents' age have such shame about needing therapy or feeling anxiety. The stigma around saying that you need help is something that frustrates me because sometimes people can be like, 'No, I don't need that, I just need free time,' or whatever," she explained. "Obviously that's valid, but just because you're in therapy doesn't mean something is more wrong with you than other people. We all have things that we could work on, we all have tools that we could learn, and it doesn't mean that you're 'crazy' or ill."
For Cabello, therapy has helped her to bring her most authentic self to every situation.
"I think the best mental health advice that I've ever received is that faking or pretending is the worst thing for my mental health, personally. Saying the truth and being vulnerable and talking about it is basically what my therapist says to me in every session," she said.
She also shared that she has been taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), commonly used to ease the symptoms of moderate to severe depression and anxiety, saying that the medication allowed her to get to the root causes of her anxiety.
"I have been taking an SSRI and that definitely has helped a lot. Especially while I was doing therapy, too. I felt like I needed that to get to a place where I could go below the surface level loops and manifestations of it and get to the thought patterns and things that were really causing me anxiety. I definitely feel like medication can be really helpful and necessary," she said.
Gomez acknowledged that there can be some hesitation surrounding starting medication but expressed how impactful finding the right medication can be.
"100%, it can save your life!" Cabello said.
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