Yesterday, the “Havana” singer wrote an essay in the pay-locked Wall Street Journal (WSJ) magazine in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S.
“There was something hurting inside me, and I didn’t have the skill to heal it or handle it," she wrote, according to People. “In order to heal it, I had to talk about it.”
In the article, Cabello details her own experience with OCD and anxiety. The last year has been a difficult time for the Grammy-nominated-singer as she’s experienced “constant, unwavering, relentless anxiety that made day-to-day life painfully hard.” Although, she says she made sure people didn’t know that and filtered her struggles out of her Instagram feed and public image.
“Here’s what there aren’t pictures of from the last year: me crying in the car talking to my m[u]m about how much anxiety and how many symptoms of OCD I was experiencing,” the singer wrote. “My m[u]m and me in a hotel room reading books about OCD because I was desperate for relief. Me experiencing what felt like constant, unwavering, relentless anxiety that made day-to-day life painfully hard."
"I didn’t want the people who thought I was strong and capable and confident—the people who most believed in me—to find out that I felt weak,” she continued. “The little voice in my head was telling me that if I was honest about my mental health struggle and my internal battles (i.e. being human), people would think there was something wrong with me, or that I wasn’t strong, or that I couldn’t handle things."
The former Fifth Harmony member, who struggled to openly discuss her experience with mental health, adding that “it was robbing me of my humo[u]r, my joy, my creativity and my trust,” ultimately decided that she had to talk about it to encourage her to acknowledge it and seek professional help.
“We live in a culture that pursues and unattainable perfection,” Cabello added. “Social media can make us feel like we should be as perfect as everybody else seems to be. Far from being a sign of weakness, owning our struggles and taking the steps to heal is powerful.”
“For a long time, anxiety felt like it was robbing me of my humo[u]r, my joy, my creativity and my trust. But now anxiety and I are good friends. I listen to her, because I know she’s just trying to keep me safe, but I don’t give her too much attention. And I sure as hell don’t let her make any decisions.”
We’re proud of Camila for speaking out about her experience with mental health. Everyone struggles with mental health and it's okay to not feel okay sometimes. Cabello sharing her story gives us all hope to talk about our own problems with our friends and family, and seek professional help.
If you or anyone you know is feeling distressed or struggling with their mental health, know that there are people who are ready and willing to listen. Contact Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). If you feel your life is in danger or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please talk to the folks at Lifeline (13 11 14), 1800Respect (1800 737 732) or 000.