Most people know Lili Reinhart as the actress playing the beautiful and mysterious Betty Cooper on CW’s Riverdale and dating Cole Sprouse. What many may not know is that while Reinhart’s Hollywood life may seem perfect on the surface, in reality, she has struggled continuously with anxiety and depression. Mental illness in the United States is on the rise; over 44 million American adults have a mental health condition. It is important that stars such as Reinhart continue to speak up, showing kids and adults alike that when it comes to mental health problems, there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Last Friday, Reinhart posted on her Instagram story about going back to therapy. "Friendly reminder for anyone who needs to hear it: Therapy is never something to feel ashamed of. Everyone can benefit from seeing a therapist," she wrote. "I'm 22. I have anxiety and depression...And today I started therapy again. And so the journey of self-love begins for me."
This was not Reinhart’s first time discussing her mental health issues publicly. She was first diagnosed with depression at 14, which worsened four years later when she moved to Los Angeles. During this time, her condition was so bad that she had to move back home to Ohio to work on her mental health. She returned to Los Angeles six months later after landing her lead role on Riverdale.
In an interview last year with Ocean Drive, Reinhart stated, "I remember being in middle and high school and hearing Demi Lovato speak up about her mental illness and that was comforting. But I wanted more people to stand up. I needed more people to relate to. I was like, all these people can't be so happy, can they? It was kind of like this unrealistic picture that was painted in front of me of all these happy, happy people, successful people, beautiful people.”
Since then, Reinhart has made it a mission to always be open in an attempt to encourage her followers to do what’s best for their mental health. Further, she explained how she wants her younger viewers to understand that perceived success doesn’t necessarily bring happiness.
“And even now I'm on this wonderful show," she pointed out. "I have money in my bank account. I have my own apartment. I have friends. I still go through and experience depression. You don't have to be ashamed of it. You don't need to ever justify the way you feel."
However, Reinhart isn’t limiting her candor to just mental health. In the past, she has spoken up about other issues, including body image. She took to Twitter, stating that having insecurities are okay, but shaming someone for their insecurities is never acceptable.
Reinhart’s openness about her own issues is no doubt extremely empowering to her fans, encouraging them to always be an advocate for themselves and never be ashamed when it comes to mental health issues.