Charli D'Amelio has made big strides in her mental health journey.
Fans have watched the 18-year-old grow up ever since a video of her dancing on TikTok went viral in July 2019. By November 2020, she became the first-ever TikTok user to hit 100 million followers, and her family members — parents Heidi and Marc and older sister Dixie, 21 — have developed followings of their own, thanks in part to their Hulu reality series The D'Amelio Show (season two premieres Sept. 28).
But with Charli's social media stardom came critics, and she's had to learn how to avoid negative comments about herself to preserve her mental health.
"For me specifically, I don't know about everyone else, but I don't really look at that stuff anymore," Charli tells PEOPLE over a Zoom call with her family.
"Obviously every day's different, and sometimes we're going to get down and upset, but I think it's definitely to a less extreme. But we also see that on social media, how it affected us in real time," she continues, noting that their family's reality show captured both their high and low days.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Heidi D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Charli D'Amelio, and Marc D’Amelio
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"People have told me how talking about those things has helped them — and no Internet bully or troll could take that away," says Charli.
The TikTok star admits that though she's found solutions for her mental health struggles, they'll always be a part of her journey.
"I think you can't just close that book and never read it again. It's something that follows you," Charli says. "And your job and responsibility for your own mental health is to learn how to best handle that for yourself. Obviously everybody's different and it can be a less consistent pattern, but it's still things that you have to deal with and it'll go up and down... Just day by day, you never know."
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Heidi says she's proud of the progress her daughters have made with mental health. She explains that while it can be extremely difficult as a parent to see her children struggling, she understands the personal steps they had to take to get better.
"I think I'm only as good as they are," Heidi admits. "So when they're struggling, as a parent, you feel a little helpless, and you want them to feel better. You want to take away the hurt or the pain that they're feeling. But the only thing we could do is be there for them and let them know that we're here for whatever it is that they need.
"But if they're sad, I don't come at them with my sadness," she continues. "I come at them with, 'All right. I'm here. What could we do? What do you need? Are you hungry? I'm going to make you food,' the things that I know how to do. And outside of that, we find professionals that can help them in other ways. So it's been really good."
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