Bella Hadid on battling mental and physical health issues: 'Excruciating and debilitating'

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Bella Hadid has put a lot of work into maintaining her mental health.

The 25-year-old model spoke to WSJ Magazine about how she was in “such a weird place mentally” earlier in her career, to the point where she wouldn’t even be able to name her emotions.

“I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo,” Hadid, who was also diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease more than 10 years ago, shared. “It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling. I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why. That was over the past three years.”

Hadid shared some of these photos to Instagram in the past, as a reminder to her followers that “even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth.”

Now, Hadid — who said she begins each day with journaling and is making exercise a priority for her mental health — has more “good days.”

“My brain fog is feeling better, I don’t feel depressed. I don’t have as much anxiety as I usually do,” she explained to the magazine. “But tomorrow I could wake up and [be] the complete opposite. That’s why I get so overwhelmed.”

In November, Hadid took to Instagram to remind her followers that not everything they see on social media is authentic — especially when it comes to how someone might really be feeling inside.

"Social media is not real. For anyone struggling, please remember that," she wrote. "Sometimes all you’ve gotta hear is that you’re not alone. So from me to you, you’re not alone. I love you, I see you and I hear you. Self-help and mental illness/chemical imbalance are not linear and it is almost like a flowing rollercoaster of obstacles… It has its ups and downs, and side to sides."

She left her followers with a message of hope, writing, “If you work hard enough on yourself, spending time alone to understand your traumas, triggers, joys, and routine, you will always be able to understand or learn more about your own pain and how to handle it. Which is all that you can ask of yourself.”

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