Mayim Bialik says she's 'struggled with mental illness' her whole life

Whether you know her from the hit '90s TV show Blossom, her award-winning work on The Big Bang Theory or her latest primetime sitcom Call Me Kat, Mayim Bialik has spent a lifetime in the spotlight.

But her latest endeavor sees her charting a new course. Armed with a PhD in neuroscience and her own personal experience, the Emmy-nominated actress uses her podcast, Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown, to help others wade through the murky waters of mental health.

"I've struggled with mental illness really my whole life and have started becoming more vocal about it," Bialik says.

Bialik shares that during the pandemic, she and her partner and podcast co-host, Jonathan Cohen, noticed a lot of their friends were dealing with mental health challenges as a result of stay-at-home orders but didn't know the signs or how to identify what they were feeling.

"Friends of mine who never really experienced anxiety were like, 'I'm having trouble sleeping and my stomach really hurts. What's going on?'" she shares. "It's like, 'You're having anxiety! You didn't know what that is!' So many people don't have a basic vocabulary for what they're experiencing."

The Call Me Kat star says her podcast has been helpful as a way of learning what people are going through. By answering people's questions, she wants to help "to make the world of mental health smaller."

Bialik hopes that as more public figures – especially athletes – speak out about struggling with mental health, as it can encourage more people to reach out for help.

"When anyone who has a facade that people think is unbreakable, when those people speak up, it's very very important," she says. "It does make a difference in breaking that stigma and allowing people to see that mental health, it does not discriminate. There's no amount of money that makes you immune."

Read more from Yahoo Life

Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.