Supermodel Bella Hadid has battled depression and anxiety since her teens and she said that she spent a lot of time working putting on a brave face in front of people and breaking down when she was alone.
She said: “For three years while I was working, I would wake up every morning hysterical, in tears, alone. I wouldn’t show anybody that. I would go to work, cry at lunch in my little greenroom, finish my day, go to whatever random little hotel I was in for the night, cry again, wake up in the morning, and do the same thing.”
In January 2021, Bella had what she termed a burnout and no longer felt like herself, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
She told America’s Vogue magazine: “My immediate trauma response is people-pleasing. It literally makes me sick to my stomach if I leave somewhere and someone is unhappy with me, so I always go above and beyond, but the issue with that is that I get home and I don’t have enough for myself. I became manic. I bleached my hair. I looked like a troll doll. Then I dyed it-it looked like a sunrise. That should have been the first sign.”
Eventually, Bella checked into a treatment programme in Tennessee for two and a half weeks and admitted medication and therapy have subsequently changed her life.
She said: “For so long, I didn’t know what I was crying about. I always felt so lucky, and that would get me even more down on myself. There were people online saying, You live this amazing life. So then how can I complain? I always felt that I didn’t have the right to complain, which meant that I didn’t have the right to get help, which was my first problem.”
The brunette beauty began feeling better but felt low again last September and for the first time in her career, backed out of her working commitments for Fashion Weeks.
Bella deleted her social media accounts and spent a month hanging out with her family in Pennsylvania, which she found “really helpful”.
She said: “When you are forced to be perfect every day, in every picture, you start to look at yourself and need to see perfection at all times, and it’s just not possible. That month off was really helpful for me.”
“To have to wake up every morning with this brain-it’s not cute. So now everything that I do in my personal life is literally to make sure that my mental state stays above water. Fashion can make you or break you. And if it makes you, you have to make a conscious effort every day for it not to break you. There’s always a bit of grief in love.”
Bella has suffered from Lyme disease since she was a teenager, and was also prescribed Adderall for possible ADHD in high school, but the appetite-suppressant effect of the medication pushed her into anorexia.
She said: “I was on this calorie-counting app, which was like the devil to me. I’d pack my little lunch with my three raspberries, my celery stick. I was just trying, I realise now, to feel in control of myself when I felt so out of control of everything else.”
Although Bella has a healthy relationship with food these days, the feelings have stayed with her.
She admitted: “I can barely look in the mirror to this day because of that period in my life.”