Kristen Bell, who has been a strong advocate for mental health awareness, pulls the curtain to share how she and her husband Dax Shepard have helped each other through the trying times of the pandemic.
“At the start of the pandemic, we were at each other’s throats, then all the doors in our house locked, like we had to stay inside, and we were like, ‘Woof, we have to restrain trouble, ‘”Bell said Tuesday on“ The Ellen DeGeneres Show ”.
The two signed up for couples therapy and struggled again last fall when Shepard, who had been sober from alcohol and cocaine for 16 years, relapsed on prescription pain relievers following a motorcycle accident.
Bell shared on Tuesday that their joint therapist had suggested another approach to resolving the conflict.
“He suggested that we go to therapy separately, a bit so that we could talk (expletively) about each other,” Bell said. “And we did, and it’s awesome. What we’ve been doing for the last couple of months is that every two weeks or so I go see (our therapist) Harry via Zoom and complain about Dax, then he’ll give me all the reasons I’m wrong, and Dax will do the same. “
She concluded: “And then, by the time we get together in the evening, we love each other again because our toolboxes are bigger. “
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Bell has previously spoken about anxiety and depression since she was 18, which she says has been exacerbated by the challenges of COVID-19.
“I know I’m introducing someone who’s very bubbly and happy all the time, and most of the time I am, because I have really good tools,” Bell, 40, said in a published interview. last month. “But there are definitely days when the alarm goes off and I say, ‘No, I’m staying here. Nothing worth. … I’m just going to stay in this cocoon because I need it; because I feel very, very, very vulnerable.
“I have a hard time distinguishing between my emotions and someone else’s, and that’s not a compliment to me. It’s a very dangerous thing to play with, ”she said, noting that the deluge of bad news created a“ mental zone that was not healthy for my family ”.
Enter: Shepard, who gave him a hard love that was initially hard to accept: “‘Hey, real quick, are you helping someone right now by sitting up and crying in your bed, or are you just indulgent? »«, She remembers saying. Either stand up and donate money or donate your time or do something to help, or take this story, give it some love, and come here and be a good mother and a good wife and a good friend and live your life in honor of the suffering that is happening in the world. ‘ ”
” How dare you? She said at first, but knew that was ultimately what she needed to hear. The conversation prompted her to donate to No Kid Hungry and donate blood to UCLA Blood and Platelet Center.
Bell took his hat off to Shepard as someone who “elevates vulnerability to an obsessive level.”
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Shepard has since been open about her dedication to getting back on track and her openness to sharing what happened with the public and with her young daughters and those of Bell, Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6.
“If we’re going to talk about who is forced to grow up from whom, I’ll give her credit for that,” Bell said of her husband. “He’s just good to try, and that’s all you can ask of anyone.” Nobody is perfect. He has proven to me that he is determined to grow and enjoys personal growth.
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Tips for a mental health check-up
For others in difficulty, mental health experts suggest that everyone should have regular mental health checks to assess their own well-being – no need to wait for things to take a turn for the worse. Here are some ways to check your own sanity:
- Find a quiet place: When multitasking is the norm, it can be difficult to listen to what our brains are telling us when we are working, caring for others, or distracted.
- Start with the overview: Do you find it difficult to accomplish your daily tasks? It could be a sign that things are going wrong.
- Look at your feelings and behaviors: Have you noticed a change in the way you react to others or to your own actions? Are you doing more disaster than usual? Are you avoiding people?
- Look at your body: How do you sleep and eat? Do you grind your teeth or notice an increase in muscle tension in your neck or shoulders? Are you active as you usually are?
People should do these checks even when they are not in trouble. It is much easier to prevent a crisis than to get out of it.
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If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can call the United States National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) anytime, day or night, or have a chat. online.
Crisis Text Line also provides free confidential 24/7 SMS support to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has resources to help you if you need to find support for yourself or a loved one.
Contributing: Alia E. Dastagir