Dove Cameron opened up about her mental health journey and her past suicidal thoughts in a revealing new interview.
The Boyfriend singer got candid with Byrdie in an attempt to destigmatise mental health and to encourage people to get the help that they need.
She reflected on the death of her father, a jewellery designer named Philip, who died by suicide when she was 15, and how it impacted her mental health.
Cameron shared that she’s struggled with depression for most of her life. She explained to the outlet, “I think it’s important just to say this: I’ve had times in my life when I was incredibly suicidal. And I think that needs to be destigmatized.”
“My father [died by] suicide. I’ve spoken about that a lot,” she continued. “And I always think about how much shame and stigma there is around suicide. And if we could be more open about suicide and mental health, I think there would be so many people [who would say], ‘Hey, I feel like there’s no other option. Can you show me that there are?’”
As someone who has been in therapy since she was 8 years old, the Schmigadoon actor has been a vocal mental health advocate for years and has consistently used her social media platforms to share her story and connect with those who may be struggling.
As recent as May 2022, the Disney Channel alum shared in an Instagram carousel that included selfies of her crying and screenshots from her notes app, sharing that she was “struggling” with “the concept of self, my inner relationship to who I know myself to be and my outer perceivable self who I feel I have never known but other people seem to.”
In the accompanying caption, Cameron explained her thoughts on the concepts of “identity vs the self” and “depression & dysphoria.”
“I’ve been covering mirrors lately,” she wrote in the caption. “I’ve been feeling wrong in clothing that used to make me feel beautiful lately. I’ve been crying a lot lately, sometimes terrorized by my identity and image, sometimes in absolute flow with something new and peripheral and joyous to me.”
She continued, “I don’t know if I’ve ever slowed down enough to learn who I am outside of fight, flight or freeze. but the self finds ways of showing up anyway, trickling in enough to hint at who we might be if we didn’t feel we had to be everything but the self.”
The actor also added that she was having a hard time with “sexuality and performative gender norms” and that “societal rewards and identity are really throwing [her] for a loop.”
Over the past few years, the actor has been exploring her sexuality, while initially coming out as bisexual in 2020, but she later admitted to Gay Times that she felt that the label of “queer” suited her better.
At the time of the Instagram post, Cameron shared that she felt more lost than ever, but revealed that she was sharing her caption without a conclusive anecdote because she doesn’t have the answers quite yet.
She added that she doesn’t want people like her to “feel alone in a sea of what seems like humans who are comfortable in their identity.”
“Human, first. The rest is all the rest,” Cameron added to her followers. “Emotion is COOL. dysphoria is OK. living as a human is INTENSE. We are all holding hands. Don’t forget.”
If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email email@example.com, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch. If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.