The feelings of sadness, anxiety and helplessness that come with mental illness are challenging enough, but the stigma around those issues means many who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder or other conditions struggle with shame, too. The dark cloud of guilt can push people to hide their suffering, which only makes them feel more alone.
HuffPost Live has had many conversations with celebrities who opened up about their own mental health, and the thread that runs through them all is the pain they felt before they could speak openly about their feelings. Below, watch five of them discuss their personal issues and explain why it's so important to be honest with the ones you love.
"I surround myself with people that really care about me and really great friends and family, and I have people around me that will tell me when they feel like something is off. So they were sensing that I needed help, and they came to me. And when ... I trusted the people around me, when I saw what they were talking about, I thought, 'You know what? It is time for me to get help. I don't want to be miserable anymore. I deserve to have a better life than this.' And now I live well with bipolar disorder." - Demi Lovato
"I remember the first time I had a panic attack. I thought I was dying. ... You don't know what's happening in your body and your mind. It's the first time I really dissociated and felt like I didn't exist -- some of the most terrifying moments of my life. So it was such a trauma to go through that. But then beyond having those experiences, which a lot of us have, I was so ashamed of it and I didn't know what was happening, so I didn't talk about it." - Jack Antonoff
"I was depressed when I was a kid. I remember when I was 12, that was a really, really bad time. ... It wasn't a good situation, and my mom was there to kind of help me through it. She was like one of the only people that really knew about it. ... At the time, when I was really massively depressed like that, when I really didn't want my life anymore, I was 12. And I remember she came in and she stopped me from doing some stuff. It was crazy." - Jay Pharoah
"If I was able to take in anything that was supportive, loving, compassionate, the horror of depression is that you're void of thinking you're worthy of any of that, and you feel like a burden. You feel like no one understands it, and you feel guilty about that. You feel like no one can help." - Shawn Colvin
"When we wrote the song 'Secrets,' I remember when I was playing around with ideas in my head, it was the very first line I thought of -- I was like, 'What if I start the song by telling everybody that I'm bipolar?' And the whole room was like, 'Are you sure you want to do that?' And I was like, 'Hell yes I do!' I think it's really important to destigmatize mental illness in any form. I think there's a lot of people that are carrying around guilt and shame and baggage for sh-t that doesn't matter. Everybody is going through something. Everybody has had something that they've had to overcome." - Mary Lambert
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
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