ABC/Aaron Poole(LOS ANGELES) — Descendants star Dove Cameron is opening up about struggles with depression and anxiety.
In an emotionally raw interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 24-year-old candidly spoke about how growing up in the limelight during her teenage years emotionally and mentally impacted her.
Admitting that she "was depressed long before I was famous" and "sensitive," Cameron revealed she labored to hide certain negative aspects of herself as she rose to fame on the Disney Channel show Liv and Maddie, which started airing in 2013.
"I have to regulate myself and pay attention to that, so I developed a clean image that felt protective. It felt like, if I’m going to have no one be mad at me and never get in trouble or step on anyone’s toes, I’m going to be what I know to be — safe. I feel like when you’re 16 and in high school, you’re probably doing that," She confessed to ET. "I was a teenager."
However, struggling to maintain that squeaky clean image created an insurmountable amount of pressure for her due to the "incredibly toxic" celebrity culture that seemingly demands stars to "be perfect" — especially young women.
"I think this culture is so insidious for what is allowed for a woman, especially a developing young woman," detailed Cameron. "It took me a long time to stop feeling so bad about myself."
As for the COVID-19 pandemic, Dove understands that sheltering at home is not easy for everyone and revealed, "Two days ago, I had a massive breakdown. I was like, ‘Humans aren’t meant to be cooped up!’"
Adding that she has a therapist that she regularly communicates with, the actress concluded, "It’s a very interesting, trying time."
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