Ariana Grande has been very open with her fans about many of her struggles, including those with mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
Grande is following in the tradition of her childhood hero, comedian Jim Carrey, who has been sharing his own struggles with depression for 15 years now. This past weekend, she shared a photo of Carrey, along with a quote he popularized about mental illness.
“Depression is your body saying, ‘I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me,’” the quote read. “You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.”
Depression is more common than many of us realize and is actually the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
One of the greatest assets in fighting depression is supporting one another and not being afraid to start an open dialogue, which is just what happened between Carrey and Grande this week.
The singer says she’s looked up to for the actor for many years. “My first AIM username was jimcarreyfan42 when I was in like 4th grade,” she wrote on Instagram. In 2014, she shared an emotional video of her meeting with Carrey ahead of the MTV Movie Awards. Grande even cried as she met the man she referred to as her “childhood crush.”
This all makes it that much more meaningful that Carrey saw her posts and responded on Twitter to express his admiration for Grande’s openness.
“I read your lovely mention of me and things I’ve said about depression,” he wrote. “A brilliant teacher and friend, Jeff Foster was OG on the ‘Deep Rest’ concept. I admire your openness. I wish you freedom and peace. I feel blessed to have such a gifted admirer.”
Grande wrote back on Twitter, joking that she couldn’t wait to “tattoo this tweet on my forehead.”
She then thanked Carrey for his support and expressed her admiration and love for him, citing him as an inspiration in her life.
Grande’s open and refreshingly honest attitude toward her mental health struggles has made her a powerful role model for young people, and to see Carrey warmly and publicly empathize and express support for her sets a great example for older generations as well.
The more we talk openly about our struggles, the less we will feel shame and loneliness, and the sooner we can fight our way back to health.