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Cara Delevingne Said She Missed These Anxiety Red Flags for Years

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Cara Delevingne is continuing to open up about her mental health journey. On the heels of the Vogue April cover story that dove into the model and actor’s “emotionally turbulent” experiences with addiction, depression, and anxiety, Delevingne spoke out again about her recovery from alcohol and substance use, this time at a benefit for the The Center for Youth Mental Health at NewYork-Presbyterian.

In a candid conversation with Vogue.com editor Chioma Nnadi, Delevingne said that her healing process is ongoing, even as she acknowledged that her issues are far from new. “When I was younger, I just remember having this physical, overwhelming speed of thought that I could not stop,” she said. “I would just try and silence my head by hitting it against things to try and knock myself out, because it was that bad.” She remembered dealing with “pressure from school, pressure to be liked,” and added, “I had a lot of sleep issues too when I was younger. And that was all driven by anxiety.”

Unfortunately, Delevingne’s experiences are not unique: Over 9% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 have anxiety, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That number has been rising over time, and the likelihood of experiencing anxiety only increases with age, too: An estimated 31.9% of adolescents (anyone between the ages of 13 and 18) have an anxiety disorder, per the National Institute of Mental Health.

While some of Delevingne’s triggers have evolved over time, a common thread remained with her into adulthood. “That was always a thing—pressure to be better than I was and pressure to fit in,” she said. At 18, Delevingne rose to fame and received the heap of public scrutiny that comes with it. “When I wanted to hurt myself with social media, I would go straight to that comment section,” she said. “But, to be honest, nothing in that comment section will ever be as mean as my head can be.”

At her lowest, Delevingne said, “I wasn’t a very good friend because I wasn’t a very good friend to myself. I obviously didn’t treat myself at all well. I wasn’t able to show up for people as well as I could and should have. But I didn’t let people show up for me, either. I would never talk about things that were going on in my life…I wasn’t able to be vulnerable, because I would hold it all in until the seams split, and I was a mess.” In hindsight, Delevingne sees this all with a newfound clarity. “I thought that was normal,” she said. “And then now I look back and go, ‘It wasn’t.’” Ultimately, Delevingne sought treatment, trying different methods until she figured out what worked for her. “EMDR was really helpful for PTSD, and [I’ve done] CBT.” (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, commonly referred to as EMDR, is a type of therapy that incorporates memory recall and bilateral stimulation, like tapping or eye movements, to treat post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, according to the American Psychological Association.)

Delevingne said she’s also found deep solace in movement: “Yoga was really the first thing that helped me….the breathwork behind it all, [and] learning to connect back into your body.” She additionally credits a 12-step recovery program for helping with her sobriety. “I found an incredible source of community and inspiration from groups of women who lift each other up every day,” she said.

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While Delevingne feels hopeful that the changes she’s made will continue to help her in the long run, she’s still taking things at her own pace—one day at a time. “My girlfriend gets really annoyed with me because I don’t like talking about the future,” she said. “All I know is that I’m still going to make mistakes. I hope that those mistakes are ones made still with my pledge to be myself and [put] myself first. But [right now], there’s just a groundedness and a stability which I’ve never had in my entire life.”

Source: Self

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