Pop Culture

Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart Opens Up About Depression, and It’s Important

Riverdale's Lili Reinhart Opens Up About Depression, and It's Important | Libero Magazine
Lili Reinhart’s words are inspiring--a battle cry to continue to fight shame and stigma and to continue speaking out about experiences with mental illness.

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You’ve probably at least heard of the new hit TV show Riverdale or the Archie comics it’s based on. The show premiered at the beginning of this year, amassing positive reviews and a large fanbase. The actress who plays Betty Cooper, Lili Reinhart, made waves in May when she tweeted about her experiences with mental health.

Here are the tweets from May 13, 2017:

To follow up on those tweets, Lili Reinhart spoke with SELF Magazine about her struggles with anxiety and depression, beginning in the eighth grade.

“I couldn’t breathe very well, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is what a panic attack is,’” Reinhart said. “No one talked about depression or anxiety in school. I was in this dark place where it seemed like everyone around me wasn’t, and they didn’t understand what was going on with me.”

Moving forward, Reinhart has learned to manage her mental health, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still struggle.

“Even though normally everything is so perfect for me on the outside—I have a job, I have friends, I have a roof over my head, which I’m so grateful for—I still can struggle mentally with anxiety and depression. And I’m not ashamed of my depression—I have never been. I just hope that [young people] can maybe take after my way of looking at it in the sense that it’s not something to be ashamed of ever.” (Read the full article here.)

It’s really important that Reinhart is speaking out about this topic.

Celebrities have a huge platform, and it’s inspiring and encouraging when they use that platform to speak up on important topics like mental health. The significance of this can’t go unnoticed, and I’m grateful that Reinhart used her platform in this way.

Personally, I find it especially meaningful considering that Riverdale’s fan base is made up primarily of young people. The world can be a scary place when you’re young, and it’s even scarier when you’re facing mental health struggles. Many young people don’t have the mental health support and resources they need.

Reinhart may be the only voice of validation they’ve heard, and that’s even more powerful because young people admire her so much.

Stories and the people involved in creating them have played a large role in keeping me going through dark times. In general, content creators have a huge platform because of the vast amount of people who consume their work. But specifically, Riverdale has a huge platform. I imagine there are many Riverdale viewers who are struggling and use the show to escape. Was I just a little younger, I know I could have been a struggling teen using it to escape. This is why it’s so vital that Reinhart infused a message of hope into the hearts of the ones who are listening to her. Who knows how many people needed to hear what she had to say?

Whether you’re a fan of Riverdale or have never watched the show, Reinhart’s words are inspiring–a battle cry to continue to fight shame and stigma and to continue speaking out about our experiences with mental illness.

Ultimately, Reinhart’s words provide a light in the darkness, illuminating the difficulties of mental illness but also providing hope in the midst of them. There’s nothing more valuable than that.

If you’re looking for resources and community, we encourage you to read through our magazine and join our online community and Facebook group. You’re not alone.


Image attribution: By Gage Skidmore(Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sky Walden is a writer in her mid-20s living in Colorado who has been writing ever since she could hold a pen. She's also been coping with a variety of chronic and mental illnesses since she was very young. Her experiences so far have given her a unique perspective on suffering, health, and life in general. Her goal is to be able to search for the good in each circumstance and try to bring it out in her writing to try to encourage someone else. In her free time, she enjoys watching TV with her family, playing The Sims, and working on her fiction novels.

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