Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

Suvari wants to show that it is okay to be candid about mental health.
Its no secret that Hollywood stars have had their fair share of struggles with addiction and abuse in many forms. From Jane Fonda's addiction to laxatives and weight loss, to stars like Kylie Jenner opening up about their struggles with postpartum depression, it's easy to forget that celebrities are just normal people who have to go through their own struggles just like regular civilians do. And while talking about mental health and struggle may have been taboo in the past, the tide has turned, and people are seen as brave for speaking out about their experiences, whether it be through publishing books, documentaries, or just talking about it during an interview.
Actress Mena Suvari is just one of many Hollywood stars that have found themselves fighting their internal demons, something that is unfortunately common among those who got their career started early in Hollywood, an industry that has its own demons it's working against.
Mena Suvari got her start in Hollywood in 1995 on the popular TV show Boy Meets World when she was just 15 years old, but it was before her career got started that she would experience one of the hardest things a person could ever have to go through.
At just 12 years old, Suvari became the victim of sexual assault by someone in her school, who frequently bullied her as well. Suvari said the experience "sucked the life out of me," and would, unfortunately, continue into her career.
Related: What Matthew Perry Has Revealed About His Journey With Addiction
From a young age, people were constantly commenting about how she looked much older than she was. She went on to date partners much older than her, something no one stepped in to stop. Suvari eventually turned to substances when her mother left the family, saying she was feeling "completely helpless and hopeless."
Unfortunately, her relationships with men wouldn't get any better, with Suvari experiencing emotional and physical abuse as well. Suvari admits that she felt as though she had to lean into being hypersexual, a move that lead her to star in perhaps one of her most well-known films, American Beauty.
This was a tone that would carry out through most of her acting career, including experiences with photographers. It wasn't until much later in her career that she realized what she was experiencing was truly abuse, and she began to distance herself from the character she had portrayed for so long.
Mena's history of the abuses she suffered was coupled with a history of anxiety as well, something that she places partial blame on the sexual assault she experienced when she was 12 and the mindset that it had put her in.
Suvari explains "I do have memories of feeling alone. Very alone. That no one was ever going to ask if I was okay, no one was ever really going to care, no one was ever really going to do anything, and so I just learned to do everything on my own-and that's why no one noticed. I became very good at doing what was asked of me."
Related: Steve Burns From Blue's Clues Opens Up About His Depression While On The Show
The American Pie actress admits that she aims to be more open about her journey with mental health, admitting that she is trying not to hide her struggles as much anymore saying that she is more than willing to "shave off some of the suffering for someone" and how it breaks her heart to imagine anyone else going through a similar struggle.
Suvari says writing her memoir, The Great Peace, helped her process a lot of the emotions and experiences she was going through, and that it helped her work through some of that trauma that she was still carrying with her to this day.
Parenthood and childbirth can be a beautiful experience, with many parents describing the birth experience as euphoric and filled with unconditional love. This is likely the case for parents who have a birth free of complications, or who were able to closely follow their ideal birth plan.
Unfortunately, some things just cannot be planned for, as was the case with Mena Suvari and the birth of her son Christopher. Suvari recalls spending 24 hours in the hospital after some time at home and how her epidural had to be redone after the first one.
Related:Rihanna And A$AP Rocky Spotted In London Barber Shop After Birth Of First Child
Suvari ended up having to have an emergency c-section, an experience that left her feeling sad about not being able to have a vaginal birth.
Suvari admits that she is still struggling with postpartum depression after the birth of her son, and details going through hormonal testing and working with a postpartum doula to help her navigate her feelings. Like many new moms, she details wanting to take space for herself, but feeling guilty about not being in her son's face every moment of every day.
And Mena hopes that opening up about her struggles will help other parents facing the same issues see they are not alone and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Suvari is living proof that a person can work through their demons and still be successful after all these years.
Yanjett is an avid movie, television and music fan who will never miss up the opportunity to nerd out over things she loves. She is totally new at the writing game, but is excited and dedicated to perfecting her craft. Her knowledge covers a broad range of things from the occult, DCEU, Lady Gaga, 90s movies, and the importance of representation in media.


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