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In Her Own Words: Debby Ryan Shares Her Personal Journey In Honor of Mental Health Awareness Month

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Debby Ryan constantly inspires her fans by sharing genuinely motivational messages and honest, tried-and-tested life advice across her social media platforms, but now she is speaking to us all in a whole new way. In timing with Mental Health Awareness Month, the actress filmed a video for the Post It Forward Tumblr where she opens up about her own struggles with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD.

"I wanted to share a couple things that I have figured out or am leading into within dealing with how my mind makes things really, really difficult for me sometimes," Debby starts off her video. "As of right now, depression and anxiety are kind of opposite sides of the same coin. And there are days that feeling daunted by the world and being intimidated by getting out of bed, and just being daunted to be alive – that kind of thing can be genuinely tricky and confusing."


"I know for me, within dealing with OCD, locking the same door over and over, and having a fear that if you don't handle one thing, or do one thing, that something terrible can happen," Debby shares. "Knowing with your mind that you've turned off the lights or pushed clear on the microwave five times, and knowing with your mind that it is okay and not being able to have that peace of mind and satisfaction until you've actually gone and done these sort of rituals... it can feel so cyclical and daunting."

Not only did Debby delve into her own experiences, but she also offered up some words of advice for viewers that may be going through similar things in their own lives – ones that she's learned only from going through it herself.

"Something I encourage you to do is make small goals," she advises. "Take them one step at a time, write them down on a to-do list if you have to, give yourself the satisfaction of crossing them off."

"If there are days where it's daunting to leave the house, and you are standing at the doorway like, 'I can't do out there, I don't want to go out there,' ... sometimes I feel that way about my bed," she adds. "Celebrating any accomplishment no matter how small or large it might feel, don't compare yourself to other people. Especially not people who many not deal with the same mental health issues that you might have. If it is an accomplishment to you to wash your makeup off before bed, be proud of yourself. Celebrate yourself for that, you deserve that."

"If you do deal with OCD, giving yourself the grace of knowing, as Leonardo Da Vinci once said, 'Art is never finished, only abandoned,'" Debby says. "There will be days that are harder than others. For me, my anxiety and my OCD will throw a little party together within my head and say, 'Why can't you just do this thing?'... Give yourself the grace of knowing that this exists, in this moment, in this life, and I want to put it out [to the best of your ability.]"

We're so proud of Debby for bravely opening up about her personal story, and encouraging even further conversation on an important topic.

To hear Debby talk more about her experiences, make sure to press play on her Tumblr video above. If you or a friend are going through anything like Debby describes, know you can always reach out for professional help. To start, the JED Foundation has great resources for young adults, and you can text "START" to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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This post originally appeared on our sister site, Twist magazine.

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