adut akech opens up about her experiences of depression on instagram

The i-D cover star wants to help break down the stigma around mental health with a New Year message posted to her account.

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02 January 2019, 10:39pm

Photography Campbell Addy. Fashion director Alastair McKimm.

Professionally speaking, Adut Akech had a phenomenal 2018. The i-D cover star appeared in countless editorials and on endless runways, and her stratospheric rise from child refugee to one of the world’s brightest and most exciting fashion stars is truly something to behold. But, as Adut herself explains, professional success and superstardom should not come at the expense of self-care, and they’re not mutually exclusive when it comes to mental health struggles.

Using her platform to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health, Adut took to Instagram over the New Year to share her own personal experience of depression and anxiety with her 273,000 followers. In a candid caption that accompanied a picture of her looking happy and carefree, Adut wrote: “I’ve suffered from really bad depression and anxiety for a while now and I still do but I’m learning to handle it better now but it’s a daily struggle and now every day is a ‘good’ day.

“I would wake up every morning crying but put the biggest smile on my face and tried my hardest to push through the day pretending I was fine then I’d come home and cry some more and go to sleep,” she continued. “This became my routine for the majority of 2018 and in all honesty it was so draining mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I don’t know how I’m still here today but I’m so grateful I am.”

Encouraging those who also suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health problems to seek help, Adut offered a touching message of solidarity. “I just want you to know that you’re not alone in this battle, I’m with you and so are many people in the world,” she said. Her message comes following criticism of Instagram for the poor mental health of its users, so it’s encouraging to see Adut using the social network to show her young fans that what they see in smiling, posed pictures, may not often be the reality behind them.

“I can honestly say that you guys have saved my life because I lost all hope and faith in life, the love and support you gave me every single day allowed me to see my purpose for being on this Earth. So I can’t stress enough to the people who know someone who is suffering from any mental illness, I pray that you guys just be there for them and be their brightest light through their darkest days.”

Now that’s a New Year’s message we can get behind.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.