Written by Morgan Cormack
Bridgerton’s Ruby Barker has shared how her recent mental health struggles have impacted her life but has urged fans to “stop being so hard on yourself” if going through a similar experience.
In a recent post on her Instagram, Bridgerton star Ruby Barker revealed her longstanding struggle with mental health from a hospital where she’s been receiving treatment and reminded viewers that, for many people, mental health week isn’t just an annual event.
Barker, who plays Marina Thompson, now Lady Crane, in the Netflix period drama, said that she is feeling better after being “really unwell for a really long time” and said that she had been “struggling since Bridgerton”. While she didn’t disclose the name of her diagnosis, she said that “intergenerational trauma” was something that she had been dealing with.
In a video, she said: “I just want to be honest with everybody, I have been struggling. So, I’m in the hospital at the minute, I’m going to get discharged soon and hopefully get to continue with my life and I’m going to take a little bit of a break from myself.”
And in a more reflective moment of the video, she urged fans to be kinder to themselves if they’re going through something similar. She says: “I want to encourage others, if you are struggling, please do yourself a favour. Take a break, stop being so hard on yourself. And people used to always tell me not to be so hard on myself, and I never really, really knew what that meant.”
She went on to admit that she was “rage-filled, frustrated, angry” before seeking help and advice for “all this intergenerational trauma bundled up inside me.” She admits: “I was carrying the weight of the world on my back.”
Barker said she’s also taking the time to come to terms with a mental health diagnosis – something she said she’ll talk more about “at another time”.
“I am relinquishing myself and forgiving myself and drawing a line in the sand,” she said.“I can’t carry on the way that I’ve been carrying on. I need to change. So, that’s what I’m trying to do.”
The actor took the opportunity to also thank Netflix, and Bridgerton executive producer Shonda Rhimes “for giving me an opportunity, for saving me”, in addition to her close friends and mentors.
The poignant caption to her post also reads: “Mental health week is every week for me. Off my chest. I feel like I’ve not been completely honest so this is for my followers. Time to be transparent. I’ve been struggling since Bridgerton, this is the truth. Thank you all for supporting me, your love holds me up. #mentalhealthawareness”
The caption also acts as an important reminder that you never really know what someone can be going through and that, even in a successful acting role like Barker’s in a hit Netflix series, many of us still do use a “positivity mask” to hide our true emotions.
She ended the video by saying: “I cannot wait to fulfil all of my engagements and to have a good career and a good life. Because I do not want my diagnosis to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“I want to survive and I will survive, and I’m going to. And so are you. That’s the beauty of it, so are you. If you’re with me, you’re in good hands. Thank you.”
Barker’s honest and open conversation around her recent hospitalisation and mental health acts as a reminder to us all to remain kind and to stop being so hard on ourselves.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health or emotional wellbeing, you can find support and resources on the mental health charity Mind’s website and NHS Every Mind Matters or access the NHS’ guide to local mental health helplines and organisations here.
If you are struggling, you can also ask your GP for a referral to NHS Talking Therapies, or you can self-refer.
You can also call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email [email protected] for confidential support.
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