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Goldie Hawn opens up about being 'very depressed' in her 20s

The actor is speaking out during Mental Health Awareness Month.
Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn is eager to encourage everyone to take their mental health seriously.Wyatt Counts / AP
/ Source: TODAY

You would think that Goldie Hawn would have been on cloud nine when she began rising to fame in her early 20s, but the actor just revealed that she was actually experiencing depression at the time.

During an interview with Good Morning Britain, the 75-year-old discussed the importance of mental health support and spoke about the work that her MindUP initiative has done since 2003 to give children the tools they need to manage stress. She also opened up about her own experience with mental health challenges.

"When I was young, I became depressed. I was 21 and I (was) rising to success. I know it sounds terrible, but it's a very, very difficult thing. I didn't necessarily want that," she said.

"I was very depressed and I had a lot of these issues where I couldn't even go outside in public."

As she became a household name, Hawn became nervous to go out in public and she explained why her sudden fame initially felt so overwhelming.

"I didn't want to be a big deal. I wanted to go home. I wanted to (get married), I wanted to be a dancing school teacher. I did have a plan (and) I didn't have delusions of grandeur on any level; I was extremely realistic," she said.

Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn at 20, circa 1966. Joseph Klipple / Getty Images

When Hawn began feeling depressed, she sought the help of a doctor and psychologist and learned more about the brain and how to quiet her mind. Later on, the actor became determined to share her knowledge with the younger generation and equip them with the tools they need to manage their mental health.

"Every one of us (has) a different reason why we may feel low, depressed (or) anxious," she said.

The industry veteran has thought a lot about the meaning of happiness over the years, and she was eager to share her ideas.

"Happiness is an interesting thing because it's a state of mind," she said. "Happiness is something that we actually look at, we churn it like you churn butter and create butter and cream out of milk. You literally have to understand that happiness is a choice."

As someone who has benefitted from therapy herself, Hawn is eager to encourage people to try it if they feel like they could use a little help.

"Don't be embarrassed; mental health is real. If I broke my arm, I would go to a doctor. If I fell and hurt my hip, I would go to a doctor," she said. "Our brains are an organ. There are things that we can (do to) help ourselves and doctors can help us. We should never be ashamed to say 'I'm feeling sad.'"