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Bella Hadid gets real about dealing with her 'depressive episodes'

"I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why," the supermodel said.
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Bella Hadid discusses her mental health in a new interview with WSJ. Magazine.Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

Bella Hadid is taking back her life one step at a time.

During an interview with WSJ. Magazine published Monday, Hadid got real about her mental health struggles and her life in the limelight, and revealed why she posted photos of herself crying on Instagram in November.

"I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo," the 25-year-old supermodel explained. "It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling. I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why. That was over the past three years.

"(When I posted them) it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way," she continued. "Even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth."

Hadid explained that she felt a lot of anxiety when it came to dealing with the paparazzi who would capture her every movement. Due to her being in such a "weird place mentally," she'd stopped using a stylist for the past two years.

"It was really complicated for me to get out of the house and put an outfit together," Hadid explained, adding, "In the last year, it was really important for me to learn that even if people talk about my style or if they like it or if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, because it’s my style. When I leave the house in the morning, what I think about is: Does this make me happy? Do I feel good in this and do I feel comfortable?"

While striving to overcome her anxiety, Hadid decided to change up her lifestyle by doing healthier routines at the beginning of her week. This way, she would be starting her day off on the right foot.

“I realize now that my body is a temple,” she said, “and the routine that we have in the morning, especially Monday mornings, is …almost the most important thing because if you don’t start your week on a good note, it’s not going to be good for you.”

Hadid said she wakes up at 8 or 8:30 a.m. on Mondays when she's not working and tries to write three pages in her journal, a routine inspired by her favorite book, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron.

Bella Hadid
Hadid maintains a morning routine that includes journaling.picture alliance via Getty Images

"What’s important for me is to have that ritual and have that moment to myself," said Hadid, who also tries to do a "gratitude meditation" in the morning.

Hadid will also go to the gym if she finds a few spare minutes in the day. She adores going on long walks along the Hudson River in New York and doing activities like boxing, Pilates and rowing.

Hadid told WSJ. Magazine she has been feeling better with her mental health.

"I do have good days," she said. "Today is a good day. My brain fog is feeling better, I don’t feel depressed. I don’t have as much anxiety as I usually do. But tomorrow I could wake up and (be) the complete opposite. That’s why I get so overwhelmed."

However, "walking outside, being able to remember there are so many people going through things and have similar patterns to me, it makes me feel better."