Hailey Bieber shares how online bullying has impacted her mental health: 'It feels really heavy'

Hailey Bieber gets candid about mental health struggles and therapy. (Photo: Getty Images)
Hailey Bieber gets candid about mental health struggles and therapy. (Photo: Getty Images) (Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images)

Hailey Bieber reflected on a time when she didn't want "to be here anymore" while opening up about her mental health.

The 25-year-old model has spoken publicly about her struggles with anxiety in the past and has even used her platform to speak out about mental health awareness and therapy. In a recent interview with Alex Cooper for Call Her Daddy, Bieber opened up about moments "when things can get really dark and you can start having thoughts of it not being worth it anymore or not wanting to be here anymore."

She added, "I have had [those thoughts] before in the past. And coming out of that ... [having] a support system is, like, the most important thing for sure."

Bieber shared how a great deal of her struggles stem from harassment and bullying that she faces online, citing the pressure that surrounds her relationship with husband Justin Bieber. Enduring years of hate and criticism on social media in particular, she said, forced her to be more closed off in the public eye.

"Because of how intense it was it made me just like very closed off and not want to share anything really of myself on the internet," she told Cooper. "I didn’t really want to be open, I would get a pit in my stomach doing interviews. It’s like being traumatized kind of — like you’re too scared to, like, speak or open yourself up or say the wrong thing."

The Rhode Skin founder, as a result, felt that she had to be "meticulous" and "agreeable" when interacting with the public and had difficulty being her authentic self.

"I’m just existing in front of a lot of people, so it's very easy to ... make decisions about how you feel about someone, especially when there’s so much access to look at them and see what they’re doing and there’s social media and there’s photos and there’s just like life," said Bieber, who is the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin. "So I don’t know, I think that sometimes it feels really heavy."

Despite facing her own turmoil, Bieber said that she also experiences guilt over her struggles.

"[It's] this kind of weird, twisted thing where I’m like, I don’t get to feel that way because I have an amazing life and I’m so blessed and I’m so fortunate. So it’s almost like my dialogue in my head feels like, 'Get the f*** over it. You don’t get to feel that way because there are people in this world that are really struggling and you’re not,'" she said. "I’ve had to really try to be more gentle with myself."

She also was transparent about relying on a strong support system when working through difficult emotions or struggling with her mental health. "I do think sometimes you need to express it and you need to go to someone who is gonna feel safe for you and support you in those thoughts, not make you feel like you’re crazy or like you’re wrong for feeling dark and deep and heavy," she said.

And while she's spoken about seeing a psychiatrist and therapist, Bieber shared that she also did an intensive therapy program in December 2021.

"I went to this place that was a therapy intensive. I was there for seven days, no phone, literally therapy hours and hours a day," she said, noting that she did a lot of work to address her tendency to avoid confrontation or difficult emotions. "When I say that I’m, like, shy and stuff like that, I have been guarded emotionally in ways since I was like a little girl. So I think going through the process of also trying to understand why we have some of the tendencies we have since childhood."

As she continues to grow older in the spotlight, the model acknowledged that her mindset has started to shift for the better, as she works to accept that not everybody is going to like her and to step away from people-pleasing tendencies. Despite the impact that her public life has had on her mental health, she assured listeners that critics don't have the power to ruin her life.

"That I think is really the win of the whole thing. You’re actually not taking anything away from me, so that’s what I just keep stepping forward with," she said. "You cannot take away my happiness, my relationship, my business, my career. You just, you can’t. You can try and you can be mad about it, but it doesn’t change anything, is my point."

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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