Troian Bellisario had a difficult time in her teens.
The Pretty Little Liars star, 28, says that in high school, she used to deny herself food as a form of self-punishment.
“I started self-harming when I was a junior. I would withhold food or withhold going out with my friends, based on how well I did that day in school,” Bellisario tells Seventeen.
“I didn’t know what was right and what was wrong, so I think I created this bizarre system of checks and balances to create order in my world. But it really backfired.”
Bellisario can still be self-critical; she says she often feels like an impostor while on set.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m trying too hard, like I don’t belong. I just look around at Lucy [Hale], Shay [Mitchell] and Ashley [Benson], and I’m just like, ‘Why am I on this show?’ Sometimes I’ve felt like a fraud.”
“I’m not like these other girls,” she continues. “I don’t dress like that and don’t know how to do my hair. The minute I’m off that stage, I try to get as ‘me’ as possible. I do that by piling on my black eyeliner, and I put on my ripped tights. Dressing like myself again helps.”
Bellisario admits that, when she feels low, remembering the love she shares with those close to her lifts her spirits.
“My friends and my family – the people who I love and who love me back. Whenever I get down, when I want to crawl under a rock, I just look around at them and I see how rich my life is,” she says.
“You have to remember what’s most important in life. I am loved by so many people and have a wonderful job. I know I’m incredibly blessed. I am a completely lucky human being.”