Alison Brie Opens Up About Her Struggles with Depression and Body Dysmorphia

"I think it's something I'll probably be working through my whole life," Alison Brie said

Alison Brie
Alison Brie. Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images

Alison Brie is getting candid about her struggles with mental health and body positivity.

In an honest interview with Women’s Health, Brie, 37, shared that body dysmorphia and depression are things she will “be working through my whole life.”

“I go back to red carpet photos where I thought I looked so horrible, and there are some where I now think, God, I looked beautiful. And I’ll remember: An hour before that I was in tears; I thought I was so disgusting. I think it’s something I’ll probably be working through my whole life. And depression too.”

For Brie, living with depression was something she was quite familiar with as mental illness runs in her family.

She shared with Women’s Health that her maternal grandmother had schizophrenia and went through periods of homelessness.

“The rest of my family then dealt with the trickle-down effects of trauma,” Brie told Women’s Health. “And that meant depression more than anything.”

As for Brie’s own personal experiences with depression, she shared that it “comes out of nowhere and really blindsides me.”

The star explained that in order to combat depression, she turns to fitness.

“When I’ve been in a really serious depression, I’ll drag myself to a yoga class — even if I don’t want to be around people — tears streaming down my face. But, get in class, get out of your head, get blood flowing. It ends up helping eventually,” Brie told Women’s Health.

Brie said she also works out six days a week, which include sessions on her Peloton bike and hikes.

alison brie
Woman's Health

The GLOW star also credits her husband Dave Franco with helping her get through her struggles with depression and body dysmorphia.

“I’m so lucky I’m married to a really wonderful, open person,” Brie says of Franco, 34, to Women’s Health. “We have great lines of communication, and I can talk often about my feelings.”

Brie also told the outlet that she’s helped Franco become more aware of different mental health disorders.

“It’s been funny talking to him about it. He said, ‘Before I knew you, I’m not sure I believed body dysmorphia was a real thing. It’s so interesting to me what you see — and what I’m seeing when I’m looking at you — and the frank discussions we have about it,'” Brie said her husband told her.

Brie explored her experience with mental health and that of her grandmother’s in the Netflix film Horse Girl, which she co-wrote and produced.

“The more that I analyzed my personal obsession with my grandmother’s mental illness, I honed in on how it related to me. And it came down to my personal fears of having mental illness in my blood line. If and when something like that were to come on for me, would I have the awareness to know that it was happening? And how scary it is not to be able to trust your own mind,” Brie told Vice in February.

In the film, Brie stars as Sarah, a loner who works in a fabric store that begins to experience unexplained phenomena, prompting her to question her reality.

RELATED: Alison Brie Says ‘Key’ to Marriage to Dave Franco Is to Be ‘Sweet & Loving to Each Other Everyday’

“I hope people leave the movie with a strong sense of empathy for people who are struggling with mental illness. But I also hope that people pick up on some of the more supernatural elements and come up with their own theories about what’s going on. We didn’t set out to make a mental illness movie. This is not a PSA. We’re not diagnosing our character. There’s a lot of other things at play,” Brie told Vice.

Alison Brie
Alison Brie. Slaven Vlasic/Getty

Though Brie says she will have to work on her mental health for the rest of her life, she is in no way ashamed of her body.

Brie told PEOPLE last year that working on GLOW and doing nude scenes has been empowering.

“Even the nudity on the show, to me, has been very empowering,” Brie said. “It kind of reminds myself that I love my body and I’m not ashamed to share it in a non-sexual way on a show … To show nudity as a representation of female friendship and their closeness and their intimacy, was very exciting to me and very true to who I am. I feel a little bit more like myself every year of the show.”

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