Goldie Hawn Became 'Very Depressed' When Her Career Took Off at Age 21

“I was very depressed and I had a lot of these issues where I couldn’t even go outside in public,” the Overboard star said

The Child Mind Institute 2019 Change Maker Awards
Photo: Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images

At 21 years old, Goldie Hawn had landed her first big acting role as one of the leads in the TV show Good Morning World. She was becoming famous, but the sudden attention was difficult for Hawn to handle and it thrust her into depression, she said in a new interview.

Speaking about the importance of mental health on the talk show Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, Hawn, 75, said that she struggled in her early 20s.

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

Hawn's rising stardom only made her want to go back to being unknown.

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

The Overboard star decided to reach out for help, and in the process gained a better understanding of how depression affects the brain.

"This is something that, for me, I worked through. I went to a doctor, I went to a psychologist, I learned about quieting my mind and what happens to the brain," she said.

Hawn has spent the years since trying to help others understand the importance of good mental health, particularly in children. That's the goal of her children's mental health organization, MindUp, which provides curriculums for teachers and families to help kids learn how to understand their emotions. Hawn said that it's been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"When this pandemic happened, it gobsmacked everyone," she said. "We didn't know how to handle our children, we were dealing with ourselves…. It's just a plethora of problems."

And Hawn wants everyone, kids and adults, to reach out for help if they need it.

"For every one of us, we may have a different reason why we may feel low, or anxious, or depressed," she said. "All I want to say is that if you really aren't happy, we do need to be able to tend to ourselves, to go to a doctor. Don't be embarrassed."

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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