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Princess Anna of Broadway’s Frozen Opens Up About Mental Health: “Even Disney Princesses Are Terrified Sometimes”

frozen anna mental health illness broadway instagram patti murin

Despite the ubiquity of mental illness–approximately one in six adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of mental illness in a given year–there are still powerful stigmas that prevent so many people from talking about their own struggles with mental health. Those stigmas can also prevent many employers from taking mental health issues seriously and seeing them as a valid reason to miss work.

But mental health is health, and the more we talk about it, the easier it gets to do so. So I’m incredibly grateful whenever celebrities use their fame to spread awareness about these issues. That’s what Patti Murin, currently starring as Princess Anna in Frozen on Broadway, did with this Instagram post, explaining why she wasn’t in last night’s performance.

So last night I called out of the show because I had a massive anxiety attack in the afternoon. It had been building up for a while, and while the past month has been incredible, all of the ups and downs and stress and excitement really takes a toll on my mental health. I’ve learned that these situations aren’t something to “deal with” or “push through.” Anxiety and depression are real diseases that affect so many of us. It requires a lot of rest and self care to heal every time it becomes more than I can handle in my daily life. While I hate missing the show for any reason at all, Disney has been nothing but supportive of me as I navigate my life and work, and I’m so grateful to them. Just remember that you’re not alone, your feelings are real, and this is not your fault. Even Disney princesses are terrified sometimes.

A post shared by Pattimurin (@pattimurin) on

“So last night I called out of the show because I had a massive anxiety attack in the afternoon,” she writes. “It had been building up for a while, and while the past month has been incredible, all of the ups and downs and stress and excitement really takes a toll on my mental health. I’ve learned that these situations aren’t something to ‘deal with’ or ‘push through.’ Anxiety and depression are real diseases that affect so many of us. It requires a lot of rest and self care to heal every time it becomes more than I can handle in my daily life. While I hate missing the show for any reason at all, Disney has been nothing but supportive of me as I navigate my life and work, and I’m so grateful to them.”

Tens of millions of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness (and hundreds of millions worldwide), yet less than half of those affected reportedly seek treatment. Anxiety, depression, and all mental health issues can make a person feel alone and completely isolated.

Murin writes, “Just remember that you’re not alone, your feelings are real, and this is not your fault. Even Disney princesses are terrified sometimes.”

Listen to Princess Anna. If you’re suffering from mental illness in any form, you’re not alone, and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Here’s a great list of resources if you want help but don’t know where to start.

(via Hello Giggles, image: Disney)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.

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