“Here’s what there aren’t pictures of from the last year: me crying in the car talking to my mom about how much anxiety and how many symptoms of OCD I was experiencing,” she began the WSJ Magazine piece. “My mom and me in a hotel room reading books about OCD because I was desperate for relief. Me experiencing what felt like constant, unwavering, relentless anxiety that made day-to-day life painfully hard.”
Throughout the article, the 23-year-old explained that her severe anxiety manifested itself as OCD, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, “features a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions).”
“My body went through what felt like multiple roller-coaster rides every day. I kept going and kept showing up, never letting people around me know how much I was really struggling,” she said. “But you probably felt my distance on some level. All my loved ones did.”
The “Havana” songstress explained that she initially didn’t want to share her struggles because she was “embarrassed and ashamed.”
“I didn’t want the people who thought I was strong and capable and confident — the people who most believed in me — to find out that I felt weak. The little voice in my head was telling me that if I was honest about my mental health struggle and my internal battles (i.e. being human), people would think there was something wrong with me, or that I wasn’t strong, or that I couldn’t handle things,” she wrote. “That same little voice also told me maybe I was being ungrateful for all the good in my life — and that hiding the open wound I’d been avoiding the last few years was the easiest and fastest solution.”
Eventually, Camila realized she needed to get help and after cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation and breathing exercises, she is the “healthiest and most connected to myself I’ve ever been.”
“For a long time, anxiety felt like it was robbing me of my humor, my joy, my creativity and my trust,” the former Fifth Harmony member concluded. “But now anxiety and I are good friends. I listen to her, because I know she’s just trying to keep me safe, but I don’t give her too much attention. And I sure as h**l don’t let her make any decisions.”
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-448-4663.
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