Currently appearing on Channel Ten’s I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! alongside her best friend, Yvie Jones, Kent vividly recalls her experience with anxiety in 2011 when she was just 21 years of age.
“I would work 15-hour days, was ridiculously underweight, hardly slept due to being so anxious about trying to be perfect at everything, especially work,” she writes.
“When it came to having a day off, I would binge drink like a mad woman, and ultimately managed to start a fight with all my nearest and dearest because my subconscious was wanting me to vent one way or another, after trying to be so damn perfect, kind, giving, always there to solve everyone’s problems, day in, day out. So there is lesson No. 1. Numbing your pain with booze isn’t the answer,” she continues.
For those who also struggle with the condition, Kent says that while it isn’t always easy to deal with, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“As I’ve gotten older, I have realised how important happiness is,” the reality star candidly shares.
“I came to realise I didn’t love myself at all. I still don’t completely love myself, but by golly, I am working on it.”
Kent admits it’s been a breath of fresh air to see others in the public eye get real about their private battles.
Celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Adele, Chrissy, Teigen and Selena Gomez are just some of the Hollywood A-listers who have previously opened up about their own experiences with anxiety.
“I have such debilitating anxiety because of everything going on that I literally wake up in the middle of the night with full-on panic attacks,” Kendall has said.
Meanwhile, for Teigen, anxiety is a feeling that’s hard to explain. “Every step I take feels a little shaky,” she told Glamour in 2017. “It’s such a weird feeling that you wouldn’t know unless you have really bad anxiety... You feel like everyone is looking at you.”
These courageous admissions give Kent hope that the stigma attached to mental health will eventually erode. “I love so much how more people are coming out and talking about mental health and their struggles,” she says, adding she now practises mindfulness and meditation as a way to cope.
“Instead of drowning my problems in one too many wines, I am questioning myself, opening up, learning to be vulnerable and have got back into yoga and being more active.
“We all need to help each other and not be afraid to admit when we are not OK.”