Shailene Woodley says her “debilitating” health condition often leaves her feeling “isolated and alone”.
The ‘Big Little Lies’ star suffers from a condition she has never publicly named and very rarely speaks about, but in a new interview she admitted battling the illness has impacted her mental health, as it has forced her to turn down projects she really wanted to take part in.
She explained: “It was pretty debilitating. I said no to a lot of projects, not because I wanted to but because I physically couldn’t participate in them. And I definitely suffered a lot more than I had to because I didn’t take care of myself.
“The self-inflicted pressure of not wanting to be helped or taken care of created more physical unrest throughout those years … I’m on the tail end of it, which is very exciting, but it’s an interesting thing, going through something so physically dominating while also having so many people pay attention to the choices you make, the things you say, what you do, what you look like.
“It spun me out for a while. You feel so incredibly isolated and alone. Unless someone can see that you have a broken arm or a broken leg, it’s really difficult for people to relate to the pain that you’re experiencing when it’s a silent, quiet and invisible pain.”
And although she doesn’t often address her health condition, Shailene insisted she always wants to be honest and “open” with herself and her fans because she thinks it’s “easier” than putting on a front.
She added: “It’s just easier, in my opinion, to be open. I really don’t feel there’s any need to put on a face or be anything other than who you are because otherwise it’s exhausting. You always f****** remember the truth.
“It’s really hard to keep up with the lies or the fabrications or the masks that we put on out of self-preservation. The only person that ends up coming back to haunt is ourselves.”
The 29-year-od actress also spoke about her engagement to Aaron Rodgers, as she said she and the NFL star initially kept their romance out of the spotlight, but chose to confirm their engagement because they didn’t want someone else to do it for them.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, she said: “When we announced that we were engaged, we wanted to do that only because we didn’t want someone else to do it before we did. And we didn’t do it for months and months after we had become engaged, but the reaction to it was really a lot, and so we were like, ‘Let’s just politely decline [to talk about the relationship] for a little while and live in our little bubble.’ ”