Emmy nominated actress Shannon Purser has recently spoken out about body image, mental health, the power of therapy, and her recent diagnosis of OCD with People Magazine.
“I had a really, really bad case of it,” says the Stranger Things Star. “Everybody hears OCD and they think, ‘Okay, you like to clean or be organized.’ That’s really not what it is, especially not for everybody.”
“In my case, it was me being super self-conscious, to the point where it was debilitating,” she said. “I didn’t feel comfortable talking to people. It’s incredible, but I will sing the praises of therapy. I think everybody should be in therapy. It helps so much to have somebody educated you can talk to.”
Purser states that despite the roller coaster of a year she’s had, she’s been able to land on her feet, which she is thankful for. The star also stressed how important mental health is to her, encouraging others to speak out about the topic.
“I think there’s a big stigma surrounding that right now,” Purser said. “And it’s one that I would really love to kind of help clear up and shed some light on.”
While she has made significant improvements, Purser does admit that she still struggles with the symptoms of her OCD at times. “It’s a process, and I still have days where I’m very hyper-aware,” she states. “But I think the biggest thing has been body positivity has been really important to me.”
Purser states that it’s important to reaffirm yourself and work toward becoming comfortable in your own skin and not conforming to what others believe is the perfect image.
“I don’t have a typical body type, and that used to be something that made me feel very alone and weird,” admits Purser. “I’ve gotten so many messages from people saying like, ‘It’s so refreshing to see somebody who looks like me on TV,’ and that really means the world to me.”
Purser believes that getting to a place of self-acceptance helped her look past all the insecurities and really grow as a person.
This piece is based on an article by Raha Lewis and Aurelie Corinthios for People Magazine, which can be seen here.
Mike Nickas received his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University in December of 2015, and is currently pursuing his second BA at the University of South Florida in psychology with a minor in education. He is the former host of the online news show The Week in Neurodiversity. He also currently works for Dr. Mike Rizzo’s Child Provider Specialists in Weston, FL.