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The 25-year-old actress, who plays Marina Thompson in the hit Netflix period drama, shared in a video posted to her Instagram page on Thursday that she sought professional help because she wanted to deal with the “intergenerational trauma bundled up inside.” Barker revealed that after being “really unwell for a really long time” she chose to focus on her mental health and is “better.”
“I just want to be honest with everybody, I have been struggling,” she told her 231,000 followers, adding: “So, I’m in the hospital at the minute and I’m gonna get discharged soon and hopefully get to continue, you know, with my life and I’m gonna take a little bit of a break for myself.”
In the candid video, she urged fans to “stop being so hard on yourself” and seek help if going through a similar experience.
“I want to encourage others, if you are struggling, please do yourself a favor. Take a break, stop being so hard on yourself. And people used to always tell me not to be so hard on myself, and I never really, really knew what that meant.”
Barker reassured fans that she was “on new heights” since getting support, adding that the dialogue around mental health needed to change. She recalled being “rage-filled, frustrated, angry” and “carrying the weight of the world on my back,” before getting a diagnosis.
Although she declined to share her diagnosis, she explained that having it means she is now “relinquishing myself and forgiving myself and drawing a line in the sand.”
As well as thanking her close friends and mentors, Barker praised Netflix and “Bridgerton” executive producer Shonda Rhimes for “saving” her with her role.
Baker signed off by telling fans that she couldn’t wait to get her career back on track, after contracting Covid-19 and her mental health struggles led to her dropping out of West End production “Running with Lions.”
She said: “I cannot wait to fulfill all of my engagements and to have a good career and a good life. Because I do not want my diagnosis to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.”