Dove Cameron Reveals Battle With Depression & Dysphoria: ‘I’m Struggling’

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Dove Cameron wants you to know that there’s two very different versions of her. There’s the actress-singer-songwriter Dove fans know as the fluttering voice behind “Boyfriend,” the TikTok-beloved queer anthem that shot into the Billboard Hot 100‘s Top 40 seemingly out of nowhere earlier this year.

But there’s also the Dove that only she will ever really know — a version of herself she’s currently struggling to reconcile with. In a raw Wednesday (May 18) Instagram post, the 26-year-old former Disney channel star shared four tearful mirror selfies and revealed she’s been dealing with depression and dysphoria regarding her public vs. personal identity.

“For me, identity and the self have always been diametrically opposed, and there has only ever been room for one at a time to occupy my life,” she wrote in her caption. “I have never been able to make them hold hands, and I realize as I get older, it’s because I hold a deep seeded belief that who I am is wrong, I am not allowed to be just as I am, I am not meant to be here.”

“So far, the self and the identity seem to harm each other, in my personal experience,”she added. “I’m feeling it out. and if you are too, we can do it together.”

The Schmigadoon! star also posted screenshots of a more detailed explanation she wrote about what she’s been going through. “I’ve been covering mirrors lately,” it read. “I’ve been feeling wrong in clothing that used to make me feel beautiful lately. I’ve been crying a lot lately, sometimes terrorized by my identity and image.”

Ever since the boom in social media and streaming success for “Boyfriend,” an orchestral-padded song in which the narrator fantasizes about stealing another girl away from her boyfriend, Cameron’s LGBTQ identity has been spotlighted after she spent most of her career being perceived as a straight woman. It’s something she recently opened up about with Billboard, saying, “I present like a straight cis woman … So finally when it came up and I was like, ‘I’m really f—ing gay,’ people were like, ‘W-w-wait, wha?!’”

Parts of her recent post, however, hint that becoming public with her sexuality has been more difficult than expected. “Sexuality and performative gender norms, societal rewards and identity are really throwing me for a loop,” she wrote. “Social media and mirrors and branding and the constant broadcasting of self and visibility of ourselves and everyone everywhere is not optimal for mental health, clarity of energy or relationship to our inner world. For any of us.”

“Emotion is COOL,” she concluded. “Dysphoria is OK. Living as a human is INTENSE. We are all holding hands. Don’t forget.”

See Dove Cameron’s post detailing her current identity struggles below:

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health services, reach out to SAMHSA for free and confidential information on mental health resources, treatment and more 24/7 at samhsa.gov or 1-800-662-HELP (4357)/

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