19 July, 2017
When she starts hearing her brother's voice and seeing him, she thinks everything will be OK. until that voice turns malicious and causes her to become anorexic, unraveling every part of her life. "As someone who struggles with a mental illness, my biggest challenge is that I don't always know which voice inside me is speaking", Bellisario wrote in the essay. While acting means you have to embody a different character, Troian, like Spencer, finds the need to be ideal, and it is a constant struggle that she's been fighting for a long time. "It had to be a narrative that wasn't about me", the actress said. Sometimes it's a little bit hard to tell people, 'I hear a voice in my head, ' and they're like, 'Yeah, OK.
Writing and starring in her semi-autobiographical movie Feed helped the actress silence her inner voice, and now she hopes the movie, which also features Harry Potter star Tom Felton, will help others with similar issues: "So with all the courage I can muster, I give it to you, I give it to that one person, in hopes that it could make them feel enough", she concludes her letter. "Just tell that story, '" Bellisario says. "Writing, producing, and acting in [Feed] helped me get one more degree of separation from my disease in what I know will be a lifetime of work in recovery", she says.
In her essay, Bellisario wrote about pushing herself in working to the point of exhaustion. The actress also admitted that getting help for her problems was not an easy thing to do. It was with her during filming for the pilot episode of "PLL", where it wanted to push her to be professional and flawless like the rest of the cast members, despite feeling numbness in her toes on a cold December day in Canada. Bellisario shared that she wanted to channel the voice in her head, and translate it in a story she can relate to. "I am practiced at ignoring it, for the most part, but it's still there, finding new ways to undermine me", she wrote. "My continuing choice to be in recovery is still affecting me. It's very important for me to be open about how it's a continuing journey and that there's never any part of me that feels like, 'all done.' It's important to talk about that". Now that's a resolution we can all get behind. Contact the Helpline for support, resources and treatment options for yourself or a loved one.