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'I was hit with a massive wave of anxiety'; Cara Delevingne opens up about the depression she suffered as a teenager

cara hero 2.jpg

We can hardly walk past a billboard or magazine these days without seeing her face, and while Cara Delevingne may seem like the luckiest girl in the world the young model has revealed that life hasn’t always been rosy.

In fact Cara, 22, says she was so seriously depressed around the age of 15 that she self-harmed and even once considered suicide.

“This is something I haven’t been open about, but it’s a huge part of who I am,” she tells Vogue magazine, as its cover star this month. “All of a sudden I was hit with a massive wave of depression and anxiety and self-hatred, where the feelings were so painful that I would slam my head against a tree to try to knock myself out. I never cut, but I’d scratch myself to the point of bleeding. I just wanted to dematerialise and have someone sweep me away.” 

Cara on the front of Vogue

Cara on the front cover of Vogue

She even thought about suicide at one point, but didn’t go through with it. At a low point, alone in a New York apartment, she talks of an unshakable insomnia. “Full-on bubble. I was packing my bags, and suddenly I just wanted to end it. I had a way, and it was right there in front of me. And I was like, I need to decide whether I love myself as much as I love the idea of death.”

When a song started playing on her laptop which had been played at the funeral of a friend who had recently died of a heroin overdose, Cara says: “It felt like a warning from him. And it made me so furious with myself.”

Cara says she was placed on ‘stronger stuff than Prozac’ and admits that she does have the ‘addict gene.’

“I smoked a lot of pot as a teenager, but I was completely mental with or without drugs,” she says. “The worst thing was that I knew I was a lucky girl, and the fact that you would rather be dead . . . you just feel so guilty for those feelings, and it’s this vicious circle. Like, how dare I feel that way? So you just attack yourself some more.”

Cara when she was little

Cara on the left when she was little

Cara also talked candidly about her mother Pandora who is working on a memoir about her battle with heroin addiction, and the eighties London scene that formed its backdrop. “It shapes the childhood of every kid whose parent has an addiction," Cara says.

"You grow up too quickly because you’re parenting your parents. My mother’s an amazingly strong person with a huge heart, and I adore her. But it’s not something you get better from, I don’t think.

"I know there are people who have stopped and are fine now, but not in my circumstance. She’s still struggling.”

Cara and her mum Pandora

Cara and her mum Pandora

Cara also struggled in the early days with the stress of her modeling career and admits passing out on shoots and developing severe psoriasis. “It was like the disgusting way I felt inside was transposing itself on my skin. Somebody should have said stop.”

After spending a week in the sun in LA writing poetry and music the psoriasis went away. But partying was a problem for her. “I had to be doing things with people at all times,” she says. “The life of the party is an easy part for me to play. It rots your insides, though.”

On drugs she claims she hasn't done anything out of the ordinary. “Honestly, I don’t think I did anything different from other people my age,” she says. “But I definitely have that addict gene. For me it comes out in an addiction to work. I’d probably have done more drugs back then if I hadn’t been working like mad.”

Cara and St Vincent

Cara and St Vincent

Cara, due to star in no less than seven films over the next few years, also opens up about her sexuality and how being gay frightened her. “It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognised that I had to accept it,” she says. “But I have erotic dreams only about men."

“Women are what completely inspire me, and they have also been my downfall. I have only been hurt by women, my mother first of all," she adds. 

“The thing is, if I ever found a guy I could fall in love with, I’d want to marry him and have his children. And that scares me to death because I think I’m a whole bunch of crazy, and I always worry that a guy will walk away once he really, truly knows me.” 

Cara has spoken about being in love and very happy with her current girlfriend, singer St. Vincent. 

This month she appears in her first leading role in Paper Towns adapted from John Green’s novel of the same name. 



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