“Full House” Star Andrea Barber Talks Mental Health

When people shared their own stories
back with me I thought, “Oh wow, there’s a whole tribe of us out here.” It doesn’t matter if
you are male or female, or rich or poor, or
celebrity or not, we are all one.
We’re all the same. My name is Andrea Barber and I play
Kimmy Gibbler on “Fuller House” and I’m here today to talk
about mental health. As a 43-year-old now
looking back at my life, I can tell you that I’ve had anxiety
from the very beginning of my life, although I didn’t know it at the time
and I couldn’t put a word to it or a definition or a diagnosis
until I was in my 30s. I’ll move my hands around or I’ll
bite my nails a lot or I just get hyper-focused on something. And I talk in my book about how my
anxiety’s rooted in my stomach. So I grew up throwing up
for a lot of my childhood, And I just thought
that was normal. That reared its ugly head again in
my 20s when I was getting married and then it got really, really
bad with my postpartum anxiety after the birth of
my second child. Full house ended when I was 18 and then
I left the public eye for a long time. And so, coming back into it,
even as a 40-year-old, I’ve had to find some new
techniques with my therapist and just learn to breathe and relax and then just doing the
thing that I fear the most. And just saying, “You know what, if
I fail, or if I fall, or if I mess up, it’s not the end of the world. Kimmy Gibbler, oh,
she is a force. [Laughter] I think everyone can learn
something from Kimmy Gibbler. She’s confident, and she doesn’t
let other people’s opinions sway that confidence. Kimmy Gibbler can teach people
a lot about accepting yourself and just loving yourself
for who you are whether you feel
weird or not. I just feel so free being this
really, really confident character ’cause I spent a long period
of my life not being confident. A few years ago, InStyle magazine
asked me to write a piece about running and
mental health and all the sudden these things
just started pouring out of me where I justed started opening up
about these very personal things. And it wasn’t anything
I was ashamed of. I just throught, “This is just me” and
I think that was a significant milestone in my life because that’s
when I finally accepted it. This is just a
part of my story. It’s been very healing and therapeutic
for me to share my story and to hear others share their
story back with me. When you start getting personal
and sharing your own story, I think that’s when it really
makes a difference because that’s when
people start listening. Somebody like Brooke Shields
speaking out and writing a book about her darkest hour, that
made a huge impact on me. Finding out, that person’s going
through the same thing I did. I think that would go
a long way towards bringing us all together as one. My advice for somebody just
starting their mental health journey is that it is worth it.
I mean it can be a long road and a very hard road and it can
feel like it will never get better, but it does. You will gain self-confidence, you will gain
happiness, you will gain self-awareness and then you can help other
people in your life too. If you had told me that
when I was laying in bed, unable to get out of my bed
because I hated myself so much that I would one day be
writing a book about it and talking to strangers and
helping them through it, I never would have believed it. The biggest thing I hope people take
away from my book is just that anxiety and depression
doesn’t discriminate. There’s a whole tribe of us out there and you gotta’ just find your people. Find your people and
hold onto them tight whether that’s people that
relate to what you’re going through or people that support what
you’re going through. That’s what I hope people
take away from this book, or maybe just funny stories
about John Stamos. I don’t know, either one.
Take your pick. So if you preorder the
book before November 12, which is my book
release date, we’ve got some
special surprises. I’m doing a special vlog
about the book and about my castmates
reactions to the book and then just our
final days on the set of “Fuller House” which
is very emotional. And you’ll be entered
into a giveaway to win the cast
wrap gift. You can only get it
if you work on the show. So, go preorder that
book, please! [Laughter]



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