I’m always so grateful when a celebrity opens up about any sort of struggle with depression, addiction— anything that we’re taught to not talk about. Sure, maybe (definitely) we place too much importance on the words of celebs, but when someone with a wide reach and a glamorous lifestyle talks about these things, it chips away at our existing stigmas and hopefully has the potential to make people feel less alone. So when Dax Shepard (who we’ve already established is the actual best) opened up today about some dark pieces of his past, it’s worth celebrating.
I’m not sure if this was the first time Shepard has spoken publicly about these parts of his life, but for many of us, it’s our first time hearing them. In a Sirius XM interview today, he revealed that he was molested by an 18-year-old neighbor when he was seven, and spoke about how it affected him for years. It took him 12 years before he could tell anyone, and he says he spent that time blaming himself.
All that time, I was like, A. ‘It’s my fault,’ as generic as that is, I’m like, ‘it’s my fault. And I’m gay, I must have manifested this because I’m secretly gay.’ I had all these insane thoughts for 11 years or 12 years.
He also spoke about how that experience is linked to his history with substance abuse. Shepard’s mother works as a “court-appointed advocate for kids in foster care,” and she once told her son a statistic she heard at a work seminar that four out of five people who suffer this sort of abuse develop addiction issues.
If you’ve been molested, you only have a 20 percent chance of not being an addict. And I was like, ‘Hmm, interesting,’ because in my mind I just like to fucking have a great time. But when you hear a statistic like that, I’m like, ‘Oh no, I was going to be an addict, period.’
That statistic is mindblowing, and I honestly don’t know if it’s accurate, although there have been a ton of studies linking sexual abuse, especially as a child, with addiction. These are issues that are incredibly difficult to talk about, for anyone, let alone for someone who knows that their story of sexual abuse is going to end up trending all across social media and morning shows. That takes some major guts, so thank you, Dax Shepard.
Via The Wrap.