Ashley Tisdale’s career has come a long way from her starring role in High School Musical, but when she opened up about the inspiration behind her new album at a Create & Cultivate conference in Chicago on Saturday, she had a message for the crowd that harkened back to her HSM days.
When it comes to dealing with anxiety, Tisdale said, "we’re all in this together."
Symptoms, scheduled for release this fall, will be Tisdale’s first album since 2009. Since then she’s been busy producing and acting in movies and TV shows like Scary Movie 5 and Young & Hungry. And, as she told Create & Cultivate founder and CEO Jaclyn Johnson on Saturday, she’s also been on a journey navigating her mental health.
"But kind of the inspiration behind [the album] was, I deal with anxiety, and I've dealt with it probably my whole life," Tisdale explained. "But [I] became super aware of it over the last two years."
Tisdale said this was the first time she’s let the world know what her upcoming album is truly about. Though baring her soul may have put Tisdale in a vulnerable place, it’s definitely an important topic. With this album, she hopes to do her part to help people who have struggled with their own mental health.
"If someone at home can turn it on and not feel so alone, that's all I can do," she said. "So I'm pretty excited about it."
Tisdale is spot on when she says anxiety is a topic that merits more discussion.
Everyone feels anxiety at some point in their life, but when it begins to interfere with your ability to live your life it may actually be a clinical anxiety disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting about 18 percent of the population.
"I think it's just one of those things where we need to talk more about it. Especially because the depression word is a big one. Now we're really comfortable talking about anxiety, but I've kind of always been on a journey of looking at self help books. I've never taken anything, but I definitely have had moments where it's like, more kind of in that mood," she said. "So I just feel like, we need to take the stigma out of that, and just talk to each other about it, and be okay, and know that you're not alone."