"I had a few years entirely erased from my memory."

By Samantha Lauriello
October 11, 2019

Ruby Rose, star of the CW's new series Batwoman, is a badass both on screen and IRL. But that doesn't mean she has it easy. Rose opened up about her mental health struggles in a recent Instagram post, reminding fans that everyone has their issues to deal with, even celebs. 

In honor of World Mental Health Day, Rose shared a photo of herself in the hospital with a caption that began, "I’ve struggled with mental health my entire life." 

The 33-year-old Australian explained she was first diagnosed with depression at 13, and later with major depressive disorder at 16. Two years after that, when she was 18, she was diagnosed with dissociative amnesia.

What is dissociative amnesia? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it's when someone subconsciously blocks personal information from their memory, leaving them unable to remember autobiographical details about their life.

Dissociative amnesia is associated with a stressful or traumatic event. Symptoms include significant memory loss of specific times, people, and events; mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide; and a sense of emotional detachment or numbness.

"I had a few years entirely erased from my memory," wrote Rose, "and a chance run in with my best friend from primary school was the first I learned about it. She remembered me but I didn’t recognize her at all."

RELATED: 12 Types of Depression, and What You Need to Know About Each

After that encounter, Rose went home and asked her mom about it, she recalled. "I found out I went from a smiling laughing child to a quiet mute who sat alone and stared off to the distance during recess after one of many traumatic events that I didn’t remember."

Her mom said she didn't tell Rose about the trauma sooner because doctors thought she was too young to process it, she wrote. "Cut to many dark times. On medication, off medication, on and off and on and off," she detailed. "There were hospitalizations, suicide attempts as young as 12."

It took a long time for doctors to figure out how to help her, she said. She was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder when she actually had depression. She tried therapy, meditation, and self-help books. A brain scan later showed she had PTSD. After more therapy and tests, she received her final diagnosis: complex post-traumatic stress disorder, or C-PTSD. 

RELATED: What Causes PTSD? Here's What Happens to the Brain After Trauma

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a guidebook used by mental health professionals, does not currently acknowledge C-PTSD as a condition separate from PTSD. However, the US Department of Veterans Affairs states that a person may be diagnosed with C-PTSD when they experience chronic trauma that continues or repeats for months or years at a time. That's opposed to trauma of a limited duration, such as a car accident or natural disaster. 

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts about the trauma, depression, and anxiety. 

Rose didn't say when she was diagnosed with C-PTSD or how her mental health is right now. But she did write this: "What I have learned from the struggles of mental health is just how strong I am...It’s that you cannot judge people at all because you can never know what they have been through. It’s that self love and self care is more important than anything else."

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