Former Disney star Karan Brar recently opened up about his struggles with mental health, coming out and finally finding himself in an emotional essay via Teen Vogue.
TW: Mentions of death, grief, substance use, and struggles with mental health.
The 24-year-old actor recalled the time when he decided to come out as bisexual to his best friends Cameron Boyce and Sophie Reynolds, who were also his housemates at the time.
“There was public Karan and private Karan. Both were real, but trying to hold them in one body was proving to be too much. Still, I kept pushing myself until cracks started to form. It all came to a head while I was drunkenly hunched over a toilet bowl, watching my tacos from lunch and several White Claws come back out. I decided that was the best time to come out to Cameron and Sophie,” he wrote.
Brar noted that he regretted his decision “the moment the words left my mouth,” and so he attempted to “do some damage control.”
“The best thing I could think of came stumbling out of my mouth:
‘If you guys want me to move out I can. Just give me two weeks to figure it ou–‘
They interrupted me by hugging me from behind. Again, I told them I should move out. They told me I was being stupid,” he shared.
The ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ actor continued,
“I told them I’d cover for them if people asked why we didn’t live together anymore. They said to shut the fuck up. I told them that they probably hated me. They said my bisexuality changed nothing for them.”
Aside from his difficulty coming to terms with his sexuality, Brar also opened up about dealing with grief and mental health struggles, writing:
“Cameron died in 2019, shortly after we moved in together. His death threw my already-fragile sense of self into a tailspin. I hadn’t dealt with my internalized homophobia, thinking that coming out to my friends was enough to eradicate that (it wasn’t). My mental health worsened, and my grief was unresolved.”
He admitted to having a “deeply unhealthy relationship with alcohol” in an attempt to cope with his internal struggles, which worried his friends. Despite the numerous difficulties that he’s had to overcome though, the actor is thankfully doing better at present. <3
“That was three years ago, and today, I’m doing much better. While in treatment, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder. It’s been ages since I’ve experienced a PTSD symptom, so much so that I don’t think I even meet the criteria for the diagnosis anymore,” he noted.
Brar further expressed,
“My depression has been in remission for some time, and with the help of my medication, I’m finding my emotions to be much more manageable. I’m no longer drowning in the grief of losing Cameron. Rather, I’m in acceptance of grief being an ever changing experience I just have to see through. Everyone around me can also see these changes, and I can feel their shoulders dropping in relief as we go further into our twenties.”
You can read his full essay here.