Bridgerton Star Ruby Barker Just Took A Major Step In Improving Her Mental Health

Mental health can be difficult to talk about openly, especially when you're struggling, which is why it was so brave of actor Ruby Barker to go public with her situation and how she's getting treatment. 

On Netflix's "Bridgerton," Barker plays Marina Thompson, the young girl who goes to live with the Featheringtons and is almost ruined when Lady Whistledown (AKA Penelope Featherington) exposes her pregnancy to the ton to stop her from marrying Colin Bridgerton, per Marie Claire. Of all the characters on the show, Marina's story was definitely one of the darkest. Thompson did eventually get a happy(ish) ending, shown in "Bridgerton" Season 2, where she's living with a kind husband and twin children.

What fans of the show didn't know was that Barker the actor had been struggling with mental health for a long time before she got help, and a diagnosis, as she explained in a new emotional video. 

Ruby Barker was hospitalized

In the six-minute video posted to her Instagram, Ruby Barker explained on May 26 that she was in the hospital, soon to be discharged, for issues regarding her mental health. "I've been really unwell for a really long time," Barker said. The actor added that she'd gotten a diagnosis that she'd discuss another time, but said she wanted to change the dialogue around mental health, because she didn't realize what was going on before it got to a breaking point.

"I thought I was so alone I was trying to hold together my mental health," Barker said. "Just adding so much pressure like my brain was just going to go 'Boom!' And that's basically what happened." She encouraged other people struggling to realize that "you're held and people love you." Barker also sent thanks to the people who helped her through, including the musician Sexton, her friends ("you know who you are"), and Netflix and Shonda Rhimes, "for saving me and giving me an opportunity."

Barker says she won't let her diagnosis be a "self-fulfilling prophecy," and plans to get well so she can continue her life and her career. While she's taking a break from the London play, "Running With Lions," (for which she's gotten great reviews, per The Times), she may be back soon. This also means there's a good chance she'll be back for "Bridgerton" Season 3, which doesn't yet have a release date, according to Elle.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.