“I think it’s very important that particularly young people, but actually everybody, knows that everybody breaks,” the British actor told Glamour.
The 33-year-old star added that while mental health problems can be “a part of life, what you have to do at that point is acknowledge it and ask for help if you’re lucky enough to be able to get that help”.
Knightley went on to explain how there have been moments in her career when she “hasn’t been able to cope” but that she was lucky because she could afford to get the help she needed at the time.
“Ultimately, it’s nothing to feel ashamed about,” she told the publication.
“I think that particularly with men there’s a big feeling that you shouldn’t have these emotions and that you should be able to cope, and you should be able to man up [...] I think men do have to acknowledge their emotions and they should talk about it; it’s ok to cry because you’re a human being.”
It’s not the first time Knightley has referenced a bout of poor mental health.
In October last year, she told The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast that she had a “mental breakdown” at the age of 22, shortly after she acquired worldwide fame following roles in Bend It Like Beckham, Pirates of the Caribbean and Love Actually.
“I did take a year off there and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of all of that stuff,” she said with regards to the pressures of her early success.
“I felt pretty much like actually I didn’t exist and I was this weird creature with this weird face that people seemed to respond to in quite an extreme way, and I couldn’t quite figure any of it out.”
Knightley went on to explain that she spent her year off travelling the world, describing it as “one of the most important years of [her] life”.
If you have been affected by any issues mentioned in this article, you can contact The Samaritans for free on 116 123 or any of the following mental health organisations:
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