Winona Ryder "wasn't taking care" of herself after she split from Johnny Depp.
The 50-year-old actress admitted her mental health declined in the wake of the breakdown of their four-year relationship in 1993, combined with the pressures of Hollywood Culture, but an "incredible therapist" urged her to imagine being more gentle towards a younger version of herself, which helped.
Referring to her 1999 movie 'Girl, Interrupted' - which is about a young woman in a psychiatric hospital - Winona told America's Harper's Bazaar magazine: "That was my 'Girl, Interrupted' real life.
“I remember, I was playing this character who ends up getting tortured in a Chilean prison [in the 1994 drama 'The House of the Spirits'].
“I would look at these fake bruises and cuts on my face [from the shoot], and I would struggle to see myself as this little girl. ‘Would you be treating this girl like you’re treating yourself?’ I remember looking at myself and saying, ‘This is what I’m doing to myself inside.’ Because I just wasn’t taking care of myself.”
Winona is thankful for the support she received from her 'The Age of Innocence' co-star, Michelle Pfeiffer, at the time.
She said: “I remember Michelle being like, ‘This is going to pass.’ But I couldn’t hear it.
“I’ve never talked about it. There’s this part of me that’s very private. I have such, like, a place in my heart for those days. But for someone younger who grew up with social media, it’s hard to describe.”
In 2001, the 'Stranger Things' actress was arrested for shoplifting - which she later claimed was as a result of becoming disorientated after being overprescribed painkillers - and while the incident caused her to "retreat" from the spotlight, she admitted work offers had also dried up.
She said: “I definitely retreated. I was in San Francisco. But I also wasn’t getting offers. I think it was a very mutual break.
“It’s so interesting when you look at the early aughts. It was a kind of cruel time. There was a lot of meanness out there.... And then I remember coming back to L.A. and—it was a rough time. And I didn’t know if that part of my life was over.”
The pressure on young movie stars—and young women in particular—to cement their place in the firmament, against the backdrop of an era when leading men were routinely cast with love interests two decades younger, had to have been crushing.
The 'Edward Scissorhands' star admitted acting can be a "brutal" business.
She said: “This business is brutal. You’re working constantly, but if you want to take a break, they tell you, ‘If you slow down, it’s going to stop.’
"And then it did slow down. So then you’re hearing,‘It’s going to be impossible to come back.’ And then that changes to ‘You’re not even part of the conversation.’ Like, it was brutal.”