Since appearing on our screens on the second season of The Bachelor in 2014 and going on to star in Australia’s first season of The Bachelorette in 2015, Sam Frost’s personal heartbreak and experiences with anxiety and depression have played out for the world to see.
In February this year, Sam revealed on Instagram she quit her “dream job” on Home & Away, where she played Jasmine Delaney for almost five years, to “look after [her] mental health” and “make up for lost time” in relationships she had become quite distant in.
Sam’s decision to focus on mental health and wellbeing might seem like a new priority to some, or perhaps a much-needed pivot after being slammed for her one-time stance on the COVID vaccine, but as she told Hope 103.2’s UNDISTRACTED podcast, it’s a cause that’s mattered to her since childhood.
“Growing up, especially during my teenage years, the conversations around mental health just weren’t happening,” Sam said.
“I grew up thinking that something was wrong with my brain, I thought something was wrong with me.
“I knew I was different: I was really sad all the time, I was really angry and I had a lot of pain.
“I just thought that I would just live my life messed up.
“I later realised, what I was struggling with was anxiety and depression, and it’s actually quite common,” she said.
Sam’s depression peaked at the height of her Home & Away career.
“I was in my dream job, doing something that I was so passionate about and that I loved, yet on the weekends I would sit at home and stay in bed in a dark room all weekend and cry,” she said.
“I realised I wasn’t living my life, and it was setting me back.
“That’s when I decided to go to a health retreat at the start of last year, because I realised I can’t live my life drowning in this depression,” she said.
In her new memoir Believe, Sam has teamed up with her sister Kristine – a qualified youth mentor – to offer insights into what she’s learned through her own life’s challenges, touching on subjects like mental illness, body issues and toxic relationships.
Sam Frost’s memoir Believe touches on mental illness, body issues and toxic relationships.
“I don’t claim to know all the answers [but] I can share an insight into the challenges I’ve faced,” she said.
The book is an extension of the online Believe community, launched by the sisters in 2020, where conversations about mental health aren’t taboo, where everyone is included, and imperfection is celebrated.
One of the ideas Sam likes to share with Believe participants is that our hard times can actually be seasons where deeper meaning in life can be found – a perspective she’s worked hard to develop personally.
“I think to myself, ‘There’s going to be a beauty in all of this. There’s going to be purpose and room for growth and lessons’,” Sam said.
“I think to myself, ‘There’s going to be a beauty in all of this. There’s going to be purpose and room for growth and lessons’,” – Sam Frost
“When you think of it like that, then it sets you free, because you surrender to the experience and [ask] ‘What am I learning?’.”
Sam’s “connection to faith” has “a huge thing” to do with her ability to navigate the turmoil of life.
“I have to have faith that this is what’s supposed to be happening, and [that] there’s something higher looking out for me, I have to trust in that,” Sam said.
“When I lose faith and hope, and I lose my light, that’s when I switch back into victim mentality.”
Sam’s memoir Believe is out now.
Listen to the full episode of UNDISTRACTED with guest Sam Frost in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts.