05/27/2008 AT 6:00 PM ET
Kirsten Dunst is opening up about her stint at the Cirque Lodge Treatment Center in Utah earlier this year, saying that she sought help for depression, not for drug or alcohol abuse.
“I was struggling, and I had the opportunity to go somewhere and take care of myself,” Dunst, 26, tells E! Online. “I was fortunate to have the resources to do it. My friends and family thought it was a good idea, too.”
“She does drink and she does have wild nights, but that was never the root of her issues,” a source close to Dunst tells PEOPLE. “She couldn’t control her depression.”
When Dunst entered rehab in February, another friend told PEOPLE that the actress had been feeling low for some time. “She’s been crying a lot lately, ” said the friend. “Everybody hits that bottom where you feel [so] scared that that one heavy night of partying can really wake you up. It’s good she’s getting herself help.”
As for why she decided to talk about her struggles now, Dunst tells E!, “Now that I’m feeling stronger, I was prepared to say something … Depression is pretty serious and should not be gossiped about.”
Reporting by ALYSSA SHELASKY and JED DREBEN
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