Cara Delevingne
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
April 16, 2024 ·  4 min read

Supermodel Cara Delevingne might be on a downward spiral

Cara Delevingne is a British supermodel and actress known for her roles in Suicide Squad and Paper Towns. But behind all the glitz and the glamor, the “it-girl” struggles with addiction and mental health issues. Delevingne was seen smoking, drinking, and displaying erratic behavior in the past couple of years. Fans were afraid she was spiraling like her mother, Pandora Delevingne, did in the past. After hitting rock bottom, Cara Delevingne began to seek help for her addiction and depression.

It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun…”

Paparazzi photos captured moments of Delevingne during her struggle, looking disheveled and emaciated. But one candid photoshoot particularly shocked the actress. It took place at a private airport in California as she returned from the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert. She had dark rings around her eyes, wore socks but no shoes, and kept dropping her phone and bending over to clutch her head. These pictures became her wake up call. “I hadn’t slept. I was not okay,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was having fun, but at some point it was like, ‘Okay, I don’t look well.’ You know, sometimes you need a reality check, so in a way those pictures were something to be grateful for.[1]

Cara Delevingne

The pictures also prompted her friends to check on her, not for the first time, but now Delevingne was ready to listen. “I’ve had interventions of a sort, but I wasn’t ready. That’s the problem. If you’re not face-first on the floor and ready to get up again, you won’t. At that point, I really was.” More unflattering paparazzi photos included ones of Delevingne looking unkempt while smoking in a car in a parking lot.

From September, I just needed support,” said Delevingne. “I needed to start reaching out. And my old friends I’ve known since I was 13, they all came over and we started crying. They looked at me and said, ‘You deserve a chance to have joy.’” This conversation helped Delevingne accept that she needed professional help.

Cara Delevingne and Her Mother

In early November 2022, Delevingne attended the red carpet event for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show, her last public appearance before her hiatus as she checked herself into rehab. “I hadn’t seen a therapist in three years,” she said. “I just kind of pushed everyone away, which made me realize how much I was in a bad place. I always thought that the work needs to be done when the times are bad, but actually the work needs to be done when they’re good. The work needs to be done consistently. It’s never going to be fixed or fully healed but I’m okay with that, and that’s the difference.”

Delevingne has spoken about having anxiety and depression since a young age. Her mother, Pandora Delevingne, had a history of heroin addiction and mental illness that spanned over her daughter’s childhood. In fact, Pandora once said that she would occasionally move out to prevent her kids from seeing her at her worst. “Everyone has something they go through with their family,” said Cara in 2022. “My life, I feel, was very stressful, because there was quite a lot of chaos, not being sure if people were okay or not.” [2]

“It doesn’t happen overnight…”

Today, the 30-year-old is committed to the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program, a process that hadn’t appealed to her before. “Before I was always into the quick fix of healing, going to a weeklong retreat or to a course for trauma, say, and that helped for a minute, but it didn’t ever really get to the nitty-gritty, the deeper stuff. This time I realized that 12-step treatment was the best thing, and it was about not being ashamed of that. The community made a huge difference. The opposite of addiction is connection, and I really found that in 12-step.” Her healing journey involves 12-step meetings, weekly therapy appointments, yoga and meditation twice a day, three meals a day, going outside, and psychodrama session (a type of therapy that incorporates role-play). 

This process obviously has its ups and downs, but I’ve started realizing so much,” she said. “People want my story to be this after-school special where I just say, ‘Oh look, I was an addict, and now I’m sober and that’s it.’ And it’s not as simple as that. It doesn’t happen overnight… Of course I want things to be instant — I think this generation especially, we want things to happen quickly — but I’ve had to dig deeper.”

Keep Reading: Abandoned By Parents, She Vowed To Prove Them Wrong – Today, She Models For Vogue


  1. “Cara Delevingne Opens Up About Checking Herself Into Rehab and Getting Sober.Vanity Fair. Emily Kirkpatrick. March 8, 2023
  2. “Cara Delevingne’s downward spiral echoes her troubled mother’s past.” Page Six. Dana Kennedy. October 1, 2022