Winona Ryder has given up trying to convince the public she is not "crazy," 17 years after going public with her depression issues.

The Heathers star sat down for a candid interview with U.S. broadcaster Diane Sawyer in 1999, and famously laid bare her emotional struggles - but opening up about her personal problems at the time did little to remove the stigma from the issue of mental illness.

"I remember I did Diane Sawyer, and I talked about my experiences with anxiety and depression when I was that age," the 44-year-old tells New York Magazine's The Cut, "and I think by doing that, maybe coupled with my physical size, there's this 'crazy' thing. And I've realised recently it's literally impossible to try to change that story."

Despite having difficulty shaking off the "crazy" label, Winona insists she has no regrets about the interview, because various women have thanked her for her honesty over the years.

"It means so much when you realise that someone was having a really hard time and feeling shame and was trying to hide this whole thing...," she continues, "and even the whole, like, sensitive, fragile thing... I do have those qualities, and I just don't think there's anything wrong with them. There were times when I let it feel too overwhelming and almost, like, shamed, but I had to just get over that."

One such incident Winona had to brush off occurred during an outing with her parents, when she was blasted by a fan for refusing to take a photo.

"I've been called a c**t to my face by someone who was just saying they were a fan," she remembered. "I was with my parents having dinner. It was actually kind of upsetting, because it upset my parents, and then I got upset."

Winona is currently experiencing a career revival thanks to her hit sci-fi show Stranger Things, in which she portrays a mother frantically trying to find her missing son.

The Netflix series has won her rave reviews, but some people have still questioned how she managed to channel the feelings of a desperate mum - a role she is unfamiliar with in real life.

"I'm getting asked a lot, 'You don't have kids, so how do you know how to act like a mother?'" she says. "I know nothing could compare, and I haven't had that experience, but when my niece was born, I felt like I would jump in front of a car and die for this little person I didn't even know yet."

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