Meghan Overdeep
Sep 07, 2017 @ 8:15 am

It has been nearly a year since she was arrested at Standing Rock for protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, and, while Shailene Woodley is able to laugh about that now-famous mugshot, she says the experience was anything but funny.

"I was strip-searched. Like get naked, turn over, spread your butt cheeks, bend over," Woodley recently recalled in an interview with Marie Claire U.K. "They were looking for drugs in my a**."

From the horrifying post-apocalyptic appearance of tanks at the protest site to the dehumanizing behind-bars experience, the 25-year-old Big Little Lies star says the whole ordeal left her with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

"When you're in a jail cell and they shut that door, you realize no one can save you," she said. "If there's a fire and they decide not to open the door, you'll die. You are a caged animal."

VIDEO: Behind the Scenes: Shailene Woodley

Woodley, a minimalist and devoted eco-warrior, says she was so traumatized that she turned off the phone forced upon her by Lionsgate for three months following her arrest. "There was so much trauma," she explained. "Mine was like, 'What do I do now?' Kind of like a little bit of depression."

first exhale in a long, long time. photo credit: @josue_foto #backontherez #nodapl #dakotaaccesspipeline #uptous

A post shared by shailene woodley (@shailenewoodley) on

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Despite the lasting emotional impact of Standing Rock, Woodley says she's still committed to working towards a better world. "To me, the biggest shift we can make is the mindfulness around these things. That's the catalyst for change. We must wake up every morning and ask ourselves, 'How can I do more? How am I willing to shift my lifestyle to actually create the change I complain about?'" she told the magazine.

The activist concluded: "Now, all of a sudden you're empowered, you're passionate, you have a fuel beneath your feet to move forward in a way that's conducive not only for your own personal life but also for the world as well."

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