Do you even have to talk about it? Farmers for one don't really care for the past of e-celebs alone and unless anyone messes up presently, they won't even consider talking about it -> no milk
Being upfront sounds good but could also be unnecessary and compromising and tbh, awkward. But that depends on how you feel about it ofc and could be a good step.
I have a bad past, too and am recovering from mental illness, too. Personally, I feel like my past is safely buried and that I liberated myself enough so that noone can truly control me or truly harm me with it.
I don't know your situation and I agree caution is advised putting oneself out there.
But I'm sure the past is not guaranteed to bite one in the ass. If you put out good content and have the consistency you know you have, then backlashes, rumors, etc can only do so much even in that case. Think about what lolcows do and how it still unproportionatly gets back to them.
I think it also depends on the exposure. Unless you have really high numbers people are not all too interested in tearing you down. Meanwhile you can put out your content, create a substantial image, something to show for that stands against any doubt and work your way up.
Idk, these are just some ideas.