9 Celebrities Who Are Vocal About Mental Health Issues
Jennifer Lawrence got candid about her struggles with anxiety during a New York Times
interview this month. “I find a certain peace by thinking of me in public as sort of an avatar self,” she said. She also tried to find a little bit of humor in the situation: “I just try to acknowledge that this scrutiny is stressful, and that anyone would find it stressful. So I’ve got to try to let it go, and try to be myself, and focus on important things, like picking up dog poop.” (Don't miss these Surprisingly Honest Celebrity Body Confessions.)
In a Wall Street Journal
profile earlier this year, Emma Stone opened up about her history with panic attacks when she describes the intense fear she experienced. Stone’s first panic attack happened when she was a child while visiting a friend’s home. She had visions, that she believed were real, of the house burning down around her. Now, as an adult, she’s learned to keep herself calm: “You can’t afford to think about a million other things. You have to think about the task at hand."
In an Instagram post in April, Lena Dunham credited exercise with easing her anxiety. She captioned the photo, “To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it's mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I'm glad I did. It ain't about the ass, it's about the brain." (Check out these 35 Celebs Who Aren't Afraid to Break a Sweat.)
Catherine Zeta-Jones has been applauded for her transparency regarding her struggle with bipolar disorder. In an interview with The Telegraph
, she said “[Bipolar] is something I have been dealing with for a long time. When you get sideswiped like that [with Douglas’s illness] it’s an obvious trigger for your balance to be a little bit off.” Zeta-Jones has found the key to remaining balanced and in control is to get enough sleep and manage stress. As part of a plan to remain healthy, she also plans to check herself into a treatment center regularly.
Actress Olivia Munn suffers from trichotillomania, a condition associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, in which a person pulls out their own eyelashes. In a cover interview with Good Housekeeping
, she recalled going to a hypnotist to help with her OCD. He questioned why she didn’t work out, explaining that exercise was good for anxiety and depression. Munn said, “So during one of our sessions, he hypnotized me. I'm not exaggerating: That was on a Friday, and by Monday I was working out every day at 6 a.m. Now I feel so much stronger.” She credits her ability to manage her anxiety to exercise, therapy, and rest.
When Ellie Goulding tells the story of her first panic attack, she describes the feeling of having a heart attack and being incredibly afraid. Goulding told Cosmopolitan UK
, “I went to see an amazing woman to have CBT”—cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of psychotherapy used to change thinking and behavior—“and she flushed everything out. It took a lot of going back to my childhood. With the help of things like Diazepam in small doses to relax me at certain times, the attacks slowly stopped and now I'm through it." The singer also loves to break a sweat! Check out Ellie Goulding's Inspiring Passion for Fitness.
Actress Brooke Shields has been vocal about her struggle with postpartum depression and her decision to take medication. After the birth of her first child, Shields withdrew into a deep depression. At her lowest point, she threatened jumping from an apartment window and had visions of seeing her baby thrown against a wall. In an attempt to regulate her emotions, her doctor prescribed Paxil, an antidepressant. During an interview with Oprah, Shields urged other mothers to not feel embarrassed about postpartum depression saying, “pay attention to the feelings that you’re feeling and talk about it and ask your doctor. FInd out what medicine’s available. You don’t have to be miserable.” She said that Paxil combined with seeing a therapist weekly pulled her from the depression.
Back in May, Demi Lovato launched a mental health initiative called Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health. The singer herself struggles with bipolar disorder, and did a stint in rehab in 2013. Now, Lovato is much healthier. Speaking with the Huffington Post
in June she said, “Exercising is another way I deal with anxiety. Painting, and writing music, and expressing myself through art are other ways that I can release emotions. Meditation is another one. Whatever it is, it's important to find what works for you.”
Before becoming one of the richest women in the world, J.K Rowling struggled with depression. In fact, the Dementors—dark creatures who feed off of human happiness—featured in the Harry Potter books, emerged from that depression. The Harry Potter books were written during the time after Rowling’s mother’s death, when she was living in poverty and at her lowest. While writing about her demons was cathartic for Rowling, she also credits therapy for helping with her depression. She believes that “rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”