Jonah Hill Is the Latest Celebrity Guy to Open Up About Prioritizing His Mental Health

This comes after he made a documentary called Stutz about him and his therapist.

Jonah Hill
Photo: Getty Images

Jonah Hill is opening up about his mental health. In a letter published in Deadline, the actor shared he won't make public appearances to promote his latest film, a documentary about him and his therapist called Stutz, or any upcoming films in a bid to work on his anxiety.

"Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events," he wrote.

While most people experience occasional anxiety, those who have anxiety disorders deal with "intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations," according to the Mayo Clinic. Panic attacks, specifically, involve "repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes," reports the Mayo Clinic. (See: Signs of a Panic Attack That Everyone Should Know)

Hill made his latest film to share the tools he's learned in therapy with a wide audience, he explained in his recent letter. "I am so grateful that the film will make its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall, and I can't wait to share it with audiences around the world in the hope that it will help those struggling," he wrote. "However, you won't see me out there promoting this film, or any of my upcoming films, while I take this important step to protect myself. If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn't be acting true to myself or to the film."

The Superbad actor also acknowledged his privilege in being able to take time off work to prioritize his mental health, as not everyone is able to do so. It's no secret that going to therapy is often expensive, and it's not always covered under insurance plans. Furthermore, a study published in 2021 found that affordability was the most prevalent barrier to health care for those with mental health issues.

When you take finances out the equation, there are still many barriers to mental health care, especially for men. For instance, men are less likely to seek mental health treatment than women (about 13 percent compared to 25 percent, respectively), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, research shows societal pressure is put on men to avoid being labeled as emotional or sensitive, and a systematic review published in 2019 found this pressure to be seen as strong may be related to why men are less likely to seek mental health care.

However, the tide may be shifting. Hill isn't the only celebrity guy speaking openly about his mental health. Just last week, Tom Holland took to Instagram to share he'll be taking a break from social media for his mental health. "I find Instagram and Twitter to be overstimulating, to be overwhelming," he said in a video posted on Instagram. He took the opportunity to share information about Stem4, a charity for supporting teenage mental health. "Let's get talking about mental health," he added in the caption of his post.

Earlier this summer Shawn Mendes cancelled his "Wonder" tour to focus on his mental health, sharing a message with his Instagram followers. "I started this tour excited to finally get back to playing live after a long break due to the pandemic, but the reality is I was not at all ready for how difficult touring would be after this time away," he wrote. "After speaking more with my team and working with an incredible group of health professionals, it has become more clear that I need to take the time I've never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger."

This comes after Harry Styles opened up about going to therapy in his cover story for Better Homes & Gardens in May 2022. "I thought it [going to therapy] meant that you were broken," he told the magazine. "I wanted to be the one who could say I didn't need it."

The way these men have used their massive platforms to broach the still often-stigmatized topic of mental health recently is wildly refreshing (though, this certainly isn't an exhaustive list of famous men who've opened up about the topic). Hopefully it inspires more people to be honest about their emotional needs and seek mental health care. (Read more: Why Everyone Should Try Therapy at Least Once)

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