Mental health issues are as commonplace as physical conditions yet an ever-present stigma has kept many people from stepping forward and talking about their struggle with their anxiety. In recent years many celebrities have taken the bold step to speak about their mental health and how they suffer from depression and anxiety. Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez are two of the more notable examples. We will take you through seven celebrities who suffer from anxiety and depression and how they deal with them.
Selena Gomez has become one of the most followed celebrities on Instagram, with 167 million followers, and she has spoken about the impact social media attention has had on her mental health. The singer has also spoken about her life on tour which she describes as a “very lonely place to be” in an article featured in Vogue 2017. “My self-esteem took a plunge and I was beset by anxiety and depression.”
It reached a boiling point when the 26-year-old would have anxiety attacks right before getting on stage or right after finishing her performance. After one attack that happened shortly after surgery to replace a kidney, Selena Gomez underwent dialectical behaviour therapy instead of medication, which the singer says has completely changed her life because it helped cure her anxiety.
Ryan Reynold told the New York Times in a 2018 interview that he does suffer anxiety. Ryan is well acquainted with the full spectrum of anxieties from the lighthearted anxiousness to the full-blown sinking feelings, which “are not fun at all.”
The star of the Deadpool movie has suggested in an interview the upbringing with a tough father may have had an impact on his childhood and this may have followed him into adulthood. “My father wasn’t easy on anyone and least of all himself,” says Ryan. “It could be that my anxieties began there, by trying to control myself in an effort to control those around me.” Ryan counts on the support of the Headspace App and trusts that by the time he has to step before an audience, his sweet relief will arrive.
In May of 2017, Ariane Grande was performing in the Manchester Arena when a suicide bomber attacked the stadium. This incident has left an enduring imprint on Ariana Grande. She told Elle Magazine that when she returned home she would get dizzy spells and experience difficulty breathing. “I would also suffer mood swings,” the singer said in an interview, “one moment I would be happy and then suddenly a dark cloud would hit me from nowhere. I have always suffered anxieties, but they have never had such a profound physical impact before.”
Even though Ariana has only recently opened up about her dealing with anxiety, she says she has been in therapy for the past 10 years.
In a 2013 interview, Oprah Winfrey, one of the most well-known celebrities in the world, spoke about an anxiety attack that almost caused her a nervous breakdown. “It started as nothing more than speeding through tasks and responsibilities in a numb awareness,” she says, “but soon it came to a point that if I didn’t stop and calm down I knew something more serious could happen” Oprah says it is her strong religious foundations that give her the power to battle her mental difficulties.
Lady Gaga is well-known for her hits like “Poker Face”, “Just Dance” and many others. She also has faced a battle with depression and anxiety her entire life. The singer has established the “Born This Way” foundation that also helps her fans to gain an upper hand with their own mental struggles and is an effective treatment for anxiety among young people to a degree. She spoke at Yale University about how she used her decision-making power in new ways to combat her negative feelings.
“I told myself ‘No’, I am not going down that road. I don’t like where it ends up. I will not take this picture, go to this event or take this position if it is not something I stand for. This has helped me remember who I am. It is a great feeling to look in the mirror at the end of the day and say, ‘Yes! I can go to bed with this person every night.”
Kendall Jenner has also suffered from extreme panic attacks that stop her from getting a good night sleep. These are often triggered by negativity on social media channels, life’s traumas and constant demands of her professional life. Kendall is also plagued by memories of an armed robber that assaulted her sister, Kim Kardashian. Kendall also has anxieties about flying. In a post made on her website, Kendall tells of a time when she suffered a serious panic attack on a plane and simply had to ride it out till the plane arrived at her destination. Kendall says she uses breathing techniques to keep these anxieties at bay. She doesn't use medication as she feels like it might affect her mind.
When it comes to perfecting their acting career, few are as harsh a self-critic as Hugh Grant. “This has led to panic attacks that seem to strike from nowhere,” he told Entertainment Weekly. He says this can even happen when he is at peak performance, suddenly he will be messing up lines and can’t understand why. The actor has gone as far as to ask the directors to not say action as the word itself can trigger paroxysms of terror.
His anxiety has even made him quit acting for a full five years, but he has since returned to the when he was a lead role in Florence Foster Jenkins in 2016. Hugh says it was the brilliant script and support of veteran actress Meryl Streep that gave him the courage to return. Grant has turned to medication to battle the anxiety he faces.
Celebrities are often encouraged to be perfectly put-together at all times to make a good impression with their fan base. But, the honesty and openness of these celebrities about their mental health have many important benefits. Celebrities with mental health issues are actually extremely important. Famous people who have trouble with depression and anxiety create awareness, provides solutions and just the visibility of their stories is empowering to others. It's not just the celebrities with depression and social anxiety listed above. There are a host of others who suffer from anxiety like Sarah Silverman, Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone.