15 Celebrities Who Break the Stigma of Mental Illness
When it comes to mental illness, it’s often a conversation that is overlooked and rarely spoken about. Back in 2010, it was estimated that nearly 45.9 million adults in the United States alone were suffering from mental illness, according to DoSomething.org. Sadly, with the stigma that is so often followed with mental illness, people suffer alone.
Just recently, actress Kristen Bell opened up to Off-Camera about her struggle with depression and anxiety. During the conversation, Bell discussed how she feels ‘the world wants to shame you’ when it comes to this topic. We commend her for speaking up about this! When you get honest with yourself, you begin to break through your fears and grow into a much stronger person.
“I struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. … There is a serotonin imbalance in our family line. I got on a prescription when I was really young and I still take it today and I have no shame in that because my mom had said to me, ‘If you start to feel this way, talk to your doctor, talk to a psychologist, see how you want to help yourself,’” Bell told Off Camera.
“I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time,” the actor opened up to EW, opening up about his personal and professional life for the first time in quite some time. “I’ve had terminal anxiety my entire life. Physically ill, fainting. I’m 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back.”
“I kept having doors slammed in my face,” Minaj told Cosmo. I felt like nothing was working. I had moved out on my own, and here I was thinking I’d have to go home. It was just one dead end after another. At one point, I was, like, ‘What would happen if I just didn’t wake up?’ That’s how I felt. Like maybe I should just take my life?’”
One tremendous problem, especially for trans youth, is the suicide rate,” the Olympic athlete writes. “A recent study of nearly 100 transgender youth, ages 12 to 24, found that 51 percent reported thinking about suicide, while 30 percent had attempted it at least once in their lives.”
“People tell you to always be humble, humble, humble, [but] when’s the last time anyone told you to be amazing, great, or awesome. I will not give up on life again. There’s so many people that will never get the chance to have their voice heard… I do it for them,” West bravely said after his mothers passing.
“Talking about it is really hard because it’s something I suppress and work through every day. And I haven’t really talked about body image in videos. I assume when people read this, they’ll be like, ‘Oh, you’re not fat.’ That’s not what it’s about at all. Even when I was the skinniest I’d ever been, I was still not happy,” Oakley revealed about his eating disorder.
“I lot of people don’t understand it. There’s lot of stigma. People think you’re crazy, you’re a downer or they don’t know how to act around you. We need to talk about this stuff more. A lot of people struggle behind closed doors, including myself,” Laci revealed in a video about depression.
“Like millions of others, I take medication to help treat my mental illness. Treating chronic medical conditions must not be stigmatized,” Green tweeted in 2015.
“I had a nervous breakdown when I was 17 or 18 – when I had to go and work with Marky Mark. It (the job) didn’t feel like me at all. I felt really bad about straddling this buff guy. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks. I thought I was going to die. I went to the doctor and he said, ‘I’ll give you some Valium.’ It was just anxiety. Nobody takes care of you mentally. There’s a massive pressure to do what you have to do (and) I was really little … I didn’t like it. But it was work, and I had to do it,” Moss told Vanity Fair.
“It’s taken me so long to try and push all my negative thoughts surrounding different activities that are linked with my panic attacks, but i’ve just reached a point in my life where I think “SOD IT”. So what if I have a panic attack? What’s going to happen to me? I would rather do more things, that I can look back on and think “I’m so glad I did that” than think “I really wish I’d done that”. I don’t want to ever be left with that awful question floating around in my head of “what if?”. There may be times when you do panic, or you do get in a flap about something, but if you know that ultimately you’re going to be okay, at least you can say you did it, or you tried it, and at least you won’t be left thinking “what if?”’, Zoella wrote on her blog.
When asked by the New York Times in 2015 on how she deals with anxiety she honestly stated, “I have a prescription. I find a certain peace by thinking of ‘me in public’ as sort of an avatar self. You out there can have the avatar me. I can keep me. And I just try to acknowledge that this scrutiny is stressful, and that anyone would find it stressful.”
“I have so many messages in terms of young girls and how mental illness in terms of depression is not something to be ashamed of. You’re not alone. You’re not an alien. My message has always been to accept yourself no matter what, to love yourself, to embrace your flaws. I think flaws are things that make us special. The cracks within us are the beautiful parts that need to have light shed on them,” Delevingne said after dishing some advice.
“Promised myself I would not let exercise be the first thing to go by the wayside when I got busy with Girls Season 5 and here is why: it has helped with my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible, 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,” Dunham stated.
“I struggle with anxiety sometimes, especially when promoting films like this. Just the life of doing what I do, being in the public eye, it’s a stressful environment. So it’s good to go and talk about the things that cause your anxiety. It’s very difficult for me to talk about myself. You feel strange, self-aware, very foolish,” Evan revealed to ShortList about going into therapy.
“I’m not really made for this industry. I have always been kind of shy, since I was a little girl. It’s who I am to be modest, so I really can’t help it. I turn into this different person … seriously, bipolar disorder. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t ever leave the house without 20 cars following me. I felt very alienated from the public. But as time passed, they lightened up and they kind of went away after I wouldn’t come out of the house for like two years,” Spears opened up in her E! documentary.
At the end of the day, we are human. We all struggle with our own various issues, but together we can unite to get through it all. Depression is a very real and often isolating experience, but there is always help out there.