It takes courage and grace to tear down the stigma
In 2013 one of my first blogs focused on the courage of David Letterman, who came out about his depression. Surprisingly, this has been one of the most googled pages on my site. People seem hungry to learn of others who have succeeded despite their mental illness.
Nowadays with the internet and social media, more and more stars and celebrities are revealing their mental health issues. I always feel uplifted when this happens. These these people take a risk when they tell the truth about their struggles and how they overcame them. They make mental illness more normal – which is the reality. Mental illness is not unusual at all.
And yet, so much stigma is still attached to the term. Physical illness often elicits concern and compassion. But people still get judgemental and afraid when it comes to mental illness. So when someone suffers, its often in silence, and in secret.
As a therapist, I admire my clients who deal with their mental health issues with courage and tenacity. I love seeing them go on to live fuller and healthier lives.
And as more and more people in the public eye share their mental health struggles, they normalize these invisible illnesses. So anxiety, depression, trauma, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks and ADHD (to name a few) become less scary. And the information they provide is a generous public service.
And so I am listing 30 more well-known stars, and the mental health issues they have struggled with and overcome. Here’s to the hope they represent!
- Adam Levine: “People Notice It Every Day.” The Voice’s Adam Levine Opens Up About His Battle With Adult ADHD, by Chantal Waldholz (Life & Style, Feb 2014)
- Adele: Adele Opens Up About Depression, “I felt very inadequate,” by Brittney McNamara (Teen Vogue, Nov 2016)
- Beyonce: Beyonce: I took a gap year to stop going crazy (The Sun, April 2016)
- Bill Hader: Bill Hader Shares His Advice for Managing Anxiety, by Philip Ellis (Msn.com, Sept 2019)
- Brooke Shields: How Brooke Shields Overcame Postpartum Depression, by Mollyb (Health Info Guide)
- Catherine Zeta-Jones: Catherine Zeta-Jones Sheds Light on Bipolar II Disorder (Abc news, April 2011)
- Demi Lovato: Demi Lovato Fights for Mental Health Reform on Capitol Hill: ‘I Went Through Several Years of Pain and Suffering,’ by Michele Corriston (People.com, Oct 2015)
- Demi Moore: Demi Moore details her devastating past as told in her new memoir, by Kelly McCarthy (Abc news, Sept 2019)
- Dwayne Johnson: Dwayne Johnson, The Rock reveals how he beat years of depression, by Zameena Mejia (Cnbc.com, Apr 2018)
- Ed Sheeran: Singer Ed Sheeran opens up about fame and how it has affected his mental health and relationship with wife Cherry Seaborn! (Married Biography, July 2019)
- Ellen DeGeneres: Ellen DeGeneres Reveals Depression Struggle, by David Konow (The Fix, Dec 2018)
- Ellie Goulding: How fitness helped me overcome panic attacks and anxiety, by Emily Laurence (Well + Good, Mar 2017)
- Emma Stone: Emma Stone Opens Up About Her Struggle with Anxiety and Panic Attacks, by Shannon Barbour (Cosmopolitan, Oct 2018)
- Emma Thompson: Emma Thompson Shares Her Tips for Better Mental Health (Mindfood, Sept 2019)
- Gary Gulman: Comedian Gary Gulman Shares His Struggle with Mental Illness: ‘I Got Such a Reward for Opening Up,’ by Benjamin VanHoose and Kim Hubbard (People.com, Nov 2019)
- Hasan Minhaj: “Patriot Act” Host Hasan Minhaj Talks Mental Health, Stigma, by Desiree Bowie (The Fix, Nov 2019)
- Howie Mandel: Howie Mandel on OCD & ADD: I’ve been afraid of being labeled “crazy.” (Psychology Today, Apr 2011)
- Jared Padalecki: ‘Supernatural’ Star Jared Padalecki Talks Depression and Why You Should ‘Always Keep Fighting’ by Laura Prudom (Variety, March 2015)
- Justin Timberlake: I suffer OCD and ADD, Timberlake confesses (Stuff, Jan 2009)
- Kristen Bell: Kristen Bell: I’m Over Staying Silent About Depression, by Kristen Bell (Time, May, 2016)
- Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga opens up about mental heath issues as she reveals superstardom left her “traumatised,” by Ashleigh Rainbird (Mirror, Sept 2016)
- Michelle Williams: Michelle Williams has checked into a mental health facility for depression, by Kelly Allen (Glamour, July 2018)
- Nicki Minaj: Nicki Minaj Talks Contemplating Suicide, (Huffpost, Dec 2017)
- Olivia Munn: Olivia Munn Opens Up About OCD & Hypnosis, by Sarah Jacoby (Refinery29, Oct 2014)
- Patty Duke: How Patty Duke broke a Hollywood taboo and became a mental health pioneer, by Rebecca Keegan (Los Angeles Times, March 2016)
- Pete Davidson: Pete Davidson Reminds Critics Mental Illness Doesn’t Equal a Toxic Relationship, by Cameron Andersen (StudyBreaks, June 2018)
- Prince Harry: ‘All of this grief’: Prince Harry opens up about his mental health, by Katie Mettler (Washington Post, April 2017)
- Ryan Reynolds: Ryan Reynolds opens up about lifelong struggle with anxiety: ‘I’ll look for the joke in things so that I don’t look for the sadness and the grief,’ by Sabrina Barr (Independent, May 2018)
- Sally Field: Sally Field Reveals Battle With Depression — “I Was Suffering So Badly” by Julia Birkinbine (Closer Weekly, Jan 2017)
- Sarah Silverman: Sarah Silverman Opens Up About Her Battle With Depression and Her Gutsiest Career Move Yet, by Genevieve Field (Glamour, Oct 2015)