Famous Faces of Mental Health
You are not alone. 1 in 5 people are dealing with mental health issues. Mental Health, does not discriminate.
Here we profile a hand full of famous faces.
Emma Stone has acted in movies like Crazy, Stupid, Love; The Help; and Birdman, and has been nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes.
But she’s also been open about her frequent panic attacks. While she went to a therapist, she found that acting was the biggest help when it came to battling anxiety. “There’s something about the immediacy of acting,” she said in a 2015 interview with Wall Street Journal. “You can’t afford to think about a million other things. You have to think about the task at hand. Acting forces me to sort of be like a Zen master: What is happening right in this moment?”
“I have such debilitating anxiety because of everything going on that I literally wake up in the middle of the night with full-on panic attacks,” she told Cara Delevingne in an interview. “Where do I even start? Everything is so horrible, it’s hard to name one thing. I just think that the world needs so much love. I wish I had the power to send Cupid around the planet, as cheesy as that sounds. You go online and you see everyone saying the worst things to each other, and it’s hard to stay positive. It’s hard not to get eaten alive by all the negativity.”
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
“I didn’t know what it was,” he revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. “I didn’t know why I didn’t want to do anything. I had never experienced anything like that.”
Johnson later shared what helped him cope. “I found that, with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone,” the actor said on an episode of ” Oprah’s Master Class” in 2015. “You’re not the first to go through it. You’re not going to be the last to go through it … I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK. It’ll be OK.'”
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2016, the actor revealed how his anxiety often kicks in during premieres, equating red carpet events to “30 minutes of walking on hot coals.” Evans, who has tried everything from meditating to reading Buddhist texts to calm his mind, said he’s “gotten better” but still has moments of self-doubt when he overanalyzes things.
“I can slip in and out of [depression] quite easily,” Adele told Vanity Fair. “I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she said. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant…Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it.”
Ryan Reynolds has credited his wife, Blake Likely, for helping him cope with his anxiety.
Not only did Lively convince Reynolds to take his “dream role” in “Deadpool,” she also kept him grounded while he filmed the movie.
In an interview with Variety in January, the actor revealed how his anxiety over disappointing fans led him to “stay up late with the script” and lose sleep. “[Lively] helped me through that,” Reynolds said. “I’m lucky to have her around.”
“It was beginning to get fuzzy―I couldn’t even tell which day or which city I was at. I would sit there at ceremonies and they would give me an award and I was just thinking about the next performance,” she told The Sun in 2011.
“My mother was very persistent and she kept saying that I had to take care of my mental health.”
“[Depression is] more of an issue than people really want to talk about. Because people don’t know how to talk about being depressed—that it’s totally okay to feel sad.
I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down. It was a lot to do with, like, I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed,” she told ELLE. “And every person can benefit from talking to somebody. I’m the most antimedication person, but some people need medicine, and there was a time where I needed some too.
So many people look at [my depression] as me being ungrateful, but that is not it—I can’t help it. There’s not much that I’m closed off about, and the universe gave me all that so I could help people feel like they don’t have to be something they’re not or feel like they have to fake happy. There’s nothing worse than being fake happy.”
“I, for a long time, have been passionate about people dealing with mental illness and struggling with depression, or addiction, or having suicidal thoughts and, strangely enough, it’s almost like the life I live, as well,” he told Variety.
“I was 25 years old. I had my own TV show. I had dogs that I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was; it doesn’t always make sense is my point. It’s not just people who can’t find a job, or can’t fit in in society that struggle with depression sometimes.”
The woman behind Harry Potter brought joy to millions, but admits she felt despair while writing the magical novels. Her dark moods even inspired her series’ soul-sucking creatures known as Dementors.
“It’s so difficult to describe [depression] to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness,” she told Oprah Winfrey in 2010. “But it’s that cold absence of feeling — that really hollowed-out feeling.”
John Green has had plenty of success as an author, writing bestsellers like The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, which have both been adapted for the big screen.
In 2015, he talked on Reddit about his mental health issues, medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and how he copes with anxiety. “I just have to integrate it into my life, as I would for any chronic illness.
That can be difficult during periods like this one where work stuff is extremely public and extremely intense, but it helps tremendously that this is something I’m choosing to do,” he said. “I’m not contractually obligated to do anything on behalf of the movie [The Fault in Our Stars]; I just really like it and want it to reach a lot of people. So focusing on why I’m doing this is helpful to me…”
Since rising to stardom as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Lawrence has starred in her fair share of movies, like Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and Joy. She got her start in the 2010 film Winter’s Bone.
In a New York Times interview in 2015, she talked about how she deals with anxiety. “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. 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.”
Even walking on the moon couldn’t stop Buzz Aldrin from feeling low. In fact, the astronaut’s sudden fame after the 1969 moon landing led to his divorce, plus problems with alcohol and depression.
Unhappiness runs in his family, he told The New York Times. His mother and maternal grandfather suffered from the disease, to the point of both sadly having committed suicide. So Aldrin sought treatment and became chairman of the National Mental Health Association.
“I was too aware of my body at a young age,” she said. “And it just kind of took over my mind, it was all I would think about. Calorie counting, everything. Oh, I’ll just eat nuts today.”
The actress when on to say that she “decided to have therapy” when she stopped getting her period.
Turner also spoke about the impact of therapy and her husband Joe Jonas during a podcast with Dr. Phil.
“I feel much better,” she said. “I’ve been going to therapy at CAST Centers, actually. I’m on medication and I love myself now, or more than I used to, I think. I don’t think I love myself at all, but I’m now with someone that makes me realize that I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose. And when someone tells you they love you every day, it makes you really think about why that is and I think it makes you love yourself a bit more.”
His suicide in 2014 shocked millions, but the Academy Award-winning actor/comedian had a history with depression, substance and alcohol abuse. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and may have had a form of dementia.
In 2006, he described his highs and lows to NPR’s Terry Gross. “Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes. Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.”
“I was so ashamed of how I felt because I had such a privileged upbringing,” she said on This Morning. “I’m very lucky. But I had depression. I had moments where I didn’t want to carry on living.
But then the guilt of feeling that way and not being able to tell anyone because I shouldn’t feel that way just left me feeling blame and guilt.”
James Franco opened up about his history of addiction and depression in August 2017.
“I have a very addictive personality,” the actor told Out Magazine. After he “got over certain addictions” as a teenager, Franco threw himself into acting when he was 17. But ten years later, the actor realized he was depressed. “On the surface, my life [seemed] pretty good,” Franco recalled. “But I [felt] isolated and lonely.”
“I used to struggle with anxiety pretty bad,” she wrote in a post on her app. “It only happened when I sang live, not when I danced or did any other live performances, and it stemmed from a bad experience I had while singing on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ in 2013. It wasn’t my best performance and I’ve never let myself live that down. I had mad anxiety ever since that.”
As a professional basketball player in the NBA, White has played for the Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets as a power forward. In the 2012-2013 season, White had to take a leave of absence due to his battle with mental illness, specifically anxiety.
“People ask me about anxiety—I tell them to get diagnosed and get help,” he said in a 2013 interview with Men’s Journal. “You can’t just take Tylenol to deal with it. Being able to be level with people, being honest about your problem – that is a huge help.”
“I have lived with anxiety and sporadic bouts of depression for most of my adult life. 10 years ago I tackled it, learned to fully understand it and haven’t felt the dark depths of depression in about a decade.
But before that, thoughts of suicide crossed my mind more than a few times. For those who don’t understand depression, when someone is in that place it’s not because they want to die… it’s because the ongoing, relentless darkness is too painful to endure anymore.
You don’t have to suffer from anxiety and depression to feel that low. Something very sad or traumatic can happen to you just once to bring about that feeling of despair.
But please listen to me- from someone who is telling you that she’s been where you are- when I say that SUICIDE IS NOT THE RIGHT CHOICE. 💛
Please don’t hesitate to call for you or someone you think needs help. A phone call could change everything.
With suicide, there’s no do-overs. Please try every single option you can before making a choice that cannot be undone.”
In an interview with InStyle, the “Mad Men” actor talked about the importance of asking for help when you need it: “Medical attention is medical attention whether it’s for your elbow or for your teeth or for your brain. We live in a world where to admit anything negative about yourself is seen as a weakness, when it’s actually a strength. It’s not a weak move to say, ‘I need help.’ In the long run, it’s way better, because you have to fix it.”
Hamm, who completed a 30-day program for alcohol abuse in 2015, has also talked about the benefits of therapy and antidepressants in his battle with chronic depression.
In a recent interview with British Vogue, the pop star revealed that she’s always had anxiety, though never spoke publicly about it because she “thought everyone had it.”
Grande, however, has been outspoken about dealing with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of last year’s deadly bombing at her concert at Manchester Arena in England.
On her newest album, Sweetener, the final track addresses her experience with anxiety. Grande explained the meaning of the song she wrote with Pharrell Williams, “Get Well Soon,” to curious fans over Twitter.
“i felt like i was floating for like 3 months last year & not in a nice way. like i outside my body? was v scary and i couldn’t breathe well,” Grande tweeted. “i hope it comforts ppl who hear it pls.”