16 Celebs Who Got Real About Mental Health Issues
By Rose Wythe
April 16, 2018
In Mariah Carey's new People Magazine interview, the singer is refreshingly candid about her battle with bipolar II disorder. In 2001, she was hospitalized for mental and physical breakdowns, which is when she was diagnosed with the disorder. She is now being treated with medication and under a therapist's care. All too often, dealing with mental health issues like anxiety or depression can feel like you are fighting a battle by yourself (and against yourself), but the following 16 celebs are here to remind you that you do not have to suffer alone — and that it does get better. Read on.
1. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey recently revealed she suffers from bipolar disorder. “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she tld the publication. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”
Mariah decided to be open about her disorder to encourage other people to seek treatment: “I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”
2. Selena Gomez
Selena, who suffers from lupus, went away to a treatment facility for 90 days to get a handle on her anxiety and depression (she would get onstage, she said, and “felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable”). In her time spent in treatment, she went to group therapy with six other girls.
“You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls. Real people who couldn’t give two sh**s about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done,” she told the magazine, adding that a certain kind of therapy — dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT for short — “completely changed my life.”
“I wish more people would talk about therapy,” she said. “We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”
3. Camila Cabello
In a new interview, Camila opened up about suffering from severe anxiety while in Fifth Harmony.
“I had terrible OCD, and it was just totally out of control. I would wake up with a super-accelerated heartbeat and really negative, intrusive, compulsive thoughts,” Camila recently told Latina magazine. “I was so inside my head, and I didn’t know what was happening. I totally understand now, being in it, why there shouldn’t be such a stigma on mental illness, because it’s a pretty common thing for people. But you can get help. If you’re dedicated to making it better, you can — because I’m in a much better place now. I started reading books about it and it really helped a lot when I understood [the illness], and that [the thoughts I was having] weren’t real. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to slow down and take care of yourself.”
4. Demi Lovato
Demi has been open about her battles with substance abuse, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and self-harm. She has received several awards for her work in mental health, and even started a “Be Vocal” movement to end stigma surrounding mental health issues. Now five years sober — and time spent in treatment — Demi is proud to tell her story in order to help others.
“If you know someone or if you’re dealing with it yourself, just know that it is possible to live well,” she told People of anyone suffering from mental health issues. “I’m living proof of that.”
ZAYN has often been outspoken about his struggle with severe anxiety, and he detailed exactly why it’s so difficult for him in an in-depth interview with Time.
“The thing is, I love performing. I love the buzz. I don’t want to do any other job. That’s why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain. It’s this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes. Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you’ll enjoy it when you’re doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It’s a constant battle within yourself.”
Halsey, who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, opened up to Elle about her battle with mental illness and how sometimes people fetishize those who suffer from them.
“They're like, 'I want to be with someone who is like crazy.' Well, guess what? It's not all painting at four o'clock in the morning and road trips and f***ing great things. Sometimes it's throwing things and, like, getting hurt and having to pick someone up from the police station at two o'clock in the morning.”
7. Justin Bieber
Justin has been frank about how difficult being famous can be, and he laid it all out in a candid interview with NME.
He feels depressed, “all the time,” he told the magazine. “And I feel isolated. You’re in your hotel room and there are fans all around, paparazzi following you everywhere, and it gets intense. When you can’t go anywhere or do anything alone you get depressed. … I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone.”
Adele may be a powerhouse performer, but she gets stage fright so severe that to just label it that is unfair.
“I have anxiety attacks, constant panicking on stage, my heart feels like it’s going to explode because I never feel like I’m going to deliver, ever,” the Grammy Award-winning singer once said.
Yes, even Queen Bey needs to take a time out once in a while to focus on her mental health. In 2010, she took a year off for her own sanity.
“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 recalled in an Essence piece. “My mother was very persistent and she kept saying that I had to take care of my mental health.”
10. 5 Seconds of Summer
Life on the road can sound glamorous, but years of relentless touring can really take its toll on your mental health as the guys of 5 Seconds of Summer explained.
“I told Luke ‘I’m f***ing depressed, I f***ing hate this,” Ashton Irwin recalled about one of the band’s past tours. For Michael Clifford, he told Rolling Stone at the end of 2015 that he suffers from “self-esteem, loneliness, a bit of depression” and that he almost left the band mid-tour once because he couldn’t take it anymore.
But what a difference a year can make — Michael recently took to Instagram to reveal that he is “genuinely happy” and that “a lot of my health issues are getting fixed.”
11. Ryan Reynolds
While filming Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds was consumed by his anxiety.
“I never, ever slept. Or I was sleeping at a perfect right angle – just sitting straight, constantly working at the same time,” he revealed. “By the time we were in post [production], we’d been to Comic-Con, and people went crazy for it. The expectations were eating me alive.”
12. Pete Wentz
“The hardest thing about depression is that it is addictive,” the Fall Out Boy bassist once said. “It begins to feel uncomfortable not to be depressed. You feel guilty for feeling happy.”
13. Cara Delevingne
In an in-depth interview with Esquire, Cara Delevingne revealed her lifelong battle with depression, one that gave her suicidal thoughts as a teen and one that she still battles with today — but is managed by medication.
“In a sense, I always feel like when I get depressed, it's very narcissistic, right? Because you can't stop thinking about your own problems,” she revealed. “But at the same time it's not. Because you hate yourself. So it's a very weird thing to feel… Especially when I started becoming successful, obviously my ego started to grow, but then [at the same time] my idea of myself went down. So I liked the person that other people thought that I was, but the real me I hated so much.”
14. Kim Kardashian
“I think about it all the time, it drives me crazy,” Kim said on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians about her anxiety. “I just want to get passed my anxiety and live life… I never had anxiety and I want to take back my life. My mind does go crazy.”
15. Lady Gaga
“I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day,” Gaga once told Billboard. “I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal. We were born that way. This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That’s not human.”
16. Prince Harry
When speaking at the Veterans’ Mental Health Conference in London recently, the redheaded royal — who served in the Army Air Corps for 10 years — spoke openly about the stigma of mental health within the military.
“I am saying at this time to all the military people in this room and beyond — it is OK to have depression, it is OK to have anxiety and it is OK to have an adjustment disorder. We need to improve the conversation. We all have mental health in the same way we all have physical health.”
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