Celebrities Who are De-Stigmatizing Mental Illness
Date January 30, 2019
Many campaigns have worked to normalize the discussion around mental health (Bell’s Let’s Talk and CAMH’s One Brave Night among them). But one thing that really reaches the masses is when a celebrity speaks out about his or her struggle to spread the message that it’s OK to have mental illness; it doesn’t make you weak.
Anyone who has ever suffered from depression or anxiety—whether temporary or chronic—knows the feeling of wanting to crawl into bed and stay there until things seem OK again. And somehow when these celebrities who seem to have it all come out and say that they actually don’t have their shit together, it is encouraging to us. By focusing on their health, it normalizes the conversation and gives us the courage to take care of ourselves (and be vocal about it). One can’t help but wonder whether more openness could’ve helped musical wonders of the past who turned to addictions and those who had publicly documented breakdowns.
Below, see the celebrities who are helping to fight the stigma against mental health by being open about their own struggles. Want to learn more about mental illness? Here are 5 myths about anxiety and depression, and information about different types of treatment.
View this post on Instagram
I have a lot to be thankful for this year.. My year has been the hardest yet most rewarding one yet. I've finally fought the fight of not 'being enough'. I have only wanted to reflect the love you guys have given me for years and show how important it is to take care of YOU. By grace through faith. Kindness always wins. I love you guys. God bless
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on
In August 2016, Selena Gomez announced that she would be taking a break from her career to deal with anxiety, depression and panic attacks associated with lupus (an autoimmune condition from which she suffers). She made a return to the spotlight in November that year at the American Music Awards, where she delivered an emotional, heartfelt speech, briefly touching on her battle with mental health issues.
“I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down,” she said. “If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken.”
The songstress also opened up about her issues with mental health in the April 2017 issue of Vogue (which she covered). “Tours are a really lonely place for me,” she told the magazine. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it—which, I think, was a complete distortion.”
She revealed she spent 90 days in a mental health facility in Tennessee, surrendering her cell phone and taking part in various forms of therapy. And while Gomez is the second most-followed person on Instagram, she told Vogue she no longer had it on her phone, and an assistant had her password.
“It felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about,” she said. “I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.”
Former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello made headlines in September 2016 after she left the stage early during a performance under the guise of a wardrobe malfunction. She later revealed, on Snapchat, that the cause was excessive anxiety, even tweeting, “just wanna sleep for 3 days.”
Cabello had already been open about her struggles with anxiety prior to the incident, however, telling Billboardthat 2015 was a “low” for her, personally.
“I was having terrible anxiety, nonstop. My heart would beat really fast the whole day. Two hours after I woke up, I’d need a nap because my body was so hyperactive,” she recalled. “I was scared of what would happen to me, of the things my brain might tell me. I realized the stuff I thought was important isn’t worth my health. Now I write in a diary every day, work out and meditate.”
In March 2017, the Cuban-born star revealed to Latina magazine that she also deals with obsessive compulsive disorder. “It was just totally out of control,” Cabello told the magazine of her OCD. “I would wake up with a super-accelerated heartbeat and really negative, intrusive, compulsive thoughts. I was so inside my head, and I didn’t know what was happening.”
She continued, “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.”
Read more on the next page…
Join our FB page
Our vision is to inspire readers, to give them support and advice.We are here to gain your trust, and we want to hear all your opinions.Learn more
* You will receive the latest news and updates on your favorite celebrities!