18 Celebrities Who Struggle With Their Mental Health
One of the biggest barriers for people dealing with mental health issues is the continued stigma against seeking help or even admitting you need it. Although our culture is marching slowly towards changing that, barriers to mental health care remain. But there is hope.
Many celebs in recent years have spoken out about their own mental health issues, which may encourage others to face their own mental health obstacles head-on. The awareness they raise may also contribute to the creation of accessible mental health care coverage for greater numbers of people.
Here are 18 celebrities who have shared their mental health stories.
(Cover photos by Jamie McCarthy, John Sciulli, and Jeff Spicer/Getty)
Selena Gomez: In 2017, singer and actress Selena Gomez admitted that she had been in treatment for 90 days to deal with her physical and emotional health. At the time, the singer told In Style that not only was it the best thing she could have done for herself, but it also taught the “Bad Liar” singer that self-care is an ongoing project and not something that solves any single problem overnight. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty)
Demi Lovato: Demi Lovato has not been shy when discussing her struggles with eating disorders and addiction. In her documentary, Simply Complicated, the star got real about her continuing struggle with bulimia and her newly sober lifestyle. But coming through the challenges she faced has made her a major advocate for mental wellness, and on her most recent tour, she announced that she would be offering free mental health supports at every stop along the way. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty)
Pete Davidson: This SNL cast member was conspicuously absent for part of the show’s 2016-2017 season. He would later reveal that he had taken time off to confront a years-long struggle with addiction and depression. In a September 2017 interview on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Davidson said he had been officially been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
“I’ve been having a lot of problems," Davidson admitted. "This whole year has been a f—ing nightmare. This has been the worst year of my life, getting diagnosed with this and trying to figure out how to learn with this and live with this.” He also said that, with regular therapy, he was improving "slowly but surely." (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)
Kim Kardashian West: Immediately after being robbed at gunpoint in Paris in the fall of 2016, Kim Kardashian West shunned the spotlight in order to regain her mental and emotional health. She would eventually relive the trauma of the event for fans to watch on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and has openly discussed her anxiety in an ongoing effort to heal, all while advocating for better mental health awareness. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty)
Zayn Malik: When Zayn Malik left boy band One Direction in 2015, fans were devastated. But once the singer let the dust settle on his departure, he admitted his struggles with anxiety and anorexia caused him to leave the group in order to change his life. In going public with his struggles, the star has proven that mental health issues don't discriminate by gender or celebrity; if world’s biggest boy bander can have an eating disorder, anyone can. (Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty)
Chrissy Teigen: Model and host Chrissy Teigen had a scary time dealing with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, Luna. In an essay for Glamour, the celeb admitted she wanted to speak candidly about her battle so that other women suffering didn’t feel so alone. "I’m speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody and I don’t want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone,” she said. “But one thing I do know is that—for me—just merely being open about it helps.” (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty)
Logic: Rapper Logic told CBS News' Sunday Morning that he was once hospitalized for a mental health crisis and eventually diagnosed with derealization disorder. Logic’s runaway 2017 hit with singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, "1-800-273-8255” is named after the national suicide prevention hotline and implores individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts to seek help. The song has had a big impact, too; since its release calls to the hotline have spiked. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty)
Jay Z: Rapper Jay Z has become more candid about his personal life since the release of his 2017 album, 4:44. The album deals with his cheating, his mother’s coming out, and his own mental health. Facilitating access to mental health care in the Black community has become a key cause for the hip-hop mogul, who admitted to CNN’s Van Jones that he wishes he'd had better access to mental health support earlier in his life.
“As you grow,” he said, “you realize the ridiculousness of the stigma attached to [mental health issues]. It's like, what? You just talk to someone about your problems." The artist also hopes to see mental health therapy widely available in schools. If anyone can do it, Jay can. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty)
Troian Bellisario: Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario admitted in 2017 that her mental health struggles affect her day to day life in myriad ways and that the backlash against her show's controversial finale made her reevaluate how she managed her health. In an essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, Bellisario opened up about ignoring her body’s needs to avoid appearing weak or letting people down.
“That part of my brain is my disease, and there was a time when it had absolute authority over me...I don’t want to just survive that part of my life," wrote Bellisario. "I want to create in rebellion. … I wanna get paint all over the floor and build a wall of feedback in the amp so loud that it starts a mosh pit as I scream back in the face of my disease: I AM ENOUGH!” (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty)
Evan Rachel Wood: Singer and actress Evan Rachel Wood revealed in 2016 that her portrayal of Dolores on HBO’s Westworld resulted in an incredibly important IRL change: in understanding her character’s motivation, the actress realized she could and should seek help for her own trauma.
“She’s been abused for about 30 years,” Wood said of her character, a robot meant to entertain guests at a Wild West amusement park. Dolores’ life is undeniably traumatic, but the actress who plays her thinks that she’s a “survivor” who is “not broken,” despite what she’s been through. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty)
Prince Harry: The Royal Family are usually quite stoic when it comes to matters of mental and physical health, but Prince Harry bucked tradition last year, telling The Telegraph that when he was 28, he sought help for his mental health after his life had become “total chaos” because of his unsuccessful attempts at dealing with the death of his mother, Princess Diana in 1997. Harry spoke to psychiatrists and worked on learning better coping mechanisms, and it’s clearly paid off — the prince met his bride a few years later. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn/Getty)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: Former wrestler and Hollywood heavyweight Dwayne Johnson battled depression three separate times in his life, telling reporters in early 2018 that when he lost his opportunity to play professional football in the Canadian Football League due to an injury, he hit rock bottom, but it wasn’t the first time the now-famous actor had a hard time. Johnson recently spoke out for the first time about the deep depression he experienced after his mother attempted suicide when Johnson was only 15. The star thanked fans for their support, tweeting, “Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.” (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty)
Chris Evans: He may be famous for playing all-American legend and powerhouse Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the handsome actor has suffered from anxiety and depression in the past. In an interview, the Avengers star said that while he still struggles with anxiety, getting help was one of the main ways he was able to overcome it by learning tools to help control negative thoughts. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty)
Gina Rodriguez: In 2017, Rodriguez Instagrammed a 10-second clip of herself with her hair in a baseball cap and without a stitch of makeup on, and shared with fans that she suffers from anxiety — and that her mental health is triggered by not wearing makeup.
“It's always great to be in front of his lens but this time it was just me. Bare and exposed in the streets of LA. No makeup. No styling. Just me. I suffer from anxiety,” Rodriguez captioned her post. “And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself. I wanted to protect her and tell her it's ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.” (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Lili Reinhart: In an interview with W Magazine, 20-year-old Lili Reinhart admitted that before landing her role on Riverdale, she went through one of the worst times in her life. After spending months hiding in her room in a shared apartment, Reinhart went home to visit her parents, and with their help, got on lifesaving anxiety meds and started seeing a therapist. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty)
Kesha: After years of alleged abuse and a court case that seemed to drag on forever, songwriter Kesha is finally reclaiming her voice. In an essay for Time, the singer expressed support and love for people suffering from mental health issues, particularly during the holidays. In the essay, she reminded fellow depression and anxiety sufferers to be easy with themselves and not allow the pressures of holiday cheer make people feel worse.
“Trying to spend all of your time pleasing everyone else is not only exhausting — it’s impossible,” she urged readers. “And you know what? If you take a little time for yourself, you will actually be much better company for those around you.” (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)
Kristen Bell: Actress and comedian Kristen Bell is as forthright as she is funny. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t suffer from depression like millions of other people. In 2018, the celeb has partnered with The Child Mind Institute to help shed the stigma that young adults and teens may feel associated with their mental health.
“My name is Kristen. I have suffered from anxiety and/or depression since I was 18,” the star said in a video for the campaign which focuses on mental health and learning disorders. “What I would say to my younger self is, ‘don’t be fooled by this game of perfection [that] humans play.'” (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty)
Lady Gaga: After splitting from then-fiance Taylor Kinney in 2016, a tearful confession left fans worried about her emotional wellbeing. But Gaga bounced back and even joined Prince Harry in talking about dealing with the stigma of mental health support just one year later. In Gaga’s 2017 documentary Five Foot Two, the singer and actress even delved into the way her physical disease affects her mental health and why she toned down her look for her Joanne world tour.
“I never felt confident enough to just sing and just be this way now,” she said, citing her lack of self-love. “I never felt pretty enough or smart enough or a good enough musician — that’s the good part. The good part is that I just never felt good enough. And I do now.” (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty)