In the last few decades, the world has made tremendous strides toward eliminating the stigma that surrounds mental health. Finally, people can receive an actual diagnosis and treatment for their symptoms. But some people and cultures do not fully understand mental illness, so mental illness unfortunately still has some negativity attached to it, which is why it is so important to talk about it.
Thankfully, many celebrities have begun to speak about their struggles with mental illness and the toll that it can take on a person. In this blog, we cover just five people who have bravely shed light on their mental health. Hopefully, their stories will inspire others to share, and together we can break the stigma.
Lady Gaga has been very vocal about her mental health. She has talked about how she was bullied as a child and struggled with depression as a result. And since the start of her career, Lady Gaga has been an icon for people who feel different or like they don’t fit in.
In 2010, Lady Gaga and her mother started a nonprofit organization called Born This Way Foundation, whose mission is “committed to the wellness of young people and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.” Their goal is to use their resources to strengthen communities and provide better mental health resources to those who need it.
Demi Lovato has struggled with bipolar disorder, an eating disorder, and a drug and alcohol addiction. In her YouTube documentary Simply Complicated, Demi Lovato talks about her eating disorder in great detail and says that food is still her biggest struggle.
She is also very candid about her struggles on social media, tweeting “I’m not gonna lie, I put on a couple lbs since I’ve given up dieting BUT I’ve given up the chronic stress of what I eat because I don’t want to set that example for my fans.”
In 2016, Kristen Bell shared her struggles with depression and anxiety in an essay that was published in Time. She also addressed the stigma that surrounds mental health and asked the question, “why aren’t we talking about it?”
“Mental health check-ins should be as routine as going to the doctor or the dentist,” Bell says, “Depression is a problem that actually has so many solutions. Let’s work together to find those solutions for each other and cast some light on a dark situation.” In her essay, Bell also reminds readers that they are not alone and that they shouldn’t feel ashamed of their mental health.
Model, TV personality, and author Chrissy Teigen is another celebrity who has used their voice to speak out against the stigma that surrounds mental illness. In 2017, in an essay published in her cover issue of Glamour, she spoke about her struggle with postpartum depression after her the birth of her daughter Luna.
In her essay, Teigen gives a detailed account of her life after the birth of her daughter and leading up to her diagnosis of postpartum depression. She talks about how ashamed and embarrassed she felt and sometimes still feels, but “I’m speaking up now,” she says, “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.”
Actor and comedian Howie Mandel struggles with OCD. In an interview with 20/20 in 2009, he opened up about his struggle with this condition. “I’m always on the verge of death in my head,” he said. In his interview, Mandel shares some examples of how difficult it is to live with OCD.
One time, he missed an appointment because he couldn’t stop himself from continuously going back to the front door of his house to make sure it was locked. Mandel also mentions how his illness put a strain on his marriage and family. But he hasn’t let his OCD stop him from living his life and building a career, and he wants to use the fame he has gained to raise awareness for OCD.
These are just a few of the many celebrities who are starting to vocalize their struggles with mental illness. Countless others are using their influence to start a conversation and shed light on a topic that needs to be addressed.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your mental illness. As Kristen Bell says, “It’s a knee-jerk reaction to judge people when they’re vulnerable. But there’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness. You’re just having a harder time living in your brain than other people.”
You are not weak — you are not a failure. You’re struggling with an illness that can be treated, and you’re not alone. These public figures and thousands of other people have experienced similar struggles. Talk to someone and get help.
Contact us at Serenity Mental Health Centers to learn more about your treatment options for mental illness.