Stop The Stigma: Stars Speak Out About Mental Illness

Despite popular belief, stars are regular people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and many more mental illnesses. These people in the spotlight are working to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness by speaking out for those who don’t have a voice or sharing the story of their own struggles.

Prince William Encourages People To Speak Up

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Prince William has launched a new national campaign encouraging young people to speak up when they’re struggling with mental illness. He said, “Mental health is not a dirty word – we all have mental health like we do physical health, good or ill.” In 2017, the Prince even spoke with British GQ about his own struggles with grief after the death of his mother. “It has taken me almost 20 years to get to that stage,” William said. “I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people’s grief because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her.”

Selena Gomez Shares Her Struggle

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Selena Gomez had a tough year in 2017 – she underwent a kidney transplant and opened up about her struggles with depression and anxiety. The artist told Vogue magazine, “Tours are a really lonely place for me. 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.” Her fans rallied around her, thanking her for all of her hard work even when touring was taking such a toll on her personally.

Logic Uses The VMAs To Send A Message

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The artist named Logic performed his hit song “1-800-273-8255” (which is the number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline) at the 2017 VMAs and surrounded himself onstage with people who had survived suicide attempts. The song serves as an anthem for anyone suffering from depression and offers help and encouragement to keep them going. After his performance, he addressed the audience by saying, “I just want to take a moment to thank you for giving me a platform to talk about something that mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about: mental health, anxiety, suicide, depression, and so much more that I talk about on this album.”

Chrissy Teigen Struggled With Postpartum Depression

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Funny woman and mom, Chrissy Teigen is known for her picture-perfect family Instagram posts but in 2017 she penned an honest essay for Glamour magazine about her struggles with postpartum depression. She wrote, “I also just didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. I have all the help I could need: John, my mother (who lives with us), a nanny. But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do.”

Pete Wentz Raises Awareness About Depression

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Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz has been very open with his struggles with mental illness throughout his career. In an interview with MTV News, Wentz explained it was something he’s struggled with his entire life. “I was happier doing music, but at the same time, I did feel … I always kind of had this underlying depression that happened in high school, and happened again in college,” Wentz said. Sadly his struggle with bipolar disorder was the cause for the destruction of his marriage to Ashlee Simpson. Wentz now works with mental health aid foundation Half of Us to raise awareness and share his story.

Gabourey Sidibe Recommends Seeing A Therapist

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Gabourey Sidibe opened up about her struggles with mental illness in her 2017 memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. She furthered the conversation in an interview with People magazine where she said, “I just accepted depression as something that’s part of my anatomy; it’s part of my chemistry, it’s part of my biology. When it’s too big for me to just turn around on my own, I see a therapist. I see a therapist anyway. We all should see a therapist. If only for the hour a week that you can talk about yourself and not worry about monopolizing the conversation? …Do it, it’s worth it!” Good advice Gabby!

Cara Delevingne Explains Importance Of Self-Love

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Supermodel Cara Delevingne spoke candidly about her struggles with depression on United Kingdom talk show, This Morning. “I was so ashamed of how I felt because I had such a privileged upbringing,” she said. “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.” With the help of a support system, which included good friend Kate Moss, she took some much needed time off to heal and take care of herself.

Olivia Munn Opens Up About Her Struggle

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Stunning actress Olivia Munn struggles with severe social anxiety and trichotillomania, which is the obsessive compulsion to rip out your own hair. She told the New York Daily News, “I don’t bite my nails, but I rip out my eyelashes,” the Newsroom actress said. “It doesn’t hurt, but it’s really annoying. Every time I run out of the house, I have to stop and pick up a whole set of fake eyelashes.” She shared she’s dealt with anxiety for a long time partially due to an inconsistent childhood. “I had it growing up, having had a little bit of a tumultuous upbringing, moving around a lot with a mixed family with five kids.” And, she says that being on TV brought some of that anxiety back: “I just didn’t want to let anybody down.”

Barack Obama Says You’re Not Weak In Seeking Help

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During his presidency, former president, Barack Obama emphasized the need to chip away at the stigma mental illness patients suffer from. He also called for an open national conversation on the subject. At the National Conference on Mental Health at the White House Obama said, “If you break your leg, you’re going to go to the doctor to get that leg healed. If something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help. There’s nothing weak about that. It’s strong.” He continued, “Forty-five million Americans suffer from things like depression or anxiety, schizophrenia or PTSD. So we all know somebody — a family member, a friend, a neighbor — who has struggled or will struggle with mental health issues at some point in their lives.”

Gabrielle Union Helps People Get Through It All

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Gabrielle Union has been very open about her tragic past. She was raped and has suffered from PTSD as a consequence for decades. “What’s crazy is that every time I talk about being raped, it’s a revelation. It trends. It’s news. We like to think it’s not affecting our mothers, or sisters, or fathers, or brothers, or neighbors, or significant others. But the reality is, it is the most underreported crime in the world. You do know us. We are right here. We’re in your office. We’re in your bed. We’re everywhere.” Now she spends her days helping other women of sexual assault find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lena Dunham Recommends Exercising For Your Mental Health

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Political activist and actress, Lena Dunham has been outspoken about her struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression. She’s also a huge proponent of seeking medical help and prescription drugs to aid in normalizing everyday life. “Meds didn’t make me a hollowed out version of my former self or a messy bar patron with a bad bleach job. They allowed me to really meet myself. I wish that for every lady who has ever struggled. There’s really no shame.” She also credits writing and exercising with alleviating some of her symptoms. “I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain,” she explains.

Pink Sends A Powerful Message After Losing A Friend

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After the tragic suicide of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, Pink posted an encouraging Instagram post. Her caption read, “The sadness can totally get to you. Sometimes it feels like the only thing that’s real. But there’s a joke waiting right around that dark corner, a smile from a stranger, a beautiful flower blooming, an opportunity for you to make someone else’s day brighter, just because you understand. If you’re reading this, then you’re not alone in this big, scary… beautiful world. I’m here doing it too. And I love you. You make a difference. You matter. Hold on one second longer. Tomorrow might be the best day of your life. #ripchester”

Angelina Jolie Went Through Hard Times

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Angelina Jolie’s turbulent youth has left some lasting side effects on the activist and actress. In a 2010 interview with OK! magazine Jolie revealed that her ways of coping with her depression and stress weren’t always the healthiest.”I went through a period that when I felt trapped I would cut myself. I have a lot of scars,” she said. She struggled with cutting herself as a way to try and gain control of her own emotions. She said she’d turn to cutting with her boyfriend when she was just fourteen years old if “sex didn’t feel enough and emotions didn’t feel enough.”

Kesha Says Mental Illness Does Not Define You

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Kesha has made headlines in recent years for her horrendous sexual assault case with her former producer, Dr. Luke. It’s obviously left some emotional scarring for the singer who’s been open about her struggles. “I just don’t want to be that broken person. And I’m not anymore. I am a walking testament to anyone out there that with honesty and self-love, you can feel whole again. No matter what you have been through, even if things feel unfair and hurt your soul, it does not have to define who you are. You can be the person you want to be today.”

Demi Lovato Documents Her Treatment & Recovery

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After her infamous breakdown in 2010, Demi Lovato has been open about her experience with both bipolar disorder and an eating disorder. Lovato has taken her personal trauma and transformed it into advocacy for people suffering from mental illnesses. She’s also been real about the difficulties with her recovery. “I cannot tell you that I haven’t thrown up since treatment – I cannot tell you that I have not cut myself since treatment,” she said in her MTV Documentary, Demi Lovato: Stay Strong. Lovato also worked on another documentary, Simply Complicated, where she admitted to feeling relieved after her bipolar diagnosis. “In a way, I knew that it wasn’t my fault anymore — something was actually off with me.”

Russell Brand Is Open About His Continued Recovery

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Russell Brand has built his career on being an open book. Included in that is his struggle with alcohol, substance abuse, and mental illness. He told The Guardian that his struggles started early on in life with bulimia and he still suffers from an unhealthy relationship with body image and food. “It was really unusual in boys, quite embarrassing. But I found it euphoric. It was clearly about getting out of myself and isolation. Feeling inadequate and unpleasant,” he says. Russell regularly seeks help from a psychiatrist and attends alcohol and substance abuse support groups to keep himself in check.

Abigail Breslin Bravely Shares An Episode On Instagram

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Child star turned incredible actress, Abigail Breslin opened up about her troubled past on Instagram. She posted “I’m a domestic violence and sexual assault survivor. While I now am no longer with my abuser, in the aftermath of what happened to me, I developed Complex PTSD.” She then shared a photo of her badly bruised ankle. “I took this pic of my ankle a few hours ago right after one of my ‘episodes’ as I call them. I was so freaked out and disoriented I slipped and fell on a piece of glass. Usually, they occur right after I’ve been triggered… problem is, triggers are often very hard to detect.”

Prince Harry’s Brother Helped Him Get Counseling

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Prince Harry, like his older brother, has recently become outspoken about the need for conversations surrounding mental illness. He said, “Mental health is a sensitive subject amongst a lot of people but it doesn’t need to be. We need to talk about it more, get rid of the stigma.” Harry also opened up about his own struggles in an interview with “Bryony Gordon’s Mad World,” a UK podcast, saying he suffered from “emotional shutdowns” for 20 years following the death of his mother, Princess Diana. It wasn’t until his brother Prince William suggested he seek counseling that he began to see a change. He said he now “puts blood, sweat, and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else.”

Sarah Jessica Parker Says Don’t Keep It A Secret

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We all know and think of Sarah Jessica Parker like her bubbly Sex and The City character, Carrie Bradshaw. But in reality, Sarah Jessica’s struggled with mental illness like many others. In true Carrie fashion, she offered up some wise advice on how to cope – talk it out. “Talk to a therapist, friend, family member, anyone you can trust.” She said, “Like anything, until the minute you talk about something it feels as if you are a balloon that’s been blown up and you have too much air in you. You just need somebody to let a little out.”

Gina Rodriguez Identifies Her Anxiety

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Adorable actress, Gina Rodriguez opened up to fans about her struggles with anxiety in an endearing Instagram video post. She captioned the video saying: “I suffer from anxiety. 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.” Fans flocked to her feed to post encouraging comments to her and each other.