As 2018 comes to an end, lists of celebrities and their accomplishments, whether its movies they starred in or music they release, begin to pop-up. This is another one of those lists, though instead of applauding celebrities for the work they’ve released, this list will take a look at some celebrities who have spoken up about their mental health in the past year.
Mental health struggles affect most people at some point in their life, whether they are famous or not. There is still a lot of stigma around mental health, which is why it is powerful when people with a platform and a large following speak up. Celebrities can often seem to be perfect creatures, so when they share their struggles with anxiety or depression, it tells us that successful, talented people are working through their own issues. So it’s perfectly fine if we, lesser-known albeit awesome people, do too.
Here are 10 celebrities who were honest and open about their mental health struggles in 2018:
1. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has spoken publicly about her diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being raped at age 19 throughout her career. Between her many albums and starring role in the critically-acclaimed 2018 adaptation of A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga and her mother created the Born This Way Foundation, which strives to improve the mental and general wellness of young people.
— Carly Mallenbaum (@ThatGirlCarly) November 9, 2018
When receiving an award from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation in 2018, Lady Gaga said that we are losing “a generation of young people who do not believe that their voices are worth hearing” due to mental health not being properly addressed. Lady Gaga shared ways that PTSD has impacted her own life, which have included “physical chronic pain, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideations and masochistic behavior.” She also spoke about her mental health when she was receiving an award, which goes forth in helping normalize discussions around mental health.
2. Ariana Grande
In an interview with British Vogue for its July 2018 edition, Ariana Grande shared that her anxiety increased tremendously after a terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester, England. “I think a lot of people have anxiety, especially right now,” Ariana said. “My anxiety has anxiety… I’ve always had anxiety. I’ve never really spoken about it because I thought everyone had it, but when I got home from tour it was the most severe I think it’s ever been.” Many people have some inherent level of anxiety, so it’s important that people like Ariana realize when their anxiety is not “normal.”
3. Gisele Bündchen
At the surface, Gisele Bundchen is a famous supermodel who has everything going for her. Gisele revealed in her memoir “My Paths to a Meaningful Life” that she contemplated suicide at the height of her career. “The idea swept over me: Maybe it will be easier if I just jump. It will be all over. I can get out of this,” Gisele wrote.
“When I think back on that moment, and that 23-year-old girl, I want to cry. I want to tell her that everything will be all right, that she hasn’t even begun to live her life. But in that moment, the only answer seemed to be to jump.”
Speaking up about suicidal ideations is crucial, as people who have them often feel alone.
4. Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson started the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which is named after her late father, to fight mental health stigma in the African-American community. Taraji also said that seeing a therapist is “the best thing [she] could have done in [her] life” while balancing being an actress, working through trauma that she endured, and being a single mother.
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Thank you @variety for showcasing The Boris Lawrence Henson foundation (named after my father) Launching September 22, 2018 to help end mental stigma in the black community. WE MUST TAKE CARE OF OUR MENTAL!!! #StayTuned #ShehasbeenVERYbusy pictured here with my BFF and Executive Director of #BLHF @traciejade #Staytuned 💋💋💋
Halsey, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a suicide attempt when she was 17, talked to Marie Claire about her less than glamorous journey with learning to manage her mental health. “I don’t manage my mental illness to keep up with my lifestyle,” Halsey said. “I manage my lifestyle to keep up with my mental illness.” Halsey’s outlook on managing her mental illness shows that she prioritizes taking care of her mental health, like we all should.
6. Sarah Hyland
In a profile for Self Magazine, Sarah Hyland, who has kidney dyspepsia, said that her depression plummeted after the kidney that her father gave her failed, as she felt like a burden. “For a long time, I was contemplating suicide, because I didn’t want to fail my little brother like I failed my dad,” Sarah said. No one should feel like a burden, and it’s great that Sarah was able to work through her feelings regarding her kidney failure.
7. Emma Stone
Oscar winner Emma Stone recently shared her experience with panic attacks when she was seven years old with Glamour Magazine. “It was really, really terrifying and overwhelming,” Emma said. “I was over at a friend’s house and all of a sudden I was absolutely convinced the house was on fire and it was going to burn down. I was just sitting in her bedroom, and obviously the house wasn’t on fire—but there was nothing in me that didn’t think we weren’t going to die.” Emma was able to work through her panic attacks. For many of us, working through our mental illness issues may seem impossible, but she’s proof that it can be done.
8. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez has continued to take care of her chronic illness, she has lupus, and her mental health in the public eye. In an Instagram Live Q&A, Selena said that depression consumed her life for five years. “Depression and anxiety were the forefront of everything that I did in my life,” Selena said. “Every single thing. I would make myself have the courage to just keep going.” Mental health issues can seem consuming when we’re in dark places, so, like Selena did, it’s important to make ourselves keep pushing through these times.
9. Michelle Williams
In an Instagram post, singer Michelle Williams wrote that after empowering others to seek mental health treatment, Michelle decided to seek “help from a great team of healthcare professionals.” She later checked into a treatment facility for depression.
10. Kendall Jenner
In an interview with LOVE magazine, Kendall Jenner said her mental health prevented her from “Last season I didn’t do any shows,” Kendall said. “Just ‘cause I was working in LA and I was like ‘Oof, I can’t right now — I’m gonna go crazy.’ I was on the verge of a mental breakdown.” Kendall’s struggles with anxiety have been documented on her family’s reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) September 27, 2018
Here’s to continuing to fight the stigma against mental health in 2019.