CELEBRITY ADVOCATES

Many celebrities are outspoken about their struggles with different mental health issues. Here's a list of some celebrities and their experiences to help remind you that anyone can struggle, and you're not alone.

Anxiety/Stress Disorders

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

ACTOR

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"In an interview Leonardo recalled how he let his OCD symptoms go, and how this quickly worsened his OCD. He explains, “I remember my make-up artist and assistant walking me to the set and going, ‘Oh, God, here he goes again. We’re going to need 10 minutes to get him to the set today because he has to walk back and step on that thing and touch the door in a certain way and then walk in and walk out again.’ I let myself do it because I wanted that to come out.”

SINGER / ACTOR

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"Singer and actor Justin Timberlake has said that he suffers from both attention-deficit disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. "You try living with that," he laments. "It's complicated." Timberlake's OCD behaviors include an obsession with lining objects up and feeling that he absolutely must have a certain food item in the house at all times."

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

SINGER / ACTRESS

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“I [...] developed PTSD as a result of being raped and also not processing that trauma,” she told Oprah."

“Mental health is a medical condition. It should be treated as a medical condition, it should not be ignored,” she said. “I take an oath as a commitment today, with you, it's 2020 and for the next decade and maybe longer, I'm going to get the smartest scientists, doctors, psychiatrists, mathematicians, brain surgeons, and professors in the same room together and we're going to go through each problem one by one and we're going to solve this mental health crisis.”

SINGER

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"I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well," Grande said of suffering the symptoms of PTSD. "I feel like I shouldn't even be talking about my own experience -- like I shouldn't even say anything."

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

SINGER

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"... he reminds himself that despite how all-consuming anxiety can be, the feeling won't last forever. 'All pain is temporary,' he explained. 'Sometimes it lasts two hours, sometimes it lasts a day and sometimes it lasts five minutes. The point of the song is that no matter how long that lasts, you can come out the other end stronger and you come out of the other end always.'"

AMERICAN HOST

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"While Oprah still battles anxiety today; it's something that has affected her throughout her entire life. She recently revealed that when she was a child she was sexually abused. The abuse she suffered happened for several years, which really took a toll on her mental and physical health. This experience changed the way she looked at her life and she was never the same after it. Her anxieties were rooted in the abuse she dealt with for years until she finally got professional help. These experiences caused her to have bad self-esteem and an anxious feeling when dealing with some people."

 

Mood Disorders

Major Depressive Disorder

SINGER / ACTRESS

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"'As I grew older, I found a way to release myself from those darker thoughts through music. Music was my way of overcoming a lot of pain and anxiety. If you give yourself to your creativity and imagination, it can help you overcome almost anything and really enable you to feel free and powerful.'... 'I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day,' she explained."

ACTOR

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"James Franco, who covered OUT's September issue, told the magazine that he struggled with depression early in his career. "I have a very addictive personality," he said. 'When I was a teenager I got over certain addictions, and that's when I started acting, at age 17. I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn't even socialize. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realized, man, I'm so depressed. On the surface my life seems pretty good -- I have a career and everything -- but I feel isolated and lonely.'"

Seasonal Affective Disorder

ACTRESS

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"O’Donnell also says she suffers from seasonal affective disorder, often called SAD, which causes her to feel depressed during the fall and winter. 'Like in The Wizard of Oz, the color goes out,' she says. 'That is what happens in depression. Everything gets gray.'

No one should fear the stigma of taking medication for depression, she says: 'It saved my life.'"

Bipolar Disorder

SINGER

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"Demi was relieved when she finally got the diagnosis. 'I went into treatment and I was able to work with incredible doctors who helped me figure out that I was, in fact, bipolar, she says. 'It was a great feeling to find out that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I just had a mental illness.'"

SINGER

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“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she says. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”

 

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorder

SCIENTIST

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"I am a 44-year old autistic woman who has a successful international career designing livestock equipment. I completed my Ph.D. in Animal Science at the University of Illinois in Urbana and I am now an Assistant Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. Early intervention at age 2 1/2 helped me overcome my handicap.

Two of the subjects covered in this chapter are the frustration of not being able to speak and sensory problems. My senses were oversensitive to loud noise and touch. Loud noise hurt my ears and I withdrew from touch to avoid over-whelming sensation.

I built a squeezing machine which helped me to calm my nerves and to tolerate touching. At puberty, horrible anxiety “nerve” attacks started and they became worse with age. Antidepressant medication relieved the anxiety. In the last section of the chapter directing my fixations into constructive activities and a career will be discussed along with the importance of a mentor. My skill and deficit areas are covered in detail. All my thinking is visual, like videos played in my imagination. Even abstract concepts such as getting along with other people are visualized through the use of door imagery."

ACTRESS

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But Hannah, who was diagnosed with autism as a child and suffered from “debilitating shyness” as a result of the disorder, says the best thing in her life now is growing comfortable in her own skin.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ATHLETE

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"'I simply couldn’t sit still, because it was difficult for me to focus on one thing at a time,' Phelps recalls in Beneath the Surface. 'I had to be in the middle of everything.'

That was especially difficult at home. When he was 7, Phelps’ parents divorced. He says, 'As I began to grasp that my dad would be away for a long time, I needed something that could grab my attention.'"

SINGER

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"When it comes to the traditional expectations of a pop star in Hollywood, Solange Knowles shatters the glass ceiling as a woman of color who also happens to be diagnosed with a disability that affects 10 percent of the U.S. population: ADHD. Knowles has been outspoken about her ADHD, educating people about her disability.

'I was diagnosed with ADHD twice,' Knowles said. 'I didn’t believe the first doctor who told me, and I had a whole theory that ADHD was just something they invented to make you pay for medicine, but then the second doctor told me I had it.'"

Personality Disorders

 

Borderline Personality Disorder

ACTOR / COMEDIAN

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"Davidson had some genuine (and some funny) things to say about what it’s like living with BPD, from how he’s in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) — 'It’s steps, it’s thought processing, you have these thoughts, you have these feelings, you have these urges, you’re going to freak out. Try waiting it out 10 minutes. Try going for a walk.' — to his fear of abandonment — 'When people say they’re leaving and coming back, I get a really big fear that they’re not coming back.'"

Avoidant Personality Disorder

SINGER

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"[He] revealed in 2000 that he has APD and is severely scared of performing on stage. He sang with The Osmonds before going on to his solo career and always had to struggle with the distress of walking on stage. He was featured in a move regarding severe anxiety called Afraid of People."

Dissociative Identity Disorder

RAPPER

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"'The official diagnosis is that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety; I’m manic depressive,' Carter says in the clip. 'I’m prescribed Xanax, Seroquel, Gabapentin, Hydroxyzine, Trazodone, Omeprazole…' the 31-year-old singer admitted on the show.​

He gave me the audience a close-up look of the numerous medications he is taking, showing off all of the pill bottles in a large plastic bag. 'This is my reality... hi,' he said. 'I have nothing to hide.'"

 

Substance Abuse Disorders

Drug Addiction

SINGER

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"She also explained the moment when she realized that it was time to focus on her recovery and confront her dependence on drugs and alcohol once and for all. “'It was just nine in the morning and I was throwing up in the car and this was just to get on a plane to go back to L.A. to the sober living house that I was staying at … I had all the help in the world, but I didn’t want it. When I hit that moment I was like, it’s no longer fun when you’re doing it alone.'"

Alcohol Addiction

ACTOR

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"'I was living in constant fear of who I'd meet, what I might have said to them, what I might have done with them, so I'd stay in my apartment for days and drink alone. I was a recluse at 20. It was pathetic – it wasn't me. I'm a fun, polite person, and it turned me into a rude bore.'"