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The stigma surrounding mental health problems is no doubt, still there. However, when it comes to mental health, the more people speaking out about it, the better it is for others.
To celebrate World Mental Health Day, we’ve rounded up 12 celebrities who’ve been open about dealing with depression, anxiety and other issues surrounding mental health.
If you want to speak to someone, visit MMHA (Malaysian Mental Health Association) for more information.
"I used to deal with depression, but I don't now, not this decade – maybe last decade. But that's also figuring out who you are. I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester: 'This semester I was majoring in depression.”
"I was doing the same thing every night and numbing myself to sleep, the same routine. Couldn't wait to get home and hide out. But that feeling of unease was growing and one night I just said, 'This is a waste.'"
She tweeted: "I suffer from depression and was a model during a particularly rough patch of self hatred. I am so lucky for the work I get to do but I used to work to try and escape and just ended up completely exhausting myself. I am focusing on filming and trying to learn not to pick apart my every flaw. I am really good at that.”
The Irish actor told Friday Night With Jonathan Ross: “Desperation will allow you to do incredible things in the name of survival…I had created an environment for myself, a way of living for myself which, on the outside, seemed incredibly gregarious and vivacious. “I don’ believe I have any chemical predisposition towards depression, but let’s just call it… I was suffering from a spiritual malady for years and I induldged it.”
‘Honestly? Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: “I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my s**t and go to work”. Reset the auto-meter, kick start the engine!’
‘I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything’s just okay. You need to get out of bed every day and say that life is good. That’s what I did, although at times it was very difficult for me.’
In an open letter to fans about her PTSD, Lady Gaga wrote, “There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness, but it’s important that you know that there is hope and a chance for recovery.”
Leonardo DiCaprio struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder that returned after he played Howard Hughes in The Aviator, a character who had OCD. “I’m able to say at some point, ‘OK, you’re being ridiculous, stop stepping on every gum stain you see,'” he said according to Contact Music. “You don’t need to do walk 20 feet back and put your foot on that thing.”
“I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well. I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.
“My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help? [I thought] it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back. So from an emotional side, I was like ‘right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything’, he mentions to The Telegraph about the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
Before Deadpool became a hit and earned Ryan Reynolds big bucks, the star says he mentally collapsed. “I felt like I was on some schooner in the middle of a white squall the whole time. It just never stopped. When it ﬁnally ended, I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I literally had the shakes. I went to go see a doctor because I felt like I was suffering from a neurological problem or something. And every doctor I saw said, ‘You have anxiety.’"
In a BBC program, British comedian and actor Stephen Fry talked openly about his battle with bipolar disorder. "I always heard voices in my head saying what a useless bastard I am, but the voice is my own. It is my own voice, telling me what a worthless lump of shit I am."
He says, “I want to speak out, to fight the public stigma and to give a clearer picture of a mental illness most people know little about.”
Hip hop artist Stormzy raps about his experiences of depression in his single, “Lay Me Bare”.
He tells Channel 4 saying, “If there’s anyone out there going through it, I think for them to see that I went through it, it would help.
“Because for a long time I used to think that soldiers don’t go through that. You know? Like, strong people in life, the bravest, the most courageous people, they don’t go through that, they just get on with it. That’s not the case. I feel like I always come across confidently and happy. I just present myself in a positive way so I can spread that. So people will be looking at and thinking I don’t go through nothing, so for me to let people know that I do, I felt it’s important for me to let people know that.”
Well-dressed doesn’t mean eating well. Zayn Malik opened up about his eating disorder and struggling with anxiety. “Every area of my life was so regimented and controlled it was the one area where I could say, ‘No, I’m not eating that’. Once I got over the control, the eating just came back into place, super naturally.” He tells The Times.
“I came back to the UK and spent some time with my mum and got some TLC, and she cooked me food and I got back in touch, mentally, with a lot of the things I’d lost.”
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