For years, mental health was something that nobody dared discuss. Many believed it was better kept secret, a complication for people to deal with alone. This “hush hush” mentality prevails today. Negative stereotypes, despite being untrue, influence us from a young age. In turn, our society rejects open conversations about mental health due to deep-rooted fears. We’re told to bottle these emotions up, leading to an atmosphere of ignorance and neglect. Rather than confronting these problems head on, rumors continue to spread.
Many people hide their mental health issues due to societal shame and exclusion. They try to repress what makes them different and bury their suffering. This silent battle persists, and the victims are ashamed to reveal their pain. As they crumble apart, they’re under the false impression that they’re all alone. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The world is already beginning to change. People are starting to regard stigmas for what they are: baseless, unfounded accusations. The driving force of the mental health revolution is representation in the media. In most TV shows, books, and movies, people struggling with mental illness are misrepresented. In the best case scenario, they are removed from the narrative and not shown at all. In the worst case scenario, they are associated with harmful attributes: lazy, psychotic, overemotional, or even violent. These negative characteristics influence mass mentality, prompting us to steer clear of people who are struggling. Fortunately, a new generation of famous influencers have started to transform the media.
That’s why we’re listing five brave celebrities who opened up about their mental health struggles.
1. Chrissy Teigan
Chrissy Teigan, a world renowned model and actress, continues to be very open about her postpartum depression. After the birth of her first child, Teigan fell into a downward spiral. She experienced symptoms of sadness and exhaustion, yet believed it to be a natural part of motherhood. Only when she opened up about her struggles was she able to emerge victorious on the other side
.Teigan told USA today, “I thought it was very natural to be in this low, low point and I just assumed that was motherhood and there was no other way around it.”
Postpartum depression is something that many mothers face yet are afraid to admit. In fact, many are unaware that postpartum depression doesn’t only affect birthmothers. Adoptive mothers can, and often do, encounter postpartum depression in their own lives. Welcoming a new child is a whirlwind, and many mothers often neglect their own needs. Speaking candidly about struggles gives people the courage to care for themselves.
2. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato faced mental illness at an unexpected time. The child star seemed perfectly content on the outside, ecstatic about her role in Disney and on a path towards a bright future. Yet the millions of eyes watching Lovato did not seem to notice her pain. After years of facing intense addiction, bipolar disorder, and bulimia, the star acknowledged her tumultuous years. Now, Lovato is a forefront for the movement, revolutionizing the way we face mental illness.
Lovato stated, “It’s my mission to share this with the world and to let them know that there is life on the other side of those dark times that seem so hopeless and helpless. I want to show the world that there is life — surprising, wonderful and unexpected life after diagnosis.”
Lovato also stresses the importance of asking for help. To her, it is never a sign of weakness. Reaching out to somebody doesn’t mean that you’re dependent. You’re not forcing somebody else to carry you through difficult times. Instead, you’re simply asking for a hand to hold– a comforting reassurance that you aren’t alone.
Adele was also reluctant to open up about her postpartum depression, but the weight on her shoulders decreased after leaning on loved ones. Adele was originally embarrassed about her vulnerability. Talking about her issues seemed daunting. Yet eventually, the burden of depression became too much. The singer was able to find support through her friends, soon realizing that they struggled with the same issues.
When Adele decided to take some time to herself, her friends were hesitant. “They thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it’s not the case. It makes you a better mom if you give yourself a better time.”
Adele soon realized the importance of self-love. If you cannot care for yourself, you cannot properly care for another.
4. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Although The Rock may seem superhuman, he too deals with intense bouts of sadness. Both The Rock and his mother have struggled with depression for years. The Rock is a perfect example of how nothing is ever as it seems, especially with mental health. Physically, The Rock looks incredible: toned, skilled, and powerful. Yet inside, he copes with a secret disease.
The Rock’s inner strength rivals his outer power. His courage stems from his ability to speak openly about his struggles. To The Rock, a support system is fundamental to recovery. He still preaches the importance of empathy, first and foremost.
“We both healed but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain,” he said. “We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone.”
5. Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell was in college when she was first rattled by intense anxiety and depression. Now, Bell wants each person to know their worth. To her, nobody should be viewed as inferior due to chemical imbalances in the brain.
Kristen Bell’s openness furthered the entire mental health movement. To Bell, mental health should be treated with the same respect as any other illness. Awareness is the key to recovery, and it all begins with someone being brave enough to speak out.
“When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty. I didn’t speak publicly about my struggles with mental health for the first 15 years of my career. But now I’m at a point where I don’t believe anything should be taboo. “
Why Celebrities Who Opened Up About Mental Health Matter
Although the phrase “you are not alone” may seem cliche, it is completely true. A system of support exists out there: loved ones, friends, professionals, and even celebrities care enough to help. These incredible figures throw a lifeline to anyone that needs help. All you need is the courage to reach out and take it.
To combat the lies, many prominent people have taken to the stage to open up about their own struggles with mental illness. These celebrities offer support, throwing a line to those that need it. They are proof that poor mental health does not discriminate. Illnesses are not limited to a certain type of people. Although the life of a star may seem perfect, nobody is spared.
Most importantly, however, celebrities use their widespread impact to demonstrate their recovery. Acknowledging mental illness and opening up is the first step in the healing process. Only by being candid about our struggles can we find the resources we need to endure. These activists spread awareness, emphasizing that mental health should be talked about. Strength can be shared, and these celebrities give others the bravery to carry on just as they do.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Kenneal Patterson is a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. She is currently studying Journalism and Political Science, with a minor in Global Health. She is honored to work with Adoption Choices, and hopes that her journalism will inspire others to be more empathetic and kind. She thinks that writing can convey important messages of hope and love, and wants to share these messages with others.
Kenneal spends her summers at home in Golden, Colorado, with her many cats and dogs. She is eternally grateful to those who read her work!