Apr 26, 2017 12:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs


Big homes, bigger bank accounts, fancy cars, and oodles of fans -- it seems celebrities have it all. But celebrity doesn’t protect from mental health problems. Many of today’s biggest stars are sharing candid information about their battles with mental illness. Their stories and their courage to talk frankly about their conditions build healthy awareness of current treatments and the importance of loving support. 

Here are ten celebrities who came forward with their struggles with mental illness. 

1. Chrissy Teigen-postpartum depression

As a successful model, television host, and wife of multi-platinum recording artist John Legend, Teigen, a Utah native, went public in a candid essay published in the April 2017 issue of Glamour Magazine. “I had everything I needed to be happy,” she wrote. “And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy. What basically everyone around me--but me--knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression.”  Teigen finished her essay explaining why she chose to speak up now. “I want people to know it can happen to anybody, and I don’t want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone.”

2. Demi Lovato-bipolar disorder

Twenty-four-year old Lovato has been a public figure and performer since her teens. At eighteen, she came forward with her story of bullying, addiction, an eating disorder, cutting, and depression. During a television interview, Lovato explained that it was during her treatment for addiction and eating disorders that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. During that time, Lovato learned coping skills and adopted ways to control and understand her emotions. “For the first time in my life, I started to feel,” she said. Currently, Lovato is the celebrity spokesperson for Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health campaign.

3. Steve Young-social anxiety disorder

NFL-hall of famer and BYU graduate, Steve Young had a seemingly perfect life. But in his new book, QB: My Life Behind the Spiral, Young admits to suffering from anxiety disorder for much of his life. “At its root is this desperation, like, I gotta make something happen,” he said, in a television interview.

4. Donny Osmond-social anxiety disorder

Another local celebrity who suffers from social anxiety disorder, Donny Osmond has been battling social anxiety while performing since he was a child. It was in 1994 while performing in the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat that he realized he needed help. Since 2004, Osmond has been an honorary member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “I want to let people know that they are not alone and that help is available,” he said.

5. Michael Phelps-ADHD

Michael Phelps is an American swimmer, who has won a record-breaking 19 Olympic medals during his swimming career. He also lives with attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder. “For Phelps, a gangly, hyperactive child who was diagnosed with the condition aged nine, the swimming pool was a sanctuary, a place to burn off excess energy,” writer Patrick Barkham says. “The concept of role models can seem an overused cliche but the Olympians with ADHD may really inspire a generation of athletes who once would have been written off.”

6. Dan Reynolds-clinical depression

Dan Reynolds may be living the dream as a member of the chart-topping band Imagine Dragons but despite commercial success and a rewarding musical career, Reynolds described himself as “depressed as hell.” Since 2012, Reynolds has been honest about his battle with depression. “That’s a scary thing when you get everything that you could have wanted but yet you still feel an emptiness because, at that point, you think, ‘Oh man, if this doesn’t fill it, then I don’t know where to look anymore.” His new role as a husband and father has motivated him to make positive changes. “That made me feel like I needed to reevaluate my life and find a deeper appreciation for it."

7. Leonardo DiCaprio-obsessive-compulsive disorder

The Oscar-winning star admitted he feels compelled to walk through doorways numerous times and step on sidewalk stains left by used chewing gum. But DiCaprio has managed to keep his OCD tendencies under control, saying, “I’m able to say at some point, ‘OK, you’re being ridiculous. Stop stepping on every gum stain you see. You don’t need to do that.’”

8. Daniel Radcliffe-obsessive-compulsive disorder

The boy who made Harry Potter a household name at the age of ten has been struggling with OCD since he was five. According to writer Alexandra Daluisio, “Dan decided to seek help when his anxiety prevented him from turning off a light for five minutes.” Even at such a young age, Radcliffe knew something had to be done.

9. Lady Gaga-PTSD

Despite her success in both music and acting, Lady Gaga spoke openly in December 2016 about her struggles with post traumatic stress disorder. Gaga admitted in a 2014 interview that she is the victim of a rape that happened when she was 19 years old. “My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others,” she says.

10. Adele-postpartum depression

This Grammy award-winning artist opened up to Vanity Fair last year about her battles with postpartum depression following the birth of her son. “I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she says. She admits she didn’t take any medication for it, she also didn’t talk to anyone about it. “I was very reluctant,” she said.

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