17 Celebs on Dealing with Mental Illness

Christina Grasso
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Celebrities with Mental Illness
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Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences a mental illness in a given year, which is kind of, you know, a lot. And yet, even with its startling prevalence, there’s still a stigma that keeps many sufferers from talking about it openly. The shame that surrounds mental illness can be crippling, and is powerful enough to prevent someone from seeking help, so this conversation is an extremely important one.

MORE: Lily Collins Opens Up About Past Struggle With An Eating Disorder

As a society, we’re presented with a certain stereotype of what a person with mental illness might look like, and rarely is that an image of a beloved celebrity or public figure—or at the very least, someone who seems to have their shit together. But mental illness is just that: mental. It rarely manifests in the physical, so we can’t always tell when someone is struggling, and nobody is immune. Ahead, 17 celebs who have smashed stereotypes by bravely coming forth with their struggles, proving that we all need a little help from time to time.

MORE: Kesha’s Story of Eating Disorder Recovery Proves Thin Does Not Equal Healthy

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Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne

The model/actress revealed in 2016 that she's battled depression for several years. "I think I properly started dealing with depression when I was about 16," she told Esquire. "I was suicidal. I couldn't deal with it anymore. I realized how lucky and privileged I was, but all I wanted to do was die."

Photo: Getty
Lily Collins
Lily Collins

While promoting her new film "To the Bone," which will be released on Netflix later this year, Collins disclosed her personal connection to her character, who is a young woman battling anorexia. “This movie was really important to me to be a part of because, as a teenager, I suffered from eating disorders,” Collins told Variety. “It’s important. It’s really important. It’s something that a lot of young women go through and there’s no shame in it."

Photo: Getty
Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

After revealing she experienced significant struggles with eating disorders and depression, Gaga revealed she also suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “I suffer from a mental illness — I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are,” she told the Today Show. “But the kindness that’s been shown to me by doctors — as well as my family and my friends — it’s really saved my life.”

Photo: Getty
Kesha
Kesha

In 2014, Kesha sought treatment at a Chicago-area facility for an eating disorder. Recently at SXSW, she went on to discuss how the illness nearly claimed her life. “It can kill you. I almost died. I came very close — closer than I ever knew. By the time I got to rehab, they were surprised that I hadn’t had a stroke, because I wasn’t consuming enough of anything,” she said, according to Yahoo.

Photo: Getty
Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner

After revealing she suffers from severe anxiety on an episode of KUWTK, the model opened up further on her app late last year. "Anxiety was a huge hurdle for me to deal with this past year (and security concerns didn't help), but I think I'm finally learning how to cope," she said.

Photo: Getty
Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato

The singer has long been open about her struggles with a variety of mental health issues including bulimia, bipolar disorder, addiction, and cutting. "I was performing concerts on an empty stomach. I was losing my voice from purging. I was self-medicating. I was not taking medication for depression," she told ABC. "It was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body. I was matching the inside to the outside. And there were some times where my emotions were just so built up, I didn't know what to do." Recently, Lovato shared on her Instagram that she was celebrating 5 years of sobriety.

Photo: Getty
Halle Berry
Halle Berry

Berry has said she has suffered from depression so severe that it once led her to attempt suicide. "Somewhere in my heart, I think I knew I didn’t really want to end my life. I just wanted to end the pain," she told Ebony, and added she began to see a therapist. “I know it sounds cliche, but you have to find a way to hold on because time really does heal all wounds.”

Photo: Wenn
Amanda Seyfried
Amanda Seyfried

"[Mental illness] should be taken as seriously as anything else," the actress, who has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), told Allure in 2016. "You don’t see the mental illness: It’s not a mass; it’s not a cyst. But it’s there."

Photo: Getty
Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez

After canceling her tour last summer to check into a Tennessee treatment facility for anxiety and depression, Gomez opened up in a moving speech at the American Music Awards: "I think it's safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life whether I liked it or not, and I had to stop, because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken inside. And I kept it all together to where I never let you down. But I kept it too much together where I let myself down,"she said. Later, she told Vogue of her struggle: “I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting on-stage, or right after leaving the stage."

Photo: Wenn
Brittany Snow
Brittany Snow

The actress has been forthcoming about her past struggles with anorexia, depression, and cutting. "I would literally have an anxiety attack if I didn’t go to the gym, because I felt like I was such a bad person," she told People. "It wasn’t about the food. It was an emotional problem." Now in recovery, Snow went on to found Love is Louder and work with the Jed Foundation, an organization that addresses mental health and suicide prevention in young adults.

Photo: Wenn
Zoë Kravitz
Zoë Kravitz

The actress revealed she has a history of anorexia and bulimia, which she called "awful diseases" in an interview with Complex. “I started with the eating disorder in high school," Kravitz said. "I had a hard time loving myself." Her parents helped get her into therapy, and since then she's been in recovery. “I feel like something has left my body, like some part of me is gone now, something that was making me so insecure. And it feels amazing,” she said.

Photo: Wenn
Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks

The reigning queen of rock and roll sought treatment for cocaine addiction after learning the drug had burned a hole through her nasal cavity. "It turns into a monster," she told ABC of the drug. "It will eventually kill you."

Photo: Wenn
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jolie revealed she suffered from depression as a teenager. “I was raised in a place where if you have fame and money and you’re decent-looking and have the ability to work in this industry, you have everything in the world. Then you attain those things and realize you still couldn’t be more empty. I didn’t know where to put myself,” she said.

Photo: Getty
Princess Diana
Princess Diana

On tapes aired by NBC News, the late Princess Diana discussed her struggle with bulimia and multiple suicide attempts. "The public... they wanted a fairy princess to come and touch them, and everything will turn into gold and all their worries would be forgotten," she said. "Little did they realise that the individual was crucifying herself inside because she didn't think she was good enough."

Photo: Getty
Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer

Palmer revealed in her book, I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice, that she suffered from years of debilitating anxiety and depression. “Being able to say how I feel, that was something that was so hard for me for so long,” she told Cosmopolitan, adding that years of therapy have helped her get to a healthier place.

Photo: Wenn
Sia Furler
Sia Furler

Sia, who routinely avoids being photographed due to social anxiety, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has also experienced addiction and a suicide attempt, according to the New York Times.

Photo: Wenn
Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell

"For me, depression is not sadness," Bell told Time. "It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realize that they are not worthless and that they do have something to offer."

Photo: Wenn

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  • Cara Delevingne
  • Lily Collins
  • Lady Gaga
  • Kesha
  • Kendall Jenner
  • Demi Lovato
  • Halle Berry
  • Amanda Seyfried
  • Selena Gomez
  • Brittany Snow
  • Zoë Kravitz
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Princess Diana
  • Keke Palmer
  • Sia Furler
  • Kristen Bell

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