Celebrities are only human and are as prone to mental illness struggles as anyone else. Even people who seem to have it all may struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Here are just a few of many who struggle(d) with a mood disorder or anxiety disorder, and a friendly reminder that you are not alone.
9 Celebrities with Mood Disorder
Probably best known as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” legendary actress Judy Garland struggled with depression and an image disorder from her earliest days in film. Although a beautiful woman by anyone’s standards, Garland reportedly refused to look at her own reflection and covered all mirrors in her home. Her problems led to an alcohol and prescription medication dependency that eventually took her life.
Fans knew Marlon Brando as one of the sexiest, most talented actors of his era, but he knew himself as the troubled child of alcoholic parents. The actor spent much of his life trying to forgive his distant, hypercritical father, and loving but emotionally disturbed mother. Brando’s own mental illness was rooted in post-traumatic stress, fueling lifelong mood swings, deep depression, and compulsive womanizing.
The Academy Award-winning actress for her role as a high-class hooker in “L.A. Confidential” suffered from intense anxiety, as well as from social phobias exacerbated by difficult experiences during film shoots.
Basinger began her career as a model, but reportedly hated it. She once said, “It was very hard to go from one booking to another and to always have to deal with the way I looked. I couldn’t stand it. I felt myself choking.” She abhorred mirrors and avoided them out of insecurity.
You’d never know it to watch the hilarious former star of TV’s “The Drew Carey Show” and current host of “The Price is Right” game show, but Carey is a long time depression sufferer. He told entertainment journalist Nancy O’Dell that at the ages of 18 and 20, he tried to kill himself by overdosing on pills.
Halle Berry won an Academy Award in 2002 for her performance in the hit “Monster’s Ball” and was Esquire magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” in 2008. But in the 1990s, she felt so despondent over her stormy marriage to baseball star David Justice that she tried to gas herself to death in her car.
“I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me,” Berry says. “She sacrificed so much for her children…to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do. It was all about a relationship. My sense of worth was so low. “
The former “Take That” boyband member, who first became famous at age 16, has been quoted as saying that he “nearly did not make it” due to struggles with severe anxiety, depression and agoraphobia. He has also said he felt his successful music career would “kill him.”
Williams, who has a family history of mental illness, has openly struggled with both alcohol and substance abuse issues. He says that while he considers all that to be behind him now, he doesn’t think he would be “as mentally unstable” if he weren’t famous.
Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning actress Emma Stone has said in interviews that she has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks her whole life and received treatment for them in her early 20s. Stone has an encouraging take on her difficulties, saying that anxiety can be a “superpower” when you take control of it.
“I believe that people who have anxiety and depression are very, very sensitive and very, very smart, because the world is hard and scary and there’s a lot that goes on,” she said. “When you’re really attuned to that, it can be crippling. And if you don’t let it cripple you and you use it for something positive and productive, it’s like a superpower.”
Nominated for a Grammy with Florida Georgia Line for “Meant to Be” and co-writer of Eminem’s “The Monster,” Bebe Rexha posted on Twitter, “I’m bipolar and I’m not ashamed anymore.” She added, “(My) next album will be my favorite one ever, because I’m not holding anything back.”
In 2017, Bieber canceled all the shows remaining in his world tour amid rumors of being diagnosed with clinical depression. He recalled, “I got really depressed on tour. I was lonely. I needed some time.”
On social media, Bieber posted, “I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all my relationships. I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry. I became distant to everyone who loved me, and I was hiding behind a shell of the person I had become.” Today, Bieber is happily married to wife Hailey.
“Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams opened up about her mental health in a 2019 podcast.
“I went through a huge period of my life where I’d tell myself every day that I hated myself,” the actress revealed. “It got to the point where I’d be in a conversation with my friends, and my mind would be like running and running and running and thinking about all the stupid things I said in my life and all of people who looked at me a certain way and it would just race and race and race.” With work, she says, her mental health has improved. “It’s a journey.”
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