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17 Celebrities Who Struggle With Mental Illness
May 3, 2017

17 Celebrities Who Struggle With Mental Illness

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Celebs are not perfect, and some of them had the misfortune of dealing with a mental illness. Depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD – those are all conditions for whom the showbiz world holds no secret vaccine.

Are you curious to see celebs wearing straitjackets? While reality doesn’t go that far, you still have 17 reasons to be surprised.

1. Winona Ryder – Depression

Winona Ryder - Depression
via Getty Images

Winona Ryder has been the poster child for a condition that is not shy in terrorizing the world of the rich and famous.

Winona Ryder suffering from depression is so cliche it doesn’t milk any fresh tears from us. Let’s look at her early roles in an attempt to reveal the real culprit.

The iconic actress had to fit in the skin of numerous troubled characters, most of whom were teens contemplating dark thoughts. Both “Girl, Interrupted” and “Edward Scissorhands” were tear-jerkers. No wonder she ended up painting her personal life in black.

Depression has its perks, and Winona blamed the heavy medication for her 2001 shoplifting incident. She got away with hours of community service just because judges had a soft spot for melancholic criminals.

It will uplift your spirit to know that Winona Ryder fought her inner demons and stepped out of the shadow changed. The 45-year-old actress that once shocked everyone with her confessed mental illness is again in the headlines, only this time for a brilliant performance in “Stranger Things.”

Winona Ryder - Depression
via NY Mag

On the next page, you will see which Academy Award-winner is bipolar.

2. Mel Gibson – Bipolar Disorder

Mel Gibson - Bipolar Disorder
via WENN

Mel Gibson being bipolar works to explain many of the actor’s recent slippages.

For someone with bipolar disorder, life becomes a rollercoaster that takes you from the pits of despair to manic heights and back again. Mel Gibson fits the symptoms perfectly, although it took him years to hike from one extreme to another.

More than two decades separate “Braveheart” from “Hacksaw Ridge” the two motion pictures that brought Mel Gibson official recognition at the highest Hollywood standards. In between his two Academy Awards moments, the Australian made a fool of himself and became an outlaw in the world of celebs.

Mel Gibson used alcohol as a form of self-medication. It didn’t work out well! He was caught driving drunk and went on a rant that ultimately put him on the blacklist.

One of the main risk factors for bipolar disorder is exposure to long-term stress. For Mel, the pressure came from not being allowed to express his anger towards Jews.

Mel Gibson - Bipolar Disorder
via Lionsgate

On the next page, you will uncover that even comedians are vulnerable to depression.

3. Jim Carrey – Depression

Jim Carrey - Depression
via Story Pick

Just admit it! Depression is the last of the mental illnesses you would normally expect from someone like Jim Carrey.

Movies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Ace Ventura” point towards an entirely different condition. Jim Carrey dressed in a straitjacket and banging his head against the walls of a nuthouse feels more like it.

When your job is to make others laugh, and you are great at it, you should also be able to cheer yourself up. For most of us, it is impossible to picture the 55-year-old actor without a smile or a silly face. Jim Carrey contemplating the meaning of life and failing to see the half of the glass that is full doesn’t make sense.

You will be shocked to know Carrey relied on Prozac for a long time to make bad thoughts go away. However, he learned to replace mood-enhancing drugs with a sense of well-being nurtured from within.

Jim Carrey - Depression
via Universal Pictures

Being an athlete doesn’t mean you are safe from delusions of the mind.

4. Herschel Walker – Dissociative Identity Disorder

Herschel Walker - Dissociative Identity Disorder
via AP

There is a good reason why coaches working with Herschel Walker often referred to him as “an entirely different person.”

The former American football player suffers from a rare and mysterious illness known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). More than one Walker are competing for control over his body.

It might not sound so bad having two or more personalities you can switch. We all get bored being ourselves sometimes. Nevertheless, the condition brought Herschel Walker close to regrettable actions.

How close? Let’s just say he woke up from one of his more violent alters just in time not to kill his wife with a straight razor. He also remembered playing Russian roulette when one of his daring sides was in charge.

Herschel Walker gave symbolic names to his various personalities. The Hero, the Coach, the Enforcer, the Consoler, the Daredevil, the Warrior, are just a few of them Walker revealed in his book, “Breaking Free.”

Herschel Walker - Dissociative Identity Disorder
via AP

It’s one of the worst mental illnesses, and the effects are horrific. Our next celeb was lucky.

5. Elton John – Bulimia

Elton John - Bulimia
via Getty Images

Elton John is quite a chubby fellow and one has no clue he had a mental disorder commonly associated with skinny fashion models.

The legendary singer and songwriter battled bulimia for more than 16 years before admitting he needs professional help. Like many others, Elton John thought he could fix things on his own. Bouts of drug abuse and episodes of depression came agonizing close to depriving our world of one of the most talented entertainers ever.

Bulimia is an eating disorder that has its roots inside the mind. Those who struggle with the condition develop a habit from vomiting after binge eating.

Let’s take a moment and blame today’s society for creating and perpetrating impossible beauty standards. Fingers down the throat became synonymous with looking sharp in unnaturally thigh jeans.

Elton John being gay works to explain why he fell victim to a condition almost entirely reserved for women.

Elton John - Bulimia
via Getty Images

The next mental issue affecting mothers apparently makes no sense. Check out a famous actress affected by it.

6. Gwyneth Paltrow – Postpartum Depression

Gwyneth Paltrow - Postpartum Depression
via Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow’s second child was supposed to bring tremendous joy in her life. A strange condition known as postpartum depression made her existence a living hell.

Scientists failed to explain so far why some of the mothers experience anxiety, irritability, and sometimes profound sadness after delivering a healthy baby. The best guess is that they grew too fond of having the little bugger developing inside their bellies.

Paltrow had her row with postnatal depression back in 2006. Although she was lucky enough to experience a mild form of the condition, it was still strong enough to mess with her busy acting schedule. Some say it even has something to do with her failed marriage to Chris Martin.

Despite the difficulties, our beloved Pepper Pots made a full recovery and chose to be honest about the struggle. Coming forward as a celeb affected by a mental illness empowered thousands of women that silently endure the ordeal.

Gwyneth Paltrow - Postpartum Depression
via Getty Images

There is no way you would say she is depressed. Her confession was devastating.

7. Cara Delavigne – Depression

Cara Delavigne - Depression
via DC Comics

“I wanted for each molecule of my body to disintegrate. I wanted to die.”

That’s not the kind of wish you would expect from one of the coolest celebs of the moment. We hope we won’t ruin the Cara Delavigne experience by revealing her low points came dangerously close to rock bottom.

Cara lived with depression for several years before asking for help at the age of 16. The former Victoria’s Secret model had to stay out of school for six months and even agreed to take medication.

You will hate us for saying it. Depression is not like a cold that goes away for good. No, depression is a faithful Black Dog that follows you close-by. Cara Delavigne repeatedly said keeping her life in a good direction is an ongoing battle that will likely never end.

There are angry fans who just dismiss any celeb coming forward with a mental problem. For them, Cara Delavigne is just posing as a victim and whining about her life being only 99% perfect. What do you think?

Cara Delavigne - Depression
via Instagram

Exposure to high levels of stress is the leading cause of mental illnesses. A stunning actress had to take a break because of her poor condition.

8. Catherine Zeta-Jones – Bipolar Disorder

Catherine Zeta Jones - Bipolar Disorder
via IMDb

“Finding out that it was called something was the best thing that ever happened to me!”

With that statement, Catherine Zeta-Jones stepped down from her diva status and shared the simplest of joy – not to be alone in her struggle with a debilitating mental illness.

Being bipolar is not a source of pride, and most celebs would generously bribe their biographers not to mention that. However, the 47-year-old Welsh actress joined an unprecedented wave of honesty that proved once more our idols are nothing but flesh and bone.

Catherine Zeta-Jones checked herself into the hospital two times, in 2011 and again in 2013, and she had a good excuse for her emotional turmoil. Doctors discovered husband Michael Douglas had stage four tongue cancer in 2010.

We should all praise Catherine for going from victim to hero. She turned her full attention to raising awareness about the bipolar disorder and encouraging others to step outside denial and seek help.

Catherine Zeta Jones - Bipolar Disorder
via REX Features

On the next page, we meet another mom that had mental problems after giving birth.

9. Hayden Panettiere – Postpartum Depression

Hayden Panettiere - Postpartum Depression
via Movie Pilot

Hayden Panettiere is another high-profile actress who experienced the darkness of postpartum depression.

Only this time Panettiere had to sign up for professional treatment in a clinic. You will be deeply saddened to know she had to take a break from acting and had to return for therapy in May 2016.

The fact that celebs can suffer from postpartum depression ruins once and for all the myth that everything is perfect in their personal lives. Loving heavyweight legend Wladimir Klitschko and giving life to a beautiful daughter is not enough to keep the blues away.

“I would love it if Wlad figured out a way to get pregnant.” You will be relieved to know that’s not a way for Hayden Panettiere to say she dreads going through another pregnancy.

The actress pointed out that despite the repeated lows, she is eager to provide 3-year-old Kaya with new playmates.

Hayden Panettiere - Postpartum Depression
via IMDb

Even legends have their quirks. Check out one of the best-guarded secrets in Hollywood!

10. Leonardo DiCaprio – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Leonardo DiCaprio - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
via Warner Bros.

Leonardo DiCaprio probably spends at least two hours a day making his awards room look neat and tidy.

The actor and environmental activist confessed to having a mild form of the infamous OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Yes, that’s the one that makes you lose your mind about things not being in order.

DiCaprio discovered his condition while playing billionaire industrialist Howard Hughes in the “The Aviator.” DiCaprio did not find it hard to fit the role exactly because Hughes was notorious for developing social handicaps due to his OCD.

We can only hope Leo will manage to keep his act straight and not descend into madness. So far the actor limits himself to stepping on every chewing gum he sees flatten on the sidewalk.

Fellow actors and director working with DiCaprio also revealed the star has a bizarre ritual of touching things on his way to the set. The urge to go back and step on the chewing gum he missed is often too strong to resist.

Leonardo DiCaprio - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
via Warner Bros.

You know it’s serious when not even comedian can’t let go of a bad memory.

11. Whoopi Goldberg – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Whoopi Goldberg - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
via Washington Times

Whoopi Goldberg hides a dark secret with her generous smile.

Whoopi witnessed a mid-air collision between two planes as a child and couldn’t force her mind to forget the incident. As the years went on, the 61-year-old developed what psychologists refer to as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

The memories of the incident are still vivid, and Whoopi has a hard time convincing herself to board planes. She needs therapy to cope with the fear.

The star from “Sister Act” can do little to avoid frequent flights as her career is booming as we speak.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can take numerous forms and is a defense mechanism the human body initiates and then is incapable of controlling.

Whoopi Goldberg - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
via WENN

The next story will convince you just how valuable help can be. The best swimmer ever had a mental condition that always kept him only one step away from failure.

12. Michael Phelps – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Michael Phelps - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
via Tumblr

When 8-year-old Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD, no one would have bet their money on him becoming the most Olympian of all time.

ADHD is the worst fear a parent can have. Children with the condition need a lot of patience to learn anything. Let’s use the occasion to praise just how much effort Michael Phelps’s mother invested with him.

Phelps was not doing great in school when his mom took matters into her hands. He hired tutors and took time herself to see what activities allowed Phelps to focus. His formidable relationship with professional swimming is the result of that.

Phelps’s success story proved that people with mental disabilities need to put up bigger efforts than the rest. Support from the family is also mandatory.

Michael Phelps - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
via Press Room VIP

Anxiety torments the soul and makes focusing difficult. Even gorgeous actresses find plenty of reasons to worry.

13. Olivia Munn – Anxiety

Olivia Munn - Anxiety
via IMDb

“One day I broke down on the floor, crying.”

At first glance, there is nothing wrong with Olivia Munn. We could easily park a photo of her in the dictionary to illustrate the word “perfection.”

However, even the most beautiful actresses are vulnerable to emotional burden. Munn was never shy in admitting she has a problem controlling her anxiety.

Whether she is preparing for an audition or attending a meeting with the fans, Munn needs to address the issue firsthand and calm her nerves. Her secret – admitting she has a problem and working her best to keep her deviant behavior under control.

Olivia Munn has a good excuse. Her family kept moving from one place to another all the time, and she was always “the new kid” in school.

Talent and hard work helped beautiful Olivia. She made the transition from an awkward schoolgirl to playing Psylocke in the “X-Men: Apocalypse” blockbuster.

Olivia Munn - Anxiety
via Getty Images

The next story is heart-breaking. She simply couldn’t let go of the past.

14. Lady Gaga – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Lady Gaga - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
via AP

Lady Gaga joined the list of celebs that can’t let go of the past. She has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The many times awarded singer was the victim of rape at age 19. The man was twice her age. The shocking confession came only two years ago and helped us changed our perspective on Lady Gaga.

Gaga ceased to be the controversial entertainer that wants to draw attention with wild antics. Instead, we learned to look at her as a victim that hides her true feelings and doesn’t want to be hurt again.

“I have a mental illness, and I struggle with that mental illness every day.” That’s how Stefani Germanotta begins sharing her story with people suffering from a similar condition.

“You are brave; you are courageous.” Lady Gaga kept repeating herself that mantra to escape the pattern of negative thinking that renders most PTSD patients depressed.

Lady Gaga - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
via Twitter

Depression spares no one. You can have everything you need and still be unhappy.

15. Prince Harry – Depression

Prince Harry - Depression
via Vanity Fair

It is very uncommon for royals to come forward with their personal problems, especially if they are related to a mental illness.

Therefore, we should praise Prince Harry for mustering enough courage to put his reputation at stake. The fifth in the line of succession to the British Crown, Harry was devastated following the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana.

Depression is probably a weak word to describe the earthquake that shattered the life of Prince Harry at the age of 12. The higher you are, the harder you fall. Harry needed years of counseling and had a rough time opening to anyone about his inner demons.

Harry came forward in 2017 and admitted his depression was not just tabloid speculation. Millions of men endure mental torment just because our society is not yet ready to accept the true scale of this illness.

Prince Harry - Depression
via Smooth

Panic attacks are the last thing you would expect from our next star.

16. Adele – Panic Attacks

Adele - Panic Attacks
via Getty Images

One would not expect anxiety from a singer that made a camping ground out of the music charts.

Adele is a phenomenal entertainer with a hard to guess secret. He was afraid of crowds and often refused to play in venues larger than 15,000.

Ever wondered why Adele tickets seem to vanish the instant they are put up for sale? It is because the best voice in the world has a genuine fear of delivering disappointing performance.

However, it seems that things have changed. Numerous hours of counseling convinced Adele that the demon on her left shoulder should go away. Her voice is magnificent, and no one ever complained about her live shows.

Adele came forward to admit her anguish after acknowledging how useful than can be for debuting artists and even for ordinary people.

via Brit

The list ends with a Hollywood sweetheart that had troubles as a teen.

17. Emma Stone – Anxiety

via Getty Images

Emma Stone is the actress everyone talks about, and you would require a monumental effort picturing something imperfect about her.

Anxiety is the name of the condition that almost intervened to ruin Emma’s shot at a Hollywood career. It all started with a 14-year-old weighing whether she should leave home or not. Emma was anxious enough to use a PowerPoint presentation to ask permission from her parents.

The 28-year-old is just one of the celebrities taking part in the “Speak Up For Kids” campaign. She joined the effort of several other A-listers to recorded videos, lecturing about the topic of mental illnesses.

Emma Stone pointed out that teens suffering from crippling anxiety should not remain silent. Friends and family are there to support them have a better take on the world.

Emma Stone - Anxiety
via Rappler
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