Dealing with a mental health issue or know someone who is? October 10th is World Mental Health Day and this year we’ve found celebrities who’ve dealt with mental illnesses before.
Countless women struggle with mental health issues, but the stigma that comes with them makes some of us afraid to speak up. They aren’t as uncommon as people think, and even well known celebrities deal with depression, bipolar disorder or panic attacks.
One in four of us will experience some form of mental health problem in any given year, according to the Mental Health Foundation. In fact, women are more likely to be treated for a mental health problem and twice as likely to experience anxiety compared to men. On this year’s World Mental Health day on October 10, we’re bringing to light five female celebrities who have come forward with their own mental health hurdles.
Nicole Kidman and depression
Many of us have had a sad or miserable day, but when those low feelings start interfering with daily life, depression might be the real culprit, according to mental health charity, Mind. Looking back at the tail end of her marriage with Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman told Who magazine that she suffered with depression. ‘I married [Tom] really fast and really young,’ she said. ‘Then when it didn’t work out, I had to really dig deep and find my way through depression.’
Along with Kidman, Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie have also come forwards with dealing with this mental health illness. Whether it’s support from family, professional counseling or medication help is out here. Visit Mind for information.
Catherine Zeta-Jones and bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by extreme mood swings and episodes of mania coupled with depression, according to the charity, Bipolar UK. Catherine Zeta-Jones came forward in 2013 about her experience with this mental illness. ‘Bipolar is something I have been dealing with for a long time,’ she told the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine. After her husband Michael Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010, the actress said the stress and shock triggered her disorder before she was briefly hospitalized for it. ‘When you get sideswiped like that [by her husband’s illness], it’s an obvious trigger for your balance to be a little bit off – not sleeping, worry, stress. It’s a classic trigger.’
Zeta-Jones isn’t the only celebrity who deals with mania and mood swings, Demi Lovato and Mary Lambert (a musician from Canada) have both come forward with dealing with the illness as well. Visit Bipolar UK for more information and support if you want to know more about bipolar disorder and how it’s treated.
Lena Dunham and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Obsessive feelings, intrusive and repetitive thoughts, feelings of doubt or anger; these are the characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder according to the charity OCD Action. Lena Dunham recently told Rolling Stone that she has dealt with this illness for years after being diagnosed at the age of nine. Many people with OCD will repeat an action multiple times in order to subdue their invasive thoughts and attempt to control the fears they have.
‘I was obsessed with the number eight,’ Dunham said to Rolling Stone. ‘I’d count eight times. . . . I’d look on both sides of me eight times, I’d make sure nobody was following me down the street, I touched different parts of my bed before I went to sleep.’
Both Kim Kardashian and Emily Blunt have also come forward with dealing with forms of OCD. OCD Action has more information on obsessive-compulsive disorder and opportunities to donate to their charity.
Taylor Swift and anxiety
Stress can spring from struggles at work, bumps in relationships, from money problems and many other external causes, but while stress can come and go, anxiety will linger even if the sufferer doesn’t know what the cause is, according to charity Anxiety UK. Taylor Swift told Rolling Stone her anxiety stems from a fear of being arrested for something she didn’t do. ‘I have a lot of anxieties that end in me being put into a police car,’ said Swift. She recalls her recurring anxiety dreams. ‘I keep trying to tell them that I didn’t do anything,’ she said to Rolling Stone, ‘and they won’t listen, or my voice doesn’t work.’
Anxiety can come in many forms, including being triggered by arrest. Leona Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence and Courtney Love are celebrities that have also faced anxiety in the past. For more resources and additional information on anxiety and how it can be treated, visit Anxiety UK.
Amanda Seyfried and Panic Attacks
The body’s exaggerated response to fear, stress or excitement makes a terrifying experience of a panic attack that may leave the victim thinking they are going mad, blacking out or having a heart attack. A pounding heartbeat, feeling faint, sweating, nausea and feelings of losing control are just some of the symptoms of a panic attack according to Mind.
Coupled with anxiety, Amanda Seyfried has had panic attacks before. ‘It feels like you’re going to die,’ said Amanda Seyfried to Glamour about her personal attacks. ‘There’s nothing scarier.’
Ellie Goulding, Kourtney Kardashian, Emma Stone and Madonna are other women who have mentioned their experience with panic attacks as well. Visit Mind for more information and resources for dealing with panic attacks.
Want to get involved this World Mental Health Day? Visit Mental Health Foundation for more information on different mental health issues and ways you can contribute.