Sienna Miller recently admitted to not using Instagram because it gives her anxiety. She is not the only celebrity to experience anxiety – yes, they are just like us
In a recent interview with Porter Edit magazine actress Sienna Miller, best known for her roles in Stardust and Layer Cake, made a startling revelation: She has not engaged with social media for over two years. ‘You have to be willing to really expose your world and your life and open that up to people, and I just can’t do it without a f**k ton of anxiety.’
When a celebrity comes forward about an anxiety issue, it’s easy to brush off what they’re saying. After all, aren’t anxiety and its nasty little companion depression, like, really in right now? Surely, they’re just being trendy?
But anxious and depressive disorders are extremely common, no matter who you are. According to Anxiety UK, roughly 10 percent of the UK population will experience a form of anxiety disorder at some stage in their life. Furthermore, in a study conducted in Great Britain one in six adults reported experiencing some form of neurotic health problem during the previous week.
There are many factors that can lead to an anxiety disorder including:
- Physical factors (such as thyroid problems)
- Childhood environment
- Genetic factors
- Biochemical imbalances (changes in the levels of chemical messengers in the brain)
Looking at these elements, it’s a little easier to see how prevalent anxiety is and how so many people how come to be afflicted, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Here are five celebrities you may not know also have anxiety:
The 23-year-old model has often spoken publicly about her anxiety, through interviews, social media and her family’s show Keeping up with the Kardashians. Having been in the spotlight from an early age and scouted as a model in her early teens, Jenner has since been the target of some truly horrific abuse.
In 2017 she filed her second restraining order against a 62-year-old man who claimed to have been enamoured with her since spotting her in a Costco back in 1998 (When Jenner was just 3-years-old). Prior to the restraining order, Jenner admitted in a 2016 episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians that she was suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and experiencing multiple cases of sleep paralysis. Jenner has since stated that her new found phobia of falling asleep has contributed directly to her anxiety.
Sleep paralysis is a condition that occurs when a person is waking up or falling sleep. In effect, they’re conscious but unable to move or speak, which typically only lasts a few minutes, but it can feel like much, much longer. While the condition is not thought to be harmful, the experience can be terrifying. On top of this, people stuck in sleep paralysis can sometimes also experience hallucinations while it is occurring. Thankfully, only 8 percent of the population have reported ever going through sleep paralysis.
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) September 27, 2018
When singer Adele broke through into the mainstream back in 2008, she was just 20 years old. Then in 2011, at the age of 23, she revealed that she had a reluctance to perform live at festivals or arenas due to anxiety over the condition itself.
‘I’d hate to book a festival and have a f****** anxiety attack and then not go on stage.’ While she may not be completely free from panic attacks, like fellow anxiety sufferer Ryan Reynolds she has conquered her fears of public performance with the aid of her powerful alter ego: Sasha Carter.
‘Sasha Carter’ is a mashup of Beyoncé’s own alter ego ‘Sasha Fierce’ and country idol June Carter. Adele was inspired by an impromtu meeting with Beyoncé, before which she had been experiencing a full-blown panic attack, during their meeting Queen Bey told the singer how listening to her voice felt like ‘listening to God’. Adele has since stated Sasha Carter has ‘changed [her] life’.
Kristen Bell, best known for her voice work as Princess Anna in the hit Disney film Frozen had previously worked with the Child Mind Institute to break down the illusion of celebrity perfection and shine a light on the unrealistic standard to which Hollywood celebs are shown in.
Bell is perhaps the most active advocate for change in attitudes towards mental health on this list, having written an open letter for TIME about her experiences with anxiety and thoughts regarding the stigma of mental illness: ‘If you tell a friend that you are sick, his first response is likely, “You should get that checked out by a doctor.”‘ she said.
‘Yet if you tell a friend you’re feeling depressed, he will be scared or reluctant to give you that same advice. You know what? I’m over it.’
Since then, Bell has spoken plainly and without reserve in interviews about her battles with anxiety and her desires to be an ally in the fight against stigma.
The The Good Place star even held an Instagram Q & A for her fans to ask her questions about anxiety and her experiences and routinely shares tips and her own coping mechanisms for her condition. Bell recommends CBD lotion; CBD is non-psychoactive but is believed to have pain relieving capabilities.
When asked what inspired her open nature on the subject, Bell stated that she was initially inspired by her husband, Dax Sheppard, who has been openly sober for the past 14 years.
Ryan Reynolds is perhaps one of the more surprising additions to this list, the fun-loving actor, known for playing the wise cracking anti-hero Deadpool, revealed that his rapid-fire wit has a surprising origin.
‘I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety.’ Reynolds said in an interview with the New York Times ‘Both in the light hearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.’
The actor confessed to staying in character on set and in interviews, most notably Deadpool, in order to combat his more anxious nature, ‘I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.’
Reynolds suspects that his anxiety began at a young age due to a delicate relationship with his father. As a result, Reynolds often found himself over-compensating to maintain peace, taking it upon himself to keep his household tidy and orderly.
Reynolds does however, also attribute his off-beat sense of humour to his father, who introduced him to some of his favourite shows and comedians, including Faulty Towers, Buster Keaton and Jack Benny. Reynolds has commented that while his childhood may not have been typical, it made him the man he is today, for which he is grateful.
Gina Rodriguez, who is best known for her work as the titular character in the hit telenovela Jane the Virgin, recently admitted to having to balance panic attacks and thoughts of suicide in an interview with Chicagomag, during which she detailed her struggles with intrusive thoughts while filming the final season ‘Jane the Virgin’. She describes her worst memory as ‘having a panic attack on set and having to shut down production’.
In spite of these difficulties, she embraces the effect that positive effect that social media has played in her mental health journey, having used Instagram to first come forward with her struggles back in 2017, the actress considers it her duty and privilege to enlighten the masses and work against the stigma concerning mental health issues – especially with in the Latino community.
Rodriguez has also previously spoken out about her fraught relationship with body acceptance and positivity when it comes to herself, as she battles with a thyroid condition that causes weight gain alongside chronic fatigue. She hopes that her candour will allow others to take action, regardless of their circumstances.
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My beautiful friend @antonsoggiu came to visit from Norway and he included me in his magical art. TEN SECOND PORTRAITS. It's always great to be in front of his lens but this time it was just me. Bare and exposed in the streets of la. No makeup. No styling. Just me. I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself. I wanted to protect her and tell her it's ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.