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20 Celebrities Who Get Candid On Their Mental Health Issues

While the conversations about mental health issues have become more public in recent years, there are still stigmas attached to people with mental health issues.

It’s not uncommon to see people with mental health issues shunned or not taken seriously. Everything they do can be easily dismissed as a “mood” or an “episode.”

In the celebrity realm, things are much worse. Not only do celebrities have to deal with their own mental stress, but they also need to deal with the public’s scrutiny. And thanks to social media, also the trolls, who are quick to jump on the bandwagon and spread misinformation, or just cruel mockery.

That’s why, when celebrities open up about their own mental health issues, it opens important conversations about mental health.

So, which celebrities have opened up about dealing with their own demons? Here are 20 celebrities who have been vocal about their own mental health struggles.

#1 Robin Williams

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Millions were startled by his suicide in 2014, although the Academy Award-winning actor/comedian had a history of depression, and drug and alcohol misuse. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and may have had dementia. In 2006, he told Terry Gross of NPR about his highs and lows. “Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.”

#2 Gwyneth Paltrow

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When she came up about her 5-month struggle with postpartum depression after the birth of her second child, Moses, this Academy Award-winning actress shed awareness on the condition. In 2011, she told Good Housekeeping, “I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect.” She, too, struggled with serious depression when her father died in 2002.

#3 Kristen Bell

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The actress, best known for her role as Anna in the film Frozen, reveals she has suffered from melancholy since she was in college. In an essay for the website Motto, Bell writes, “There’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness.” She claims she went public in order to put more light on the disease and reduce the stigma associated with it.

#4 Kirsten Dunst

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The star has claimed that she went to a rehab clinic for depression treatment while she was in her twenties. Dunst claims she suffered from the disorder for years and recognized she was holding a lot of rages inside.

#5 Dwayne Johnson

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He’s one of Hollywood’s highest-paid performers, yet “The Rock” recently spoke up to the Express, a British tabloid, about his despair. “Struggle and pain is real,” said Johnson, who saved his mother from suicide when he was 15 years old.

#6 Katy Perry

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During a 96-hour broadcast on YouTube, the pop artist spoke out about her depression. In an emotional interview with Siri Sat Nam Singh, presenter of Viceland’s The Therapist, Perry revealed that she opened up because she wanted her fans to see her genuine self.

#7 Jim Carrey

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The guy behind some of the most bizarre characters in cinema, from the Grinch to Ace Ventura, admits to having dark days. He’s frank about using antidepressants and lives a very clean, spiritual life. “I rarely drink coffee,” he told 60 Minutes. “I’m very serious about no alcohol, no drugs. Life is too beautiful.”

#8 Jon Hamm

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Hamm, like his Mad Men character, Don Draper, has had a tough time due to depression. It happened after his father passed away while he was in college. In an interview with InStyle magazine, Hamm discussed the advantages of treatment. “We live in a world where to admit anything negative about yourself is seen as a weakness, when it’s actually a strength. It’s not a weak move to say, ‘I need help.’

#9 Lady Gaga

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The pop artist, whose hits include “Paparazzi” and “Poker Face,” claims that she struggled with depression and anxiety her whole life. Gaga isn’t afraid to confess that she takes medicine for her depression. In an interview with Billboard magazine, she stated that she believes it is critical for individuals to discuss their mental health.

#10 Naomi Judd

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Naomi Judd, a country music legend, committed suicide in April 2022 after struggling with depression for a long time. She told ABC News that in 2010, she had “completely debilitating and life-threatening depression” She chronicled her struggles in “River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope.”

#11 Michael Phelps

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According to CNN, the 28-time Olympic medalist swimmer stated his first “depression spell” occurred in 2004, but his worst moment came after the 2012 Games. Phelps stated that he stayed in his bedroom for three to five days “not wanting to be alive,” and that he realized he needed treatment. He stated that “life became easy” when he sought treatment and began talking about his depressing thoughts.

#12 Bruce Springsteen

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“The Boss” suffered from depression in his 60s, which “lasted for a long time,” he said on CBS Sunday Morning. “It’s like this thing that engulfs you. I got to where I didn’t want to get out of bed.” Fortunately, it didn’t afect his work so much because his wife has been always by his side. Therapy and medicine also helped him with his problem.

#13 Sheryl Crow

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Even before she was diagnosed with breast cancer and a benign brain tumor, the nine-time Grammy winner battled depression. “I have a strong sense of melancholy,” she said to the London newspaper The Telegraph in 2014. “I played piano at an early age out of a need to feel something.”

#14 Buzz Aldrin

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Even walking on the moon couldn’t make Buzz Aldrin feel better. In reality, The 1969 moon landing earned him his fame but was the main reason leading his divorce, as well as his problems with alcohol and melancholy. According to The New York Times, depression runs in his family. His mother and maternal grandpa also committed suicide because of it. As a result, Aldrin got therapy and went on to become head of the National Mental Health Association.

#15 Ryan Phillippe

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According to the Cruel Intentions star, his struggle with depression began at an early age. “As you get older, I think it decreases some, but I’m just innately kind of a sad person,” he recently told Elle magazine. Phillippe, on the other hand, has not let his illness prevent him from dazzling onscreen. He recently appeared in the television show Secrets & Lies.

#16 J.K. Rowling

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“Hary potter” novel has become a part of many children’s childhood. However, many might not know that, J.K. Rowling, the author of the famous novel was depressed while writing it. Her terrible emotions even inspired the soul-sucking demons known as Dementors in her novels. “It’s so difficult to describe [depression] to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness,”  she told Oprah Winfrey in 2010.

#17 Terry Bradshaw

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The NFL Hall of Famer and prominent football commentator suffered from depression for years but until the late 90’sm he started treating. He now shares his story, hoping to reduce the stigma surrounding the mental illness. In 2003, he told the Chicago Tribune, “I thought maybe I could help people with awareness, help men get the strength and courage.”

#18 Tipper Gore

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While being vice president in 1999, Tipper Gore experienced her struggles with sorrow. She sought treatment after her son was involved in a near-fatal vehicle accident.“I know how important good mental health care can be because I personally benefited from it,” she said in a USA Today op-ed. Her recovery was aided by medication and counseling.

#19 Wayne Brady

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Wayne Brady hid his mental illness by the upbeat public image. Brady told Entertainment Tonight about his experience in 2014. “You don’t want to move; you can’t move in the darkness.” He opened up in an effort to end the double standard in Hollywood, where it seems more acceptable to admit to a drug problem than to clinical depression.

#20 Ashley Judd

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This Kiss the Girls actor describes her childhood as “dysfunctional.” She was lonely and insecure. As a result, as an adult, she has experienced profound melancholy. However, things were better when she started a course of treatment in 2006. “I needed help,” she said to Glamour.

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