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Celebrities open up about mental health

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Riccardo Ghilardi
carrie fisher 11/25

Millions of people suffer from a mental health disorder in their lifetime, including celebrities. As some are inclined to keep their personal mental illnesses a secret, many celebrities are attempting to break the stigma against mental illnesses by opening up to the public. While the list is of various celebrities with mental health disorders is extensive, some are just now coming out with their stories. These are some key public figures with varying illnesses.

In 2018, Selena Gomez was dealing with intense medical issues and a highly-publicized breakup, which spiraled Gomez into a deep depression.

“Last year, I was suffering mentally and emotionally, and I wasn’t able to stay all buttoned up and together,” she said when accepting an award for being a mental health advocate at the McLean Hospital. “I wasn’t able to hold a smile or to keep things looking normal.” Gomez recalls her disconnection with social media and society as a time to focus on herself. “After a year of a lot of intense work … I am happier, I am healthier and I am in control of my emotions and thoughts more than I’ve ever been.”

Now, Gomez is more successful than ever. She’s releasing a new album after four years on January 10th, 2020. She continues to stay in a positive mindset by staying away from social media and focusing on her career.

Chris Evans, who plays as the iconic Captain America, receives much public attention due to his famous role. Although many celebrities appreciate or can tolerate the spotlight, it highly affects Evans, as he battles social anxiety. This type of anxiety occurs in social situations and in his case, red carpet appearances trigger his anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 15 million adults suffer from social anxiety, including Evans. His co-star, Scarlett Johansson, also known for her empowering role as Black Widow, commented on his social anxiety in an interview for the Rolling Stone.

“He’s extremely easygoing, he loves to hang out, he loves to be around people. But whenever we do a premiere, or he has to be in the fray in some work-related context, he’s terrified,” she said.

As many fans go as far as worshipping celebrities or public figures, some, such as Evans, must deal with a traumatic anxiety to attend appearances.

Carrie Fisher was an outspoken woman who was vocal about her bipolar disorder. Diagnosed with this disorder at 28, Fisher denied her responsibilities to champion the mental health disorder, but overtime she began to deal with it.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness “is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.”

“I have a chemical imbalance that, in its most extreme state, will lead me to a mental hospital,” Fisher said in an interview with the Washington Post.

Since Fisher passed away in December of 2016, she is not only remembered as an actress, but also a mental health advocate. 

Gomez, Evans and Fisher all deal with mental health issues daily. As Evans deals with social anxiety that only seems to affect him on red carpet appearances, others like Gomez have dealt with depression due to the publicity of personal matters, affecting them throughout everything they do. While there are ways individuals can live with these illnesses, each of these celebrities has expressed similar feelings regarding the harsh reality of learning they have a mental health disorder.

In conclusion, these celebrities are as human as any of us. They cope with mental illnesses and are strong in vocalizing their obstacles.

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