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Alcohol and Mental Health

12 Celebrities With Mental Health Issues Who Are Breaking the Stigma

July 5, 2023
10 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 5, 2023
10 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 5, 2023
10 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 5, 2023
10 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 5, 2023
10 min read

When we think of celebrities, we often envision them as untouchable, superhuman entities living the dream. Yet behind the glitz and glamour lies the truth: they're just like us, with similar struggles, challenges, and emotions.

Mental health issues don't discriminate. Hollywood stars are also humans, grappling with mental health and substance abuse struggles as many of us do.

In this article, we spotlight 12 celebrities who are courageously breaking the mental health stigma and inspiring us to embark on our own journey to well-being.

Embracing Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are common yet often misunderstood conditions. Many celebrities have used their platforms to openly discuss their experiences, providing comfort and solidarity for those grappling with similar issues:

1. Kristen Bell: The star of The Good Place candidly shares her journey with depression and anxiety, promoting mental health issues as a part of being human. She encourages us to view these challenges not as a sign of weakness, but as a part of being human. In a Self interview, the Frozen actress describes her days before treatment like having “a generalized dark cloud over me. I felt like my real personality was in a tiny cage inside my body.” A combination of professional support, medications, and a walking routine help her manage her symptoms.

2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: By sharing his struggle with anxiety and depression — which date back to his University of Miami days — The Rock powerfully illustrates that even the strongest among us can face mental health difficulties.

3. Ryan Reynolds: Known for his portrayal of Deadpool, Reynolds helps to normalize anxiety and depression through candid social posts and other conversations about his own experiences.

4. Selena Gomez: The actress, producer, and singer — who grapples with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder — stresses the importance of self-love and acceptance, even in the midst of her fight with lupus, an autoimmune disease. Gomez's message to us? It's okay not to be okay, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Shattering the Stigma Around Substance Misuse

Substance misuse is a pervasive challenge that affects people from all walks of life, including those in the spotlight.

5. Daniel Radcliffe: First known for his role as Harry Potter, Radcliffe admits to using excessive drinking to cope with childhood fame. He speaks about getting blackout drunk between the ages of 18 and 21, but he’s been sober since 2010.

6. Demi Lovato: Singer-songwriter Demi Lovato, having confronted her substance abuse, now prioritizes mental health and embraces sobriety. In the process, she offers up a powerful testament to the reality of recovery.

7. Drew Barrymore: Producer, entrepreneur, and star of countless films and TV shows, including E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Barrymore publicly overcame addiction at a young age. She chronicled this journey in her bestselling memoir, Little Girl Lost. Her journey underscores that obstacles can be transformed into stepping stones towards growth. Today, her trademark optimism and resilience remind us that our struggles do not define us. Instead, like Barrymore, we have the power to turn our adversities into a source of strength, hope, and inspiration.

8. Dax Shepard: Shepard’s journey emphasizes that the path to sobriety isn't always linear, but every step taken towards healing is a victory. In his podcast, Armchair Expert, he recounts how journaling everyday has kept him on track. His story inspires hope, reminding us that the strength to overcome our struggles lies within us all.

9. Robert Downey, Jr.: This longtime actor (known most recently for his role as Iron Man in Marvel movies) is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit. After grappling with substance abuse for years, Downey Jr. stands as an emblem of resilience and redemption — reminding us all that no matter how far we fall, we can rise again. His transformation echoes the truth: our past struggles don't define us, but how we face them shapes our future.

Let these journeys inspire us all to strive for our better selves, no matter what adversities we face.

Encouraging Openness Around Mental Health

Some celebrities have shared their experiences with less discussed, yet equally significant mental health issues.

10. Lady Gaga: In a short film, The Power of Kindness, singer and actress Lady Gaga speaks openly about her experiences with PTSD, self-harm, and chronic pain, empowering others to seek help. What’s more, in 2012, she and her mother started a foundation called Born This Way, which champions the wellness of young people.

11. Adele: The powerful lyricist and voice behind many chart-topping hits has shared her experience with postpartum depression — a challenge many birthing parents face.

12. Fiona Apple: The renowned singer-songwriter, known for her raw lyrics and expressive style, has been a trailblazer not only in the music industry, but also in advocating for mental health. Diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a child, she also fought an eating disorder, severe anxiety, and depression in the public eye, while never shying away from discussing these issues. Her honesty and transparency are nothing short of courageous. She hasn't simply shared her struggles; she has also used her platform to dismantle the stigma around mental health, emphasizing that it's a part of our shared human experience.

Shining the Spotlight on Our Own Well-Being

Inspired by these celebrities, we can bravely face our challenges and make impactful changes to boost our mental wellness:

  • Normalize conversations: Let's talk openly about our mental health, like Kristen Bell, Ryan Reynolds, and Fiona Apple.
  • Acknowledge our struggles: We can identify when something becomes problematic, just like Daniel Radcliffe and Drew Barrymore did with their addictions.
  • Embrace the journey of recovery: Demi Lovato's journey encourages us to take steps toward recovery, and seek professional help when we need it.
  • Promote self-love and acceptance: Like Selena Gomez, we can learn to love and accept ourselves, even in our most challenging moments. Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. Give yourself some grace!

Celebrities’ public battles with mental health and addiction are a poignant reminder that no one, regardless of fame or success, is immune to mental health challenges. It's a testament to the reality of mental health issues and the strength it takes to navigate them.

By sharing their journeys, these celebs are not just contributing to the conversation on mental health, they’re offering hope to those of us facing similar struggles.

Remember, we all struggle with something. Acknowledging this and seeking help when we need it makes us strong.

Reclaim Your Health With Reframe

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol.

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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