At the start of every year, many people have resolutions to feel healthier, inside and out. There are numerous ways to do this, and improving your mental health is a good place to start.
Society has started to acknowledge mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, and the more these topics are talked about, the more comfortable people will feel sharing their own personal stories.
Many people are afraid to talk about mental illness. They don’t want to be labeled or treated differently. The way to defeat this mindset is to encourage discussion about mental illness and get rid of the stigma associated with it.
Celebrities are doing this by going public with their struggles and assuring others that it’s okay to not always be okay. Here’s a list of famous people who have opened up about mental illness:
Michael Phelps: In May of 2017, Phelps talked publicly about his struggle with depression and encouraged others to go to friends for help: “For me, getting to an all-time low where I didn’t want to be alive anymore, that’s scary as hell. Thinking about taking your own life, I remember sitting in my room for four or five days not wanting to be alive, not talking to anybody. That was a struggle for me… For me, I reached that point where I finally realized I couldn’t do it alone… I want people to understand that there are times that you are going to have to reach out.”
Elle King: King, who signs “Ex’s and Oh’s,” posted on her Instagram page about dealing with PTSD and depression: “But today, while working through my PTSD with my doc, I felt that door inside of me open up just a little bit more. It used to be covered in caution tape and red lights flashing DO NOT OPEN. But I felt a cool little breeze and it wasn’t as scary peeping through.”
She learned to cope with her mental illnesses and work to end them — when she was having extremely difficult days; “In those times all I had to do was refocus and take back control of MY OWN MIND,” King said.
“Today, if presented with two options, I will CHOOSE the one that is most beneficial and happy for me right then and there. I’ll make some healthy choices. Today I’ll drink water and say something nice about myself. I brushed my teeth sooosososo good too. I might even hug myself. But I’m definitely going to love myself.”
Emma Stone: After suffering from anxiety when she was a child, Stone found treatment in the form of therapy and theater. “I started acting at this youth theater, doing improv and sketch comedy… You have to be present in improv, and that’s the antithesis of anxiety.”
Amanda Seyfried: Seyfried experienced anxiety as a result of having OCD since she was a teenager, but she eventually received help and encourages others to do the same. “[Mental health] should be taken as seriously as anything else. You don’t see the mental illness: It’s not a mass; it’s not a cyst. But it’s there… Why do you need to prove it? If you can treat it, you treat it.” Seyfried has gone on to act in dozens of films, from Mean Girls to Les Misérables.
Many celebrities encourage their fans to talk to a professional about getting help for any mental struggle they’re facing. Talking among friends about anxiety and depression can help people realize there are many living with mental illness and that it can be overcome. We are all human and we all face difficulties sometimes — what’s important is how we dedicate ourselves to overcoming them.