You're not alone: That's the message these celebrities hope to spread by speaking out about mental illnesses and taking care of their mental health. (Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day 2019.)
Chrissy Teigen, Sophie Turner and Dwayne Johnson and other celebrities are aiming to help break mental health stigmas. Whether they've revealed firsthand experiences or discussed the need for healthcare improvements in the nation, they've become inspirations to those battling their own demons.
Read what these stars have said about dealing with anxiety, depression and other issues.
"Game of Thrones" star Sophie Turner opened up about her struggle with depression on Dr. Phil's podcast in April 2019. "I've suffered with depression for about five or six years now," the English actress, who plays Sansa Stark on the hit HBO series, told the TV psychologist. "The biggest challenge," she explained, "is just, for me, getting out of bed and getting out [of] the house and, like, learning to love yourself."
Turner who on the podcast gave her age as 22 said things started to take a turn when she was about 17 -- by then a teen star on the HBO series -- she was bombarded with online sniping about her appearance and her acting, "and that was when it kind of hit me." She said social media was not "the main reason" for the onset of depression, which she attributed to "some sort of chemical imbalance. But I think it definitely was a bit of a catalyst."
Today, "I feel much better" due to therapy, medication and her fiancé, singer Joe Jonas, 29, who "makes me realize that I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose, and when someone tells you they love you every day it makes you really think about why that is, and I think it makes you love yourself a bit more."
"Jane the Virgin" actress Gina Rodriguez revealed on Instagram in May 2017 that she suffers with anxiety. "I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself," she captioned a 10-second video portrait of herself. "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."
Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson, who opened The Boris Lawerence Henson Foundation in 2018 -- a nonprofit organization named after her late father who suffered from depression -- has been very open about her personal battle with depression and anxiety and the importance of raising mental health awareness, especially in African-American communities. "The foundation's mission, first of all, is to open up a dialogue, to take the stigma away. It's ok," she said during an appearance on "Good Morning America."
After losing her son's father and then her own father two years later, Henson and her son both began seeing a therapist to help deal with that trauma. "That's the only way I can get through it," she told Variety. "You can talk to your friends, but you need a professional who can give you exercises. So that when you're on the ledge, you have things to say to yourself that will get you off that ledge and past your weakest moments."
Chrissy Teigen opened up for the first time about her postpartum depression when she was featured in Glamour Magazine in March 2017. "I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy. What basically everyone around me -- but me -- knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression," she wrote in her Glamour Magazine essay. Teigen had her first child, daughter Luna, in 2016.
Teigen said she returned to work on "Lip Sync Battle" in August -- four months after giving birth. Her office did everything to make sure she felt accommodated, yet something still didn't feel right. "But I was different than before," she wrote. "I couldn't figure out why I was so unhappy. I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of the role: "Maybe I'm just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I'm just supposed to be a mom."
In December, her doctor diagnosed her with postpartum depression and anxiety. "I remember being so exhausted but happy to know that we could finally get on the path of getting better," she wrote. "John had that same excitement. I started taking an antidepressant, which helped."
Teigen is now working to raise awareness about maternal mental health as a spokeswoman for Allegheny Health Network.
In her 2017 book "The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir," Hollywood veteran Jennifer Lewis detailed her struggle with bipolar disorder throughout her career -- speaking about her journey to accepting her diagnosis and seeking the necessary treatment. When asked by The Washington Post why she was so candid about her diagnosis throughout her book, she responded: "It's like I always say, 'There ain't no shame in my game.' When I was first diagnosed bipolar in 1990, I was, like, "What? Bipolar? I'm bicoastal, but what's this 'bipolar'?"
"And it was hard. It took me four years after my diagnosis to start taking medication. I thought, "I'm fine." And in my work, in my one-woman shows in particular, I used the mania to my advantage. Oh! That electricity onstage!" But as soon as she left the stage she would cry in exhaustion. "It was a very dark place," she said.
Alanis Morissette shared with People in 2017 that she struggled with postpartum depression twice. After her first child she began to feel the symptoms of PPD immediately, which included intense physical pain, insomnia, lethargy and "horrifyingly scary" visions, but she wasn't diagnosed until 16 months later, People reported. After having her second child, Morissette said her depression set back in "seconds later" and that it was "four times worse." "It's very isolating," she said. "I'm used to being the Rock of Gibraltar, providing, protecting and maneuvering. It had me question everything. I've known myself to be a really incredible decision-maker and a leader that people can rely on. [Now] I can barely decide what to eat for dinner."
LI's Mariah Carey revealed that she battles with bipolar disorder during an April 2018 interview with People. She was first diagnosed in 2001 but "I didn't want to believe it," she told the magazine. "Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me," she said. "It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn't do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love -- writing songs and making music."
Carey said she decided to come forward because "I'm just in a really good place right now, where I'm comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I'm hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me."
In 2016, Adele opened up about her struggle with postpartum depression during an interview with Vanity Fair. "I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me," she recalled. Her boyfriend at the time suggested she talk to other moms but she refused -- but "then, without realizing it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they're a bit more patient," she said.
"My knowledge of postpartum -- or post-natal, as we call it in England -- is that you don't want to be with your child; you're worried you might hurt your child; you're worried you weren't doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I'd made the worst decision of my life ... It can come in many different forms," she said. "Eventually I just said, I'm going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the [expletive] I want without my baby. A friend of mine said, 'Really? Don't you feel bad?' I said, I do, but not as bad as I'd feel if I didn't do it."
The singer found out that a few of her friends felt the same way and worried that they would be portrayed as a bad mom but she said "it's not the case."
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is encouraging his fans struggling with depression to open up about their experiences and seek help to help prevent suicides. The actor revealed on Twitter on April 2, 2018, that he struggled with depression himself after witnessing his mother attempt to take her own life. "Depression never discriminates," the 45-year-old actor wrote. "Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You're not alone." In an interview with British newspaper Express, Johnson explained he helped rescue his mother from a suicide attempt when he was 15 and slipped into a depression after injuries ended his projected football career.
Model Kendall Jenner says she tries to stay out of the social media spotlight as much as she can due to a battle with anxiety. Naturally, that proves tough for the reality TV star who's been a regular on all 14 seasons of her family's E! series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." On the show's Feb. 18, 2018, episode, Jenner said she has been suffering from hypochondria and anxiety since she was a child. "It's hard to get your brain to slow down and think about it and really process what's happening," Jenner said. "Anxiety is all mental, so you have to try and find your ways around it. I try and maintain it, but sometimes it's out of your control." Jenner explained that she's tried various techniques to cope with her anxiety, including acupuncture and meditation.
Whitney Cummings knows a thing or two about struggling with that voice inside your head. The comedian penned a Lenny Letter about her diagnosis in December 2015 with codependency, a condition she told amNewYork was "defined as being unable to tolerate the discomfort of others." Now, the "Two Broke Girls" creator is keeping the conversation going with a memoir, "I'm Fine ... And Other Lies." "It was making me do crazy things and suffer way more than is necessary. My inner monologue would say things to me that if anyone else said, I would call the police," she said. As for her Lenny Letter reveal: "There was an amazing, overwhelming response to my being vulnerable about all this stuff I thought I was supposed to hide and pretend I didn't have -- addiction, eating disorders and body dysmorphia. I decided to write the book I wish would have been available to me when I was younger."
Emma Stone spoke to a therapist regularly as a child to help cope with her anxiety struggles, the actress told Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" on Sept. 19, 2017. Stone shared a drawing she created at age 9 that read, "I am bigger than my anxiety." "I was a very, very, very anxious child and I had a lot of panic attacks," she said. "This is me, I guess. It's really great artistry with my shoes and then this is anxiety here ... I benefitted in a big way from therapy." Stone opened up about her "immobilizing" anxiety attacks in a 2012 interview with
Professional skateboarder Bam Margera, along with his parents, April and Phil Margera, appeared on an episode of Viceland's "Epicly Later'd" during which they spoke about an eating disorder that the "Viva La Bam" star had struggled with in the early 2000s. The threesome recounted times when Bam would eat and then immediately force himself to throw up, and other times when the 37-year-old would drink alcohol to suppress his appetite.
"Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson revealed for the first time on her blog, Live Original, that she suffered from a year-long eating disorder that stemmed from "negative body image." In the Sept. 1, 2017, post, Robertson wrote: "It was dark. It was ugly. It was insanely difficult. It was done in secret. It was hidden. I did not even tell my own mother until recently. I thought I had everything under control . . . I didn't even realize this small problem that I thought I had under control was creating a ripple effect, creating more and more problems, ones I certainly couldn't control." The model and reality TV star then went into great detail on how she felt, and ultimately said turning to her Christian faith was "the day my whole life changed."
Michael Phelps and fellow Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt spoke out on battling depression at a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration event at George Washington University in May 2017. "For me, getting to an all-time low where I didn't want to be alive anymore, that's scary as hell," he told the crowd. "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." He continued, "I want people to understand that there are times that you are going to have to reach out."
In the September 2017 issue of Women's Health, Ryan Phillippe spoke candidly about having "issues with patience and depression," which he says is reduced by "meditation and exercise." He added he "believes that depression and mood disorders are on a spectrum akin to the way autism is, where it's an individual experience. I think people fear being stigmatized or treated in a blanket fashion, which is sometimes the response to someone who says, 'I struggle with depression.' But really, depression could manifest in a thousand different ways depending on who it is. I don't think there's any reason not to talk about it. We can help each other cope and give tools that we learn along the way."
James Franco, who covered OUT's September issue, told the magazine that he struggled with depression early in his career. "I have a very addictive personality," he said. "When I was a teenager I got over certain addictions, and that's when I started acting, at age 17. I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn't even socialize. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realized, man, I'm so depressed. On the surface my life seems pretty good -- I have a career and everything -- but I feel isolated and lonely."
Eric Dane, who has publicly discussed battling depression, said on NBC's "Today" on July 31, 2017, that he'd "dealt with depression throughout my life. It was always manageable and I just felt like everybody kind of feels a little blue. But this just hit me like a truck. I had to take some time off [from filming 'The Last Ship' in April] -- I went away, I took care of it, and I'm feeling great." He continued, "You've got to listen to your body. It's a very serious thing. And ... I felt very conflicted because I couldn't figure out what I was depressed about. But it's very real..."
Stemming from his July 15, 2017, DUI arrest photo, singer Aaron Carter revealed during a sit down with "Entertainment Tonight" on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, that it was difficult to see himself in a mirror, saying, "Oh, my God, it hurts so badly . . . because there's, like, nothing I can do about it." He said body-image issues are more common in men than people realize because "men are a lot more prideful [than women]. We don't want to admit it. I don't want to admit I don't look good."
"Pretty Little Liars" actress Troian Bellisario opened up about her struggle with anorexia in an essay published on Tuesday, July 18 2017, on Lenny Letter. "As someone who struggles with a mental illness, my biggest challenge is that I don't always know which voice inside me is speaking," she wrote for the digital publication created by Lena Dunham and Jennifer Konner, adding, "There is a part of my brain that defies logic. Once, it completely convinced me I should live off 300 calories a day, and at some point, it told me even that was too much. That part of my brain is my disease, and there was a time when it had absolute authority over me. It almost killed me..."
Prince Harry said in an interview with "Bryony Gordon's Mad World," a podcast by the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, that he suffered from "emotional shutdowns" for 20 years following the death of his mother, Princess Diana. He said he eventually sought counseling after a suggestion from his brother, Prince William. During the interview he said he is now able to take his work and private life more "seriously" and "put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else."
In a pair of tweets sent in November 2016, "Stranger Things" actress Shannon Purser opened up about her battle with self-harm, triggered by suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety, in the hopes of spreading mental illness awareness. The 19-year-old actress first tweeted an image of a razor blade with the caption, "*TRIGGER WARNING* I haven't self-harmed in years, but I kept this around, 'just in case.' I forgot it was there & now it's in the trash." She followed up with another tweet: "Recovery is possible. Please don't give up on yourself."
Paris Jackson's depression and drug use led to her widely publicized suicide attempt at 15, when she overdosed on 20 Motrin and cut herself with a kitchen knife. In a 2017 Rolling Stone interview, she says that had been the latest try of "multiple times . . . It was just once that it became public."
The late Carrie Fisher had spoken candidly about her depression and bipolarity in interviews, including one with Oprah Winfrey in 2011 during which she said she had regular electroconvulsive treatment to "blow apart the cement" in her brain, as well as in her 2008 memoir, "Wishful Drinking." The actress, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her 20s, went on to use her fame as a platform to raise awareness of mental illness. She and her mother, the late Debbie Reynolds, were recognized for their commitment to various charities, including the mental-health organization Reynolds founded, the Thalians. Fisher's ashes were put into a porcelain urn in the shape of an outsized anti-depressant.
Ryan Reynolds says the tumultuous, more than decadelong effort to make "Deadpool," which went on to earn the biggest global box-office of any R-rated film, left him suffering panic attacks.
"I felt like I was on some schooner in the middle of a white squall the whole time. It just never stopped," the actor says in the December 2016 issue of GQ. "When it finally ended, I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I literally had the shakes. I went to go see a doctor because I felt like I was suffering from a neurological problem or something. And every doctor I saw said, 'You have anxiety.' "
Naomi Judd opened up about her battle with depression on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Dec. 6, 2016, saying that she has been diagnosed with severe depression and spent time in psychiatric hospitals. She said she is confronting lingering issues from her childhood as part of her therapy, including being molested by a relative when she was 3.
Continuing to help dispel the stigma about mental illness, actress Amanda Seyfried has expanded on comments she made last year about the efficacy of therapy, speaking more in-depth about her obsessive compulsive disorder.
"I'm on Lexapro," Seyfried says in an issue of Allure, referencing a brand name of escitalopram, a common medication used to treat conditions including OCD, "and I'll never get off of it. I've been on it since I was 19, so 11 years. I'm on the lowest dose. I don't see the point of getting off of it. Whether it's placebo or not, I don't want to risk it."
Demi Lovato is an ultimate mental health advocate. She's been open about her struggles with eating and bipolar disorders since checking out of rehab in 2011. Aside from being open about her journey through her music (see "Skyscraper"), Lovato let the world watch her recovery in the 2012 MTV documentary "Stay Strong."
She spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia about the nation's lack of resources for mental health treatment.
"We can do better. Every one of us can make a difference by getting educated on this epidemic and its frightening statistics and by breaking the stigma," she said.
In August 2018, the actress entered rehab following a drug overdose. "I now need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery. The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side," she said in a since-deleted Instagram post.
What was Cara Delevingne's life like before her successful modeling career took off? The actress/model shocked her fans when she opened up about her struggle with depression at the age of 15, during an interview with Rupert Everett in 2015. "I got to the point where I went a bit mad. I was completely suicidal ... I thought that I was completely alone, but I also realized how lucky I was," she said during the Women in the World panel.
Lady Gaga was inspired by her fans when she established the Born This Way Foundation, which aims to empower youth, the singer told Billboard. While the organization is not solely mental health-focused, Gaga said she wanted to inspire those who were struggling.
"They would tell me their stories -- and many of them were very dark," she said. "As I began to care for them and to see myself in them, I felt I had to do something that would remind kids they're not alone. When they feel isolated, that's when it leads to suicide."
In 2017, Gaga joined Prince William on a video chat where they discussed their struggles with mental health issues and experiences in therapy.
Most recently, she penned an essay published in The Guardian on Oct. 9, 2018, about the "larger mental health emergency we are so far failing to adequately address."
"Sometimes they are famous names such as Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade that make headlines, but they are all sons or daughters, friends or colleagues, valued members of families and communities," the article states. "Mental health currently receives less than 1 percent of global aid. Domestic financing on prevention, promotion and treatment is similarly low. At present, every nation in the world is a 'developing' country when it comes to mental health."
Similar to her "Girls" character Hannah Horvath, Lena Dunham has been open about her struggles with anxiety. She took to Instagram to explain that women on psychiatric medication are not "out-of-control."
"Most women on meds are women who have been brave enough to help themselves," she wrote in January 2016. "Meds don't make me a hollowed out version of my former self or a messy bar patron with a bad bleach job. They allowed me to finally meet myself."
After breaking free from the role of Hermione Granger that defined her childhood, Emma Watson took on a new one: Feminism and gender equality advocate. While the actress often speaks of women's rights, she addressed the issues that men suffering from mental disorders also face during her 2014 HeForShe campaign speech.
"I've seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man ... Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong ... I want men to take up this mantle ... reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned," Watson said.
Being at the center of pop fame can be lonely, so Justin Bieber says. The singer told NME Magazine in November 2015 that the intense attention he receives from the media and public made him depressed.
"[I feel depressed] all the time. And I feel isolated. You're in your hotel room and there are fans all around, paparazzi following you everywhere, and it gets intense. When you can't go anywhere or do anything alone you get depressed," Bieber said. He also revealed he feared he would follow a similar path as the late Amy Winehouse by allowing the media attention to affect his mental well-being.
Selena Gomez took a step back from touring in August 2016, citing anxiety, panic attacks and depression. In a statement to Us Weekly, she wrote that her mental health had been impacted by her lupus diagnosis. "I know I am not alone by sharing this. I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues," she wrote.
"My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn't good enough, wasn't capable. I felt I wasn't giving my fans anything, and they could see it -- which, I think, was a complete distortion," she later revealed in a March Vogue interview.
Fall Out Boy frontman Pete Wentz admitted he struggled with his mental health during his 20s in an interview in 2015. When fans were wondering what broke up Wentz and former wife Ashlee Simpson, the singer sat down with Howard Stern to reveal he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Wentz also experienced anxiety and depression before the band's success in the early 2000s, he said in a video he recorded with mental health aid foundation Half of Us.
"At the end of the day you just need to be able to feel safe in your own skin," he said. "People need to find their own kind of balances and find their own peace."
"Nashville" star Hayden Panettiere opened up about her struggles with postpartum depression in the hopes that doing so would encourage other new moms to do the same.
"It's something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they're not alone, and that it does heal," she said on "Live! With Kelly and Michael" in September 2015.
J.K. Rowling, the magical mind behind "Harry Potter," considered suicide while struggling with depression in her 20s, Fox News reported in 2008. Some of her fans even believe the book's Dementors are a metaphor for a looming depression. Rowling has been extremely responsive to her fans on Twitter when they reach out for advice.
"The world is full of wonderful things you haven't seen yet. Don't ever give up on the chance of seeing them," Rowling wrote to a fan in 2015 who tweeted he wanted to "finally give up."