According to WHO (World Health Organization), about 3.6 percent of people worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder. This condition affects such a large population, and celebrities are certainly not immune to it. People in high demanding professions often have a higher chance of developing a mental disorder akin to anxiety, making anxiety a commonplace occurring in Hollywood and other industries where people remain in the spotlight.
Athletes, singers, and actors are often under pressure to maintain consistency and improve the work that pushed them to fame. When fame increase, a person comes on the radar of many critics who will criticize them in public for not being perfect. The level of expectation from these famous people put them in a precarious situation, where they not only have to focus on what they do as a professional, but their personal life is also no longer remain private.
Strict deadlines, a significant emphasis on performance goals, and other demands from the record label, producers, or coaches may tend not to consider the person’s health and well-being. Erratic schedules, long hours on set, extensive training, attending late-night shows, tours, etc. can also take a toll on a person’s mental health. With so much of the things running so fast, it is not hard to understand why anxiety is common among these people.
Many celebrities live with various anxiety disorders, including panic and generalized anxiety disorder. With help from the mental health professionals, they manage not only to manage and control their anxiety symptoms but managed to build a happy and thriving career.
In October 2018, during an interview at the Child Mind Institute, Emma Stone opened up about her experience with an anxiety disorder and the first panic attack she experienced when she was 7-years-old.
She stated that the first time she got a panic attack was when she was at a friend’s house. She described the feeling as being convinced that the house was on fire and burning down. She further said she was sitting in the bedroom, and the place was obviously not on fire, but there was something inside of her that was compelling her to think that she was going to die.
Soon after her first encounter with a panic attack, She started seeing a mental health professional who diagnosed her with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder).
She stated that she gets panic attacks, but getting professional help, meditating, reaching out to people, and avoiding isolation helps her cope with the anxiety disorder.
Singer and songwriter
Kesha wrote an article for Time regarding how hard holidays can be when a person struggles with a mental illness. The Time published the piece during the 2017 holiday season, in which she talks about her experience with an anxiety disorder. The singer and songwriter describe that she hit a low moment during the holidays and how her mother convinced her to seek help for her eating disorder.
In 2014, Kesha sued producer Dr. Luke for physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse. In an interview, she told Billboard that she had battled many things, including depression and anxiety. She added that finding the strength to come forward about these things is not easy. They said that maybe by telling her story, she could help someone going through tough times.
Writer, Actress, and Producer
The executive producer, director, writer of the popular show “Girls,” Lena Dunham, had shared her firsthand experience with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). She wrote about it extensively in the show and her memoir, “Not That Kind of Girl.” Dunham also wrote for The New Yorker a detailed account of the childhood therapy sessions.
Vogue reported that in February of 2017, she told a panel at New York Presbyterian’s Youth Anxiety Centre that she didn’t remember a time when she was not anxious.
Dunham said in an exclusive interview with People that she would tell her younger self to squeeze her dog tightly and read a book, meditate, and breathe. She said it is essential to understand that you are not alone, many people are also experiencing the same things, and the most significant thing one can do is be honest.
Former Professional Tennis Player and Current Golfer
Former professional tennis player Mardy Fish withdrew from the 2012 U.S. Open tournament for health reasons. The issue was severe anxiety disorder and panic attacks, causing him sleepless nights and forcing him to spend days in isolation. He began to feel better once his psychiatrist prescribed him some medications.
He retired from tennis after the severe panic attacks and now plays golf. He had said that anxiety is no longer his enemy. When USA Today asked him about stress and golf, precisely the question of whether golf stresses him out, he said that he wants some stress in his life. “You don’t want an actual anxiety-free life; what fun would that be?”
Singer and Songwriter
Zayn Maik wrote an article in Time based on an excerpt from his memoir about why he went public about his anxiety problems after leaving One Direction.
He wrote that anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, as it affects millions every day. He said that he has fans who have been through this kind of thing and wanted to be honest with them. He explained that he had anxiety issues when he was a One Direction member, but back then, the problem was manageable within the band’s safety net. He describes himself much more exposed as a solo performer. He remarks that the psychological stress of performing had been too much for him to handle at the time. So, he decided, instead of hiding away or sugar-coating it; he had to put it all out to his fans.
In 2017, Gina Rodriguez, famous for the title role in the American tv show Jane the Virgin, took to Instagram with a short video of herself without makeup. CNN reports that this video was uploaded to be a part of the “Ten Second Portraits” project of her photographer friend Anton Soggiu.
She wrote on Instagram that she suffers from anxiety, and watching that clip made her realize how anxious she was. She added, “I empathize with myself.” Rodriguez also wrote that she wanted to protect the girl in the video (referring to herself in the third person) and tell her that it is ok to be stressed out. There is nothing uncommon about having an anxiety disorder. She said she like watching that video because it made her uncomfortable, but at the same time make her feel more fee. She concluded her Instagram post with,” It is me. Puro, Gina.”
According to the People, popstar Selena Gomez took a career break in 2016 due to depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. The People also reported in October 2018 that the singer sought treatment for her mental health issues after she had a panic attack while in the hospital for a low white blood cell count. It is often associated with lupus patients and kidney transplant; Gomez had a kidney transplant in 2017 from her best friend, Francia Raisa.
While talking to Harper’s Bazaar in early 2018, she spoke about her struggle with mental health issues and why she took her time to create new music. She also said that she had many anxiety and depression problems and had been very vocal about them, but it is not something that she feels will ever overcome. She remarked that she wanted to make sure that she is healthy as then everything else will fall into place.
Following the Manchester Arena concert bombing in May 2017, the British Vogue published a cover story revealing that Ariana Grande experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in the aftermath. The report also revealed that she has long suffered from anxiety.
She stated that her anxiety has anxiety. When talking with British Vogue, she said that she is always anxious but have never really spoken about it because she thought everyone had it. She explained that the most severe anxiety she has faced is when she got home from the tour.
Grande posted an Instagram story about performing for the special and wrote, “Can’t believe I almost let my anxiety ruin this for me.”
Actress, Comedienne, and TV Host
Goldberg has a phobia, a fear of particular situations objects. For years the co-host of The View was afraid to fly. Her fear of flying compels her to take a private bus from New York to Los Angeles for decades.
Various treatment options are available to combat phobias, including cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, and exposure therapy. Goldberg chose exposure therapy to ease her condition. She took a course by Virgin Atlantic designed to help people with a fear of flying.
Goldberg said about her condition that some people meant to fly, and she doesn’t know if she was, but she does it now.
Les Miserables and Mamma Mia! Star has been open about her obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety.
Amanda told Allure magazine that she uses Lexapro, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), commonly prescribed to combat generalized anxiety disorder and depression. She told the magazine that she was taking it since she was 19 and claimed to be on the lowest dose and said, I don’t see the point of getting off it. She added, whether it’s a placebo or not, she won’t want to risk it.
She stated that she is fighting against the stigma of using a tool to combat mental illness by not giving up on medicine. She also alluded to the practice of people putting mental health separate from other diseases, to which she said that we should take mental illness as seriously as anything else.
She continued in the Allure interview that people don’t see mental illness, as it is not a mass or cyst, but it is there. She asks why people have to prove it. If you can treat it, get the treatment. She talked about how bad her OCD was that she thought she had a brain tumor. She told how once she had an MRI, and the neurologist referred her to a psychiatrist.
According to Amanda, as she grew older, the compulsive thoughts and fears diminished, but not vanished. She said, knowing that a lot of the fears are not reality-based helps a lot.
Kim Kardashian West
Reality T.V. Star
In 2016, someone held Kim at gunpoint in a hotel room in Paris. She said to the T: The New York Times Style Magzine Singapore that she got a lot more anxious now because people know her every move.
In one episode of – keeping up with the Kardashians in 2016, the reality tv star opened up about her anxiety. Her sister Kendall Jenner also struggles with anxiety disorder, and they attend meditation classes together.
Singer, Songwriter, and Actress
In 2015, in an interview with the Billboard, the singer opened about her mental health issues. She told Billboard that she had suffered from depression and anxiety throughout her life. The Grammy Award-winning singer created the Born This Way Foundation in 2012 to empower communities and improve mental health resources for young adults.
She said that she wants the kids to know that the depth they feel as a human is normal. We were born that way, and the modern perspective where everyone is shallow and less connected is not human.
Lady Gaga openly admits to having battled depression and anxiety. In an interview, she stated she thinks many people accept fighting mental health issues. She added, it is better when we all can say cheers and fees up to it.
Professional Basketball Player
Los Angeles Clippers Marcus Morris grew up in a neighborhood of North Philadephia rife with gang violence. In an ESPN interview, he said that the place has significantly contributed to his depression and anxiety. He said, at that time (referring to his days in the neighborhood), I didn’t trust anyone, not anyone who I knew my whole life.
After joining the NBA, he starts jumping from team to team, which makes him increasingly anxious. He turned to sleep pills and marijuana but did not find much relief.
He stated that seeing a mental health professional made him feel calm, happy, and more productive. He also practices daily meditation that helps him feel centered.