Celebrities, considering they are people, have problems. Sometimes, that’s easy to forget because of the dreamy lives they lead. When the rich and famous are trying very hard to appear relatable they will do things to remind the world that they are human–like stumble on their way to collect their Academy Award or confess to having problems just like anyone else. While some stars are open about disorders and mental health differences that may be highly stigmatized (Howie Mandel, Daryl Hannah), usually the issues confessed are on the more acceptable end of the spectrum. Depending on the celeb at hand, admissions about struggles they cope with either make me roll my eyes and gag or nod and give an appreciative thumbs up. It’s nice to know stars really are just like us, except when it’s noticeably contrived.
As someone who currently is and very well might always be in treatment for an anxiety disorder, I want to be clear that anxiety is a serious problem and is no more or less real than other mental health concerns. It is important to keep in mind that literally everyone on the planet experiences anxiety, nervousness and panic in one way or another. One can experience anxiety without it being a full-blown anxiety disorder. That’s what makes an admission of “anxiety” a more palpable issue than debilitating phobias, schizophrenia and the like.
Here are 10 celebrities who have openly discussed their anxiety:
- Jennifer Lawrence– She’s gorgeous, funny, talented and hell-bent on reminding the public that she’s adorkable. Everyone’s play-pretend girlfriend revealed (to a French magazine) that she has been medicated for anxiety problems, just like you or me.
- Lena Dunham– You can’t try to represent 100% of twenty-something girls everywhere without ample chatter about social anxiety, OCD, Klonopin and meditation.
- Vinny Guadagnino– When the Jersey Shore cast member admitting to having clinical anxiety, it actually did make me like him more. His admission also helped me understand that people who are very different from me can deal with similar problems.
- Olivia Munn– Though Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder, anxiety and stress can exacerbate symptoms. Confessing to “trich” is a pretty big deal for a beautiful actress because the disorder can affect appearance in a big way. For those who don’t know, people with Trichotillomania pull out their hair (Munn specifically focuses on her eyelashes). Good on Olivia Munn for talking about it.
- Kim Basinger– Basinger opened up about her disorder in an HBO film called Panic: A Film About Coping. Basinger’s struggle has been lifelong, she suffers from panic attacks and bouts of agoraphobia (one kept her housebound for a month).
- Kate Moss– The sexiest woman ever may seem like she always keeps her cool but, alas, she admitted to having what she called a nervous breakdown, taking valium and staying in bed for weeks because of a photo-shoot.
- John Mayer– This musical misogynist can run his mouth all he likes about taking Xanax and I still won’t like him.
- Amanda Seyfried– Amanda Seyfried’s honesty never comes across as phony, whether she is kvetching about how little she can eat or swalling antidepressants in front of an Esquire reporters. When she talks about her anxiety and panic, it at least seems genuine.
- Winona Ryder– The spooky actress famously had to duck out of her role in Godfather III in order to be hospitalized for anxiety and depression. Openly checking in to a hospital is gutsier than simply admitting that sometimes she gets nervous at parties.
- David Bowie– The world would have never seen Ziggy Stardust without Bowie’s famous anxiety. He created an alter ego in order to explore the world as someone unafraid.