About Mental Illness
One in four experience mental illness in a given year. 1 in 17 people live with a serious mental illness.
If we don’t understand the facts about mental illness, we can’t make informed decisions.
Mental illness affects a person’s ability to work, socially interact, emotionally connect and care for themselves. Most of the individuals we help suffer from conditions caused by brain disorders that are very treatable.
Their lives may be far from ordinary, but actors, musicians, athletes, and writers experience emotional and mental health issues just like the rest of us. The number of celebrities who are talking about their own experience of mental health problems is a positive move away from people being embarrassed or frightened to discuss mental health.
Having someone who you look up to or aspire to be like sharing about their own experiences, helps break down the stigma associated with mental illness. All of these examples show that the rich and the famous are not exempt from experiencing mental health problems and it’s something we don’t have to be afraid to talk about.
Celebrities that have dealt with mental illness
“The only thing that I could do is to go through the pain of getting better and go through the pain of looking at myself and how ugly I had become on the inside. And not even ugly, just the pain of forgiving those people. The pain of forgiveness.”
Mary J. Blige, singer
“I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s to be ashamed of? I went through a really tough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series
“The list of drugs I've been prescribed would read like a grocery list," he explained of his mental health struggles. “One of the biggest things for me was being honest with everybody about it. And let them know, like, you know, there are gonna be times when we’re gonna have to slow down so I can just make sure everything is intact. The second step was finding somebody that I could talk to, but that I was going to be honest with and that not necessarily that they had all the answers for me, but, like, that I could get it all out to them and then, like, together we could piece things together. I found that talk therapy with this guy has been the best thing that I’ve had.””
Fall Out Boy musician Pete Wentz
“I had no idea that I was even bipolar until I went into treatment," she revealed. "I was conquering the world, but then I would come crashing down, and I would be more depressed than ever. [After therapy,] for the first time in my life I started to feel. It was such a humbling experience to not just push your feelings aside and ignore them. I’m thankful now that I’m feeling, you know?”
Disney star Demi Lovato checked into rehab for "emotional and physical issues" including bulimia, cutting, and bipolar disorder.
“Bipolar disorder is something I have been dealing with for a long time. I think with the year we had with my stepson, and then of course Michael’s cancer, and all of a sudden all those things that happened to me, and my bipolar just came straight out. Depression, then manic trying to make everyone perfect, and I can never fix anybody, couldn’t make anything perfect. We just had to go through, like so many people, a really rough 2 years.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones, actress
“For all the people that are having trouble and maybe feel bad about taking medication…it's okay — you will make it through. It's not easy but you will make it through.”
Rene Russo, actress
“It (Prozac) may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything's just okay," he told CBS News. "There are peaks, there are valleys. But they're all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in.”
Jim Carrey, actor
“During some of those darkest days, I'd hardly get out of bed and just the phone ring and ring. Small problems became insurmountable, and so I shied away from normal behavior. It seemed easier to duck out of life that way...It was a very bizarre, exhausting, and dark time.”
“I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me. She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do...My sense of worth was so low. I promised myself I would never be a coward again.”
“I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I just didn't know what was wrong with me. I looked really good on the outside, and I had a lot of anxiety, insomnia...I needed to find a power greater than myself.”
“It takes a lot of, you know, self-searching, you know, being honest with your psychologist, being honest with whoever you’re talking to. You know, being able to handle the truth, you know, and I think that’s the hump you have to get over.”
Ron Artest, athlete