9 Celebs Who Have Been Open About Their Struggles With Anxiety
I have to admit, it can definitely be difficult sometimes to remember that celebrities are humans and deal with the same issues that affect us all. I guess it is easier to put them up on a pedestal, and I think many celebs prefer it that way, to seem almost invincible, but they're not. In fact, along with being open about certain health conditions, there have been many celebs who have been open about struggles with anxiety, specifically.
Thinking of a celebrity or anyone in the public eye with anxiety seems almost like an impossibility. How could these people who are so open with their lives be struggling with shyness or even nearly crippling anxiety? This only proves how different each case of anxiety truly is. Some people pursue acting or the arts as a way to cope with their anxious thoughts and behaviors, as the ultimate therapy. Dealing with anxiety is an intensely private thing for anyone, but some celebrities have been able to open up about their issues as a way to spread awareness and understanding. Just by having these people speak out, millions of people can feel like they are not so alone in their own battle.
Here are nine celebs who've struggled with anxiety and have shared it with the world.
1. Emma Stone
Emma Stone always shines in her comedic roles, but she told Vogue in 2012 how she was a "very anxious kid." She said, “I was just kind of immobilized by it. I didn’t want to go to my friends’ houses or hang out with anybody, and nobody really understood.” She also explained in the profile that she used acting and comedy as her therapy, saying, “Comedy was my sport. It taught me how to roll with the punches. Failure is the exact same as success when it comes to comedy because it just keeps coming. It never stops.”
2. Amanda Seyfried
In 2015, Seyfried also told Vogue about her bouts of anxiety and fear of public speaking, which resulted in her once being drunk while appearing on The Late Show. She said, "I have a lot of anxiety that I’ve been struggling with my whole life... So I have been working through it. I’m terrified, but this is exactly what I wanted.”
3. Sarah Silverman
Comedian Silverman had a lead dramatic role in I Smile Back , as a character that hit close to home and made her reveal her struggles with depression and anxiety. She opened up to Glamour , saying,
People use "panic attack" very casually out here in Los Angeles, but I don't think most of them really know what it is. Every breath is labored. You are dying. You are going to die. It's terrifying. And then when the attack is over, the depression is still there. Once, my stepdad asked me, "What does it feel like?" And I said, "It feels like I'm desperately homesick, but I'm home."
4. Lena Dunham
Dunham has projected many of her own personality traits onto her Girls character Hannah Horvath, including her struggles with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Dunham opened up in her book, Not That Kind of Girl , by writing, "I have only the vaguest memory of a life before fear. Every morning when I wake up there is one blissful second before I look around the room and remember my daily terrors." It is still something she has every day, but she has found ways to cope.
5. Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken has admitted that he had a few issues with panic attacks when he was younger, but his social anxiety sky-rocketed after his stint on American Idol. He told ABC News , "When I am in the room, the walls are closing in on me and my heart races, and I didn't understand it. I would look back and say, 'Why are your, why are your palms sweaty? What's the problem?' ... I've probably been bullied on a far larger scale since I've done this ['American Idol.']"
6. Colton Haynes
Last December, actor Colton Haynes shocked many when he revealed a very intense battle with social anxiety in a series of tweets. After posting a link to a medical study on anxiety, he said,
7. Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson opened up about her anxiety in a video for Project UROK. UROK is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "create meaningful videos for teenagers struggling with mental health issues." In the video, Wilson confesses, "I wish somebody had told me that it's OK to be anxious, that you don't have to fight it... It's OK to be depressed."
8. Olivia Munn
Munn's social anxiety has manifested itself in the impulse disorder of trichotillomania, which causes people to pull out their hair. Munn shared with NY Daily News , “I don’t bite my nails, but I rip out my eyelashes. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s really annoying. Every time I run out of the house, I have to stop and pick up a whole set of fake eyelashes.”
Adele seems like she's always at ease and at home on the stage, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Early in her career, Adele confessed to Rolling Stone about how her anxiety affected her performances. She said,
I’m scared of audiences. One show in Amsterdam I was so nervous, I escaped out the fire exit. I’ve thrown up a couple of times. Once in Brussels, I projectile vomited on someone. I just gotta bear it. But I don’t like touring. I have anxiety attacks a lot.
Knowing these celebs struggle with anxiety has allowed many to realize that they are not alone, and that it is OK to talk about it and reach out for help. And hey, they probably helped some fellow celebs, too.