Anxiety is a normal, if unpleasant, part of life, and it can affect us all at different times and in different ways. It can persist whether or not the cause is clear to the sufferer.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. It’s natural to worry during stressful times, but some people feel anxious day after day, even with little to worry about. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily life.
For people with an anxiety disorder, feelings like stress, panic and worry are longer-lasting, more extreme and far harder to control. Symptoms may also include feeling restless or agitated, panic attacks, having trouble concentrating or sleeping, sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness and heart palpitations, MQ Mental Health, 2019.
Let’s take a look at some female celebrities who have told of their anxiety and/or panic attacks:
- Oprah Winfrey said in a 2013 interview that anxiety nearly caused her to have a nervous breakdown.
- Kourtney Kardashian wrote on her blog “When my anxiety is extreme, it feels like my body is constantly burning calories all day long,”
- Lady Gaga says “I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life; I still suffer with it every single day.”
- Ariana Grande said that following the bombing at her Manchester Arena concert in May 2017, she experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Whoopi Goldberg is afraid of flying and this condition is a form of anxiety known as a phobia, a fear of a particular object or situation.
- Adele suffers from anxiety attacks
It may be especially hard for men to disclose mental health problems, as boys are more often taught from young to be strong, not to be a cry-baby and not to talk about feelings. However, as of late, lots of male celebrities have expressed problems with anxiety and what’s great is they’re using their own platforms to bring awareness to mental health issues and encourage other men to get help:
- Prince Harry has shared how panic attacks plagued him after his mother’s death.
- Michael Phelps said that throughout his career, he struggled with depression and anxiety at various times.
- Zayn Malik of One Direction said he cancelled one of his concerts due to extreme anxiety.
- Leonardo Dicaprio says that his anxiety stems from the small things, things that really shouldn’t make you anxious.
- Hugh Grant said “absurd stage fright attacks” would hit him in the middle of filming without warning. The episodes began while he was filming Notting Hill in 1999, after which, he took a five-year break from acting.
- Ryan Reynolds said he spent many nights earlier in his career awake paralyzed by anxiety.
The above are just some of the celebs who suffer from anxiety, there’s lots more who experience different mental health disorders.
When celebrities and people in the public eye open up about their anxiety and disclose their mental health issues, it can help break down some of the barriers surrounding mental health and reduce the stigma. According to Psychology Today, “High profile people who disclose their experiences with mental illness bring a positive light to health and wellness.”
However, Each Mind Matters said that according to research, sharing your own story may have a larger impact on the attitudes of the people in your daily life than a celebrity’s public disclosure.
What helps you when you’ve experienced anxiety? Do you have any tips you could share?