Celebrities appear to have it all: their dream career, millions of dollars, mansions that they call home. What could possibly go wrong for them? Well, sometimes, the most unlikely people are the ones who suffer due to a mental illness. While celebrities appear to have the perfect lives, they are not spared by mental illness. In fact, many of them either suffered with a mental illness at a young age or are dealing with it now. And they’re almost forced to talk about it, as they’re always in the spotlight—center stage. Here are 5 celebrities that have or had a mental illness:
1. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato, actress and singer, has gained a lot of attention for her mental health: she’s dealt with eating disorders, self-harm, addictions to drugs and alcohol, and bipolar disorder. While she first shied away from the topics, she now embraces what has shaped her into the person she is today and seeks to help others who are affected by mental illness. Demi recognizes that recovery is a long-term process and that she’ll have to face and deal with these disorders for the rest of her life. But, she’s still excited and grateful to have the life she does.
“I wish that people could understand that the brain is the most important organ in your body. Just because you can’t see [a mental health issue] like you could see a broken bone doesn’t mean it’s not as detrimental and devastating to a family or an individual.”
2. Wayne Brady
Wayne Brady is a beloved comedian and TV star, known well for his role on Whose Line Is It Anyway? While he certainly has no trouble evoking smiles and laughter from his audience, Brady at one time had a hard time smiling and laughing himself—for many years he dealt with a crippling depression. Everyday felt like a bad day to Brady; he was hurting and he didn’t know how to defeat that hurt. But Brady realized he had to take control of his life again and credits his ex-wife and friend, Mandie Taketa, for helping him recover. He advises anyone who battles with feelings of depression to bravely face that problem and decide to do something about it.
“It took me awhile to get my stuff together, to go, ‘You know what? If you’re not happy, you have to do something about it.’ Just to admit that you are feeling this way is a huge step. To claim that, to say, ‘Why do I feel dark? Who do I feel unhappy? Let me do something about this.”
3. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga, a unique individual but musical genius nonetheless, recently opened up about her mental illness: post-traumatic stress disorder. Gaga revealed just a few years ago that she was raped at age 19. And ever since, she has been dealing with the very present and harmful disorder. However, she says that she has truly been saved by kindness—the kindness she has been given by her doctors and loved ones.
“I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that’s left. I’m lucky I found one little glimmer stored away.”
4. Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne is one of the most successful models in the world. She’s beautiful, talented, hard-working, she’s everything most girls wish to one day embody. However, though it may not be obvious on sight, Delevingne has her imperfections: she suffers from a severe case of depression. She used to channel her feelings into her work, but Delevingne found that didn’t help, in fact it completely exhausted her. She’s now delving into the world of acting and is working on accepting herself the way that she is.
“You have this one life. How do you want to spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning? Hating yourself? Dieting? Running after people who don’t see you? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud.”
5. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey, like Robin Williams, is a renowned comedian and actor. He has morphed into some of our favorite characters, including the Grinch in The Grinch Stole Christmas, Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Joel in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But despite his ability to seemingly turn into anybody he wants, Carrey can’t run away from his very present depression and ADHD. He was prescribed Prozac but found that self-acceptance, comedy, and acting are what really help him get through it.
“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. Where you’re not getting any answers, but you’re living okay. And you can smile at the office. You know? But, it’s a low level of despair.”