Many people feel as though there is still a stigma attached to talking about mental health issues. The fact that we often still classify them as “issues” rather than as diseases, is a perfect example. In order to shed light on mental health and the importance of treating it properly, many celebrities have come forward to discuss their own battles with mental illness. Here are ten famous faces that you probably didn’t know suffered from mental health issues:
- Catherine Zeta Jones
In both 2011 and in 2013, this Welsh actor received treatment for bipolar disorder. She spoke about it publically after struggling with depression during cancer treatment.
- Winston Churchill
The famous prime minister of the UK suffered from what he called the “black dog”, which most professionals agree was classic depression. Churchill later claimed that his experiences with depression allowed him to be a successful leader.
- Halle Berry
In 2007, the actress revealed that depression drove her to attempt suicide. Thankfully thoughts of her mother forced her to escape the situation, and she went on to work on coping with depression later.
- J. K. Rowling
The famous author of the Harry Potter books has been open and frank about her struggles with depression while writing. Before she was famous, she was a single mother who faced many challenges, including depression, which she continued to struggle with even after the books were published.
- Mike Tyson
The famous boxer Mike Tyson struggled with depression and alcoholism during his career. In 2013, he told an interviewer that he was a vicious alcoholic on the verge of death, and that he wanted to change that.
- Elton John
Beloved singer Elton John previously struggled with bulimia, an eating disorder that affects millions of people. He also entered rehab twice during his career for a cocaine addiction.
- Brooke Shields
In 2007, model and actress Brooke Shields began speaking openly about her struggles with post partum depression. This illness affects thousands of mothers every year, and yet the stigma surrounding it continues to create a culture of silence.
- Adam Levine
The front man of Maroon 5 was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, and realized that it was one of the key reasons he had trouble in school. He told an interviewer that he constantly struggles with his attention span and energy levels due to this disorder.
- Leonardo DiCaprio
Often seen as the quintessential nice guy of Hollywood, most people don’t realize that DiCaprio suffers from OCD. He described once in an interview how his assistant has to wait an extra ten minutes for him to leave a set because he has to go through a routine of stepping in certain places and touching certain things in order to leave a room.
- John Green
This author recently became popular due to the success of his book, The Fault in Our Stars. He suffers from a combination of depression, anxiety, and OCD, and takes medications to combat the symptoms.
While everyone feels “down” or overwhelmed once in a while, mental illnesses are representative of a larger brain chemistry imbalance at work. Talking about chronic mental illnesses should never be stigmatized because it leads to a lack of health care and support options for those who suffer. By choosing to reveal their own struggles, and talk about how their disorders have affected their lives and careers, these celebrities and historical figures are laying a path for better health and happier lives for the many sufferers who will come after them.