Written by Jose Caballero ft. Strike Magazine Miami
In today's internet age, social media platforms frequently portray different ways that people thrive, throw parties, have the prettiest looks, and attempt to have a flawless body. However, despite the glitz and glamor, there are many aspects of life that are not covered in social media, including mental health issues.
Due to the huge stigma surrounding mental health, it is difficult to understand that mental health struggles do not follow a linear path but are rather an ongoing process. Fortunately, people's attitudes toward mental health issues on social media have shifted in recent years.
Check out the celebrities who have utilized their platforms to advocate for mental health and have openly talked about their own battles with mental struggles:
1. Selena Gomez
"I've discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges," she told People. "I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off […] I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues."
Selena has been open about her mental struggles over the years, from being diagnosed with lupus to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Selena, on the other hand, has used her platform to make an impact, change mental health conversations, and create a more positive, valuable, and relatable community that advocates for mental health and seeks to de-stigmatize the taboo notions surrounding mental health. Selena founded the "Rare Beauty Impact Fund," which is part of Rare Beauty's commitment to providing people with the resources they need to support their mental health. Rare Beauty donates 1% of all sales to the Rare Impact Fund and raises additional funds through philanthropic foundations, corporate partners, and community members to increase access to mental health services in educational settings. She has also expanded her mental health activism by launching "Wondermind," a platform that aims to provide a new category of inclusive mental fitness.
2. Lady Gaga
"When my career took off, I don't remember anything at all. It's like I'm traumatized. I needed time to recalibrate my soul," she explained in an interview. "I definitely look after my well-being...I openly admit to having battled depression and anxiety and I think a lot of people do. I think it's better when we all say: 'Cheers!' and 'fess up to it.'"
"It's not always easy if you have mental issues to let other people see," Gaga continued. "I used to show, I used to self-harm, I used to say, ‘Look I cut myself, see I’m hurting.’ Because I didn’t think anyone could see because of mental health, it’s invisible."
Born This Way Foundation, co-founded and led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, supports the mental health of young people and works with them to build a kinder and braver world. Through high-impact programming, youth-led conversations, and strategic, cross-sectoral partnerships, the Foundation aims to make kindness cool, validate the emotions of young people, and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. Learn how the Foundation encourages people to practice kindness toward themselves and their communities through its website bornthisway.foundation and its storytelling platform Channel Kindness at channelkindness.org.
3. Demi Lovato
“I think it's important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about," she said at the National Council for Behavioral Health in Washington DC. "It's something that's extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic. The problem with mental illness is people don't look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously."
Lovato has been a mental health advocate since 2015, when she revealed she had bipolar disorder. Lovato founded the Mental Health Fund to assist others suffering from mental illness and to provide free counseling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Megan Thee Stallion
"Mental health was never a conversation that was on the table. Now in this space, I've lost both
of my parents. So now I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, who do I talk to? What do I do?' And I just started
learning that it's okay to ask for help, and it's okay to want to get therapy."
5. Taylor Swift
“I thought that I was supposed to feel like I was going to pass out at the end of a show, or in the middle of it,” she attests in the documentary. “Now I realize, no, if you eat food, have energy, get stronger, you can do all these shows and not feel (enervated).” Swift says she doesn’t care so much now if someone comments on a weight gain, and she’s reconciled “the fact that I’m a size 6 instead of a size double-zero.” Swift says she was completely unaware that anything was wrong in her double-zero era, and had a defense at the ready should it come up. If anyone expressed concern, she’d say, “‘What are you talking about? Of course I eat. …. I exercise a lot.’ And I did exercise a lot. But I wasn’t eating.”
“If you’re thin enough, then you don’t have that ass that everybody wants,” she says in the film. “But if you have enough weight on you to have an ass, your stomach isn’t flat enough. It’s all just f—ing impossible.” As she became aware of the problem, Swift says in the film, it would cause her to “go into a real shame/hate spiral.”
6. Shawn Mendes
"I've been touring since I was 15 and to be honest it's always been difficult to be on the road away from friends and family. After a few years off the road, I felt like I was ready to dive back in, but that decision was premature and unfortunately the toll of the road and the pressure has caught up to me and I've hit a breaking point."
7. Ariana Grande
“If you're afraid to ask for help, don't be. You don't have to be in constant pain and you can process trauma. I've got a lot of work to do but it's a start to even be aware that it's possible.”
Grande wrote about how she found therapy to help her cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bombing at her concert, which killed 23 people. Grande worked with Betterhelp to provide free therapy to those in need, donating $1 million to the cause.
8. Miley Cyrus
"[Depression is] more of an issue than people really want to talk about. Because people don't know how to talk about being depressed—that it's totally okay to feel sad. I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down. It was a lot to do with, like, I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed," she told ELLE. "And every person can benefit from talking to somebody. I'm the most antimedication person, but some people need medicine, and there was a time where I needed some too. So many people look at [my depression] as me being ungrateful, but that is not it—I can't help it. There's not much that I'm closed off about, and the universe gave me all that so I could help people feel like they don't have to be something they're not or feel like they have to fake happiness. There's nothing worse than being fake happy."
9. Tom Holland
"I get caught up and I spiral when I read things
about me online and ultimately it's very
detrimental to my mental state. So, I decided to
take a step back and delete the app. There is an
awful stigma against mental health, and I know
that asking for help and seeking help isn't
something that we should be ashamed of."
10. Lili Reinhart
"I had so much anxiety booking work, and I spent almost five months holed up in this bedroom in this house just feeling anxious, waiting for my next audition, and not doing anything else. It was the most miserable time of my life," she told W Magazine. "I had had to quit a few jobs in North Carolina because of how anxious they made me. My anxiety was so bad that I had to keep quitting jobs because I physically could not work...I threw up in my Uber because, one, I was carsick, and two, I was having a panic attack. I get home, lock the door in my room, immediately Skype my mom and said, 'Mom, I’m not okay.' I felt like my world was crashing. I didn’t want to admit defeat, but I was like, ‘I need to come home. My mental health is suffering, and it is making me physically ill.'"
11. Princess Diana
"I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discussed... and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time. You'd wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself," she said in a 1995 interview. "When no one listens to you, or you feel no one's listening to you, all sorts of things start to happen. For instance you have so much pain inside yourself that you try and hurt yourself on the outside because you want help, but it's the wrong help you're asking for. People see it as crying wolf or attention-seeking, and they think because you're in the media all the time you've got enough attention, inverted commas....I didn't like myself, I was ashamed because I couldn't cope with the pressures."
Roberts, Kayleigh. “39 Celebrities Who Have Opened up About Mental Health - Celebrities Talk Depression and Anxiety.” Harper’s BAZAAR, 15 Jan. 2018, www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/g15159447/celebrities-depression-anxiety-mental-health/?slide=2