Stars Who've Battled Mental Health Issues

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Demi Lovato, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jon Hamm and Ashley Judd are among the many celebrities who’ve admitted to struggling with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.

Stars Who Have Battled Mental Health Issues

Rich, famous celebrities may seem to have it made, but they have problems just like the rest of us. And because they’re in the public eye, it can be difficult to keep those problems out of the spotlight. Some stars — including Demi Lovato, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jon Hamm, to name a few — have opted not to hide their issues, instead speaking out about their past struggles.

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James Middleton

Duchess Kate and Pippa Middleton’s younger brother, James, opened up about his depression to Tatler magazine in June 2019, explaining that his struggles were in part due to pressures to live up to his famous siblings. “Suddenly, and very publicly, I was being judged about whether I was a success or a failure,” he said. The entrepreneur, who had previously discussed his struggles with the Daily Mail in January, added of his depression, “It’s what keeps you in bed, while anxiety makes you feel guilty for being there. I thought, ‘What do I have to be depressed about?’ I’ve been so lucky with my upbringing, I had all the things I wanted. It’s not that I wanted more, but there was something that wasn’t always there … And the more I ignored it, the more it was taking over.’”

James said that after undergoing therapy and stepping back from his position at his company Boomf to spend time on brother-in-law James Matthews’ Scottish estate in Glen Affric, he is doing better: “I am happy – I feel like James Middleton again. I feel like I was when I was 13, excited about life. I feel like myself again and I couldn’t ask for more.”

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In a July 2019 cover story in Rolling Stone, the “Without Me” singer, born Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, confessed that she’s been committed twice since taking on her alter ego of Halsey. “It’s been my choice,” she told the magazine. “I’ve said to [my manager], ‘Hey, I’m not going to do anything bad right now, but I’m getting to the point where I’m scared that I might, so I need to go figure this out.’ It’s still happening in my body. I just know when to get in front of it.” Halsey also revealed that her next album is the first one she’s ever written while experiencing mania due to her bipolar disorder, which she was diagnosed with at the age of 17.

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Danielle Staub

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star spoke candidly about her struggle with depression in a series of Instagram Stories in June 2019. “I don’t think that it’s a joking matter. It hurts me in my everyday life. And when people judge me, it even hurts me more,” she said. “So those of you who want to achieve causing others pain, you’re succeeding when it comes to me. But, I do have a long history of depression and it’s not funny. Just thought I’d share.”

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“I’m depressed and there’s no one I can talk to because there’s nothing anyone can do about it,” the singer wrote in an Instagram video on June 2019. “Life hurts.” She shared in the caption, “I self-love so hard because everything feels like rejection… it feel like the whole world be ghostin [sic] me sometimes. Sad af today. But this too shall pass.”


The next day, the Big Grrrl Small World artist posted a tear-filled video. “I used sadness so constructively in the last two years. … I’ve used sadness as a tool for gratitude,” she explained during her statement. The rapper continued her thoughts in the caption: “I learned in the last 24hrs that being emotionally honest can save your life. Reaching out may be hard but as soon as I did it, I was immediately covered in love. … My triggers are: rejection and inadequacy. But I love that I’m more emotionally honest lately.”

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Gina Rodriguez

The Jane the Virgin star opened up about her long battle with depression and suicidal thoughts on June 17, which she revealed to NBC’s Kate Snow at The Kennedy Forum began when she was about 16. “I started dealing with the idea of … everything is going to be better when I’m gone. Life will be easier. All the woes will be away, all the problems. Then I wouldn’t have to fail or succeed, right? Then all this surmounting pressure would go away,” she said. The Golden Globe winner, who also addressed her struggles to Shape in 2018 and on Instagram in 2017, admitting to halting production on her CW telenovela’s fifth and final season because she “was unafraid for the first time to be like, ‘I can’t.’”

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Billie Eilish

The singer appears in a PSA for Seize the Awkward, which was released in May 2019. In the video, she encourages fans to prioritize their mental health. “It doesn’t make you weak to ask for help. It doesn’t,” she says in the ad. “It doesn’t make you weak to ask for a friend to go to a therapist. It shouldn’t make you feel weak to ask anyone for help. And you should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it.”

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Maisie Williams

The Game of Thrones star opened about her struggle with mental illness on the “Happy Place” podcast in May 2019. “Last year, in my own personal life, I think I just went through a lot of real revelations where I was like I’m not very happy doing this and pretending everything was fine,” Williams explained. “And so, that wasn’t a public thing, but after going through that, now I’ve sort of tried to be a lot more genuine and it just becomes a lot more relaxing after that, I think. You just drop it all and that’s when you can really have fun.”


Although the British actress has made strides in her mental health journey, she sometimes struggles. ”I still lay in bed at like eleven o’clock at night telling myself all the things I hate about myself,” she noted. “There’s still a journey, I think. But at least dropping the act and just being who you truly are, I think that’s definitely a first step; not trying to be who you want me to be right now in this moment.” 


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Bebe Rexha

The Grammy-nominated artist revealed to fans via Twitter on April 15, 2019, that she is bipolar. “For the longest time, I didn’t understand why I felt so sick,” she wrote. “Why I felt lows that made me not want to leave my house or be around people and why I felt highs that wouldn’t let me sleep, wouldn’t let me stop working or creating music. Now I know why. I’m bipolar and I’m not ashamed anymore.”


Taraji P. Henson

“I suffer from depression,” the Empire star said in an April 2019 interview with Variety. “My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that. It’s something new.” Henson also revealed that she talks to a therapist regularly: “Their job is to make sure you’re mentally sound, whatever that is, and telling you the truth, which might hurt. Sometimes your friends don’t want to hurt your feelings. If I’m going to change for the better, I need honesty, and sometimes your friends and family don’t have it in them to be brutally honest.”

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Big Sean

The “Bounce Back” rapper spoke candidly about his struggles in March 2019 ahead of his 31st birthday. “Around this time last year, around my birthday, it was good for me, but it was wild for me too because I felt like something wasn’t all the way connecting with my energy. I wasn’t feeling like myself and I couldn’t figure out why,” Sean said in a series of Instagram posts at the time. “I stepped back from everything I was doing, from everything I had going on because somewhere in the middle of it, I just felt lost. I started therapy. I got a good therapist. I was blessed enough to talk to some super spiritual people and they made me realize one thing that I was missing in my life. And one thing I was missing was clarity. Clarity about who was around me, what I was doing—even in music, which is my happiness, my joy, that was always an escape for me, was starting to feel like a burden.”

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Sophie Turner

The Game of Thrones actress opened up about her mental health struggle in an interview with Rolling Stone in March 2019. “Depression for sure, anxiety, all of those things,” she explained of what she suffers from. “I still experience it, but I had therapy, I’m on medication, and I feel so much better. The fact that I spoke to someone changed my life.”

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Justin Bieber

The “What Do You Mean?” crooner opened up about his struggle with trust issues during a joint Vogue interview in February 2019 with his wife, Hailey Baldwin. Bieber revealed at the time that he “got really depressed on tour” in 2017, and was still working through his issues. Later that month, a source told Us Weekly Bieber was “going to several doctors” for his personal struggles, clarifying that the “Sorry” crooner was “not in rehab.” The insider added: “He sees a therapist, but he’s not in a special center or anything. He doesn’t want to be dependent on medication. He struggles with ups and downs, anxiety, depression and uncertainty about the future.” The following month, Bieber reached out to fans via Instagram to ask for “prayers” as he’s “been struggling a lot.”

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Sarah Hyland

The Modern Family actress revealed in December 2018 that she had suicidal thoughts after she underwent two kidney transplants amid her battle with kidney dysplasia.

“I would write letters in my head to loved ones of why I did it and my reasoning behind it, how it was nobody’s fault. I didn’t want to write it down on paper because I didn’t want anybody to find it. That’s how serious I was,” Hyland told Ellen DeGeneres in January 2019 about contemplating suicide. “I was very, very, very close.”

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Karamo Brown

The Queer Eye star told Instagram followers in August 2018 that he had attempted suicide 12 years prior. “You know, I was in a very dark place,” he said. “I just felt like life could not get any better, everything that was happening to me was never going to change, and I tried to take my own life … I want you all to know that as you see me on Queer Eye helping people with their mental health, it’s because it’s important to me … because I know so many of us suffer from mental health issues, and we just don’t know where to turn.”

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Lili Reinhart

In a series of tweets in May 2017, the Riverdale star said her job on the CW drama came during the “worst depression” she’d ever experienced, yet she persevered.  “When I’m feeling depressed or sad, I remind myself how far I’ve come. And how I didn’t let my depression consume me,” she wrote at the time. “To anyone out there who feels depressed or hopeless … do not f—king give up on yourself. You’re all you’ve got. And you deserve the world.”

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Stephen Colbert

The late-night comedian revealed his struggles with anxiety in an August 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, saying that performing eases his mind now just as it did decades ago when he was performing improv with Second City. “Creating something is what helped me from just spinning apart like an unweighted flywheel,” he said. “And I haven’t stopped since. Even when I was a writer, I always had to be in front of a camera a little bit. I have to perform.”

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Michelle Williams

The former Destiny’s Child singer told fans she was seeking help for mental health challenges in July 2018. “For years I have dedicated myself to increasing awareness of mental health and empowering people to recognize when it’s time to seek help, support and guidance from those that love and care for your wellbeing,” she wrote on Instagram. “I recently listened to the same advice I have given to thousands around the world and sought help from a great team of healthcare professionals.”

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Janet Jackson

In June 2018, the “Rhythm Nation” singer wrote in an Essence essay that she has grappled with depression in her life. “When it comes to happiness, I’m no expert,” she said. “I have only my life experience as a guide. I’ve known great happiness and great sadness.”

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David Harbour

In a June 2018 interview on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, the Stranger Things star revealed he was hospitalized in a “mental asylum” after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 25. He also discussed his own brand of self-care: “Generally, people are like, ‘I need to meditate more’ or ‘I need to get into yoga.’ And I need to, like, eat a cheeseburger and just, like, smoke cigarettes and hang out. So if I write the self-help book, it’s going to be like, ‘Sit on the couch and play some video games.’”

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Kanye West

After rapping about his bipolar disorder diagnosis on the song “Ye,” the 21-time Grammy winner opened up about being “diagnosed with a mental condition” at age 39. “I think everybody got something,” he told Big Boy TV in June 2018. “But like I said on the album, it’s not a disability. It’s a superpower.”

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Tyler Baltierra

After revealing his bipolar diagnosis in April 2018, the Teen Mom OG star described his experience with the disorder in a July 2018 Snapchat. “Bi Polar is like dancing on the edge of a cliff,” he wrote. “The good moods are full of endless euphoric adrenaline, but the bad moods cause a reclusive crash with an abusive rift when there’s just too much emotions to go through & sift, which makes you trip down a long hard fall when you slip after you lose that grip once that adrenaline filled dance inevitably makes you tip.”

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Mariah Carey

The pop star was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001 and opened up about it in an April 2018 interview with People. “I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder,” she said. “I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”

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Demi Lovato

The Disney star checked into rehab in 2010 for “emotional and physical issues” including bulimia, cutting, and bipolar disorder. “I had no idea that I was even bipolar until I went into treatment,” she revealed in 2011. “I was conquering the world, but then I would come crashing down, and I would be more depressed than ever.”

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Rene Russo

The Outbreak star revealed on The Queen Latifah Show in October 2014 that she has bipolar disorder and takes medication for the condition. “For all the people that are having trouble and maybe feel bad about taking medication… it’s okay — you will make it through,” she said. “It’s not easy but you will make it through.”

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Mel Gibson

The veteran actor/director opened up about his struggle with depression after starring in the 2011 movie The Beaver, about a depressed toy company CEO. Though he told Deadline his depression had never been “really severe,” he admitted to having some “low” moments. “Of course [I’ve battled it],” he said. “I think the majority of people do.”

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Catherine Zeta-Jones

The Oscar winner first revealed her bipolar II diagnosis in 2011, when she checked into a mental health facility for treatment. (She was also treated in April 2013.) Speaking about her struggles in 2012, she said she “never wanted to be the poster child” for the disorder and was just trying to handle the situation gracefully.

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Emma Thompson

The Oscar-winning Brit has admitted to suffering bouts of clinical depression at various times throughout her life. In 2010, she announced that she was taking a sabbatical to focus on her own well-being. “I find the job I do emotionally very demanding,” she said in a statement. “I suffer from occasional mild depression, which I think is a very common thing.”

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Paula Deen

After losing her dad when she was 19, Deen, the bubbly Southern chef, started having panic attacks and anxiety issues that later led to a 20-year bout with depression and agoraphobia. “Some days I could get to the supermarket, but I could never go too far inside. I learned to cook with the ingredients they kept close to the door,” she told the New York Times in 2007.

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Brooke Shields

After the 2003 birth of her daughter Rowan, the actress suffered a serious bout of postpartum depression for which she was later medicated. In her darkest moments, she considered suicide. “[I believed] I should not exist. The baby would be better off without me. Life was never going to get better — so I better just go,” she said while accepting an advocacy award from the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. “Finally I did fight. I survived.”

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Jim Carrey

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind actor has said he took Prozac “for a long time” while battling depression. “It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything’s just okay,” he told CBS News in 2009. “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.”

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Zach Braff

The Scrubs star told Parade magazine in 2007 that he felt a kinship to his somewhat melancholy character in Garden State (which he wrote and directed). “I think I suffer from some mild depression,” he explained. “So to have millions of people go, ‘I watched your movie and related,’ was the ultimate affirmation that I’m not a freak.”

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Sheryl Crow

The “If It Makes You Happy” rocker is in a good place now, but several years ago, she suffered a debilitating bout of depression that lasted six months. “During some of those darkest days, I’d hardly get out of bed and just the phone ring and ring,” she explained in 2003. “Small problems became insurmountable, and so I shied away from normal behavior. It seemed easier to duck out of life that way…It was a very bizarre, exhausting, and dark time.”

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Pete Wentz

In an interview with Playboy in 2008, the Fall Out Boy musician said his battle with depression had brought him close to death — on more than one occasion. “The list of drugs I’ve been prescribed would read like a grocery list,” he explained of his mental health struggles. Once, he noted, he “took a handful of Ativan,” though he insists he wasn’t thinking of killing himself. “I’ve never really called it a suicide attempt,” he said. “I just wanted my head to be completely turned off.”

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Jean-Claude Van Damme

The action star opened up about his bipolar disorder on the 2011 British reality show Behind Closed Doors, explaining his diagnosis 13 years earlier. “Sometimes you’re gonna like me, and sometimes you’re gonna hate me. But what can I do? I’m not perfect,” he said. “I’m an extreme bipolar, and I’m taking medication for this…When I was young, I was suffering those swing moods. In the morning, the sky was blue [when I was] going to school, and to me, the sky was black. I was so sad.”

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Bryce Dallas Howard

Ron Howard’s actress daughter has been open about her struggle with postpartum depression following the February 2007 birth of her son, Theodore. “It went untreated for 18 months, because I was just so ashamed and frightened,” she told Us Weekly in 2013 of that time in her life. “I didn’t know what it meant and didn’t know what happened to me…You can’t raise kids alone, you can’t heal alone — you really need a community.”

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Jon Hamm

The Mad Men star had a lot of dark days after losing his father at age 20. “I was…unmoored by that,” he told The Observer in 2010 of his dad’s death. “I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape.” Therapy and antidepressants helped to pull him out and give him “another perspective.” “You can change your brain chemistry enough to think, ‘I want to get up in the morning, I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon,'” he explained. “Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!”

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Ashley Judd

Judd wrote about her struggle with depression in the autobiography All That Is Bitter & Sweet, which also details her abusive childhood. She sought help for her troubles in 2006 by checking into the Shades of Hope Treatment Center in Texas. “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I just didn’t know what was wrong with me,” she said on the TODAY show. ” I looked really good on the outside, and I had a lot of anxiety, insomnia…I needed to find a power greater than myself…”

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Halle Berry

The actress told Parade magazine in 2007 that she had tried to commit suicide after her 1997 split from baseball player David Justice. “I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me,” she said. That image saved her life. “She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do…My sense of worth was so low. I promised myself I would never be a coward again.”

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