Hollywood stars seem to have the world at their fingertips, but even the hottest celebrities have experienced personal issues just like the rest of us. Many celebrities struggle with mental health issues; some have chosen to use their public platforms to share their stories and spread awareness to remove the stigma around it. Check out some of these stars who’ve battled issues of mental health and are now advocates leading the discussion on topics like depression, obsessive compulsion, bipolar disorder and other mental health issues.
Demi Lovato: After being diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder in 2010, Demi Lovato has been a dedicated advocate of mental health awareness. She launched a joint campaign in May 2015 called Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health and started a treatment scholarship program in honor of her father who passed away after suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as participated in many other awareness events. “I just think mental illness is something people need to learn more about and the stigma needs to be taken away,” Lovato told People Magazine.
Lena Dunham: An outspoken advocate combatting the stigma around mental health disorders, Lena Dunham has made no secret of her struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder. In 2014, she wrote a piece called “Difficult Girl: Growing up, with Help” for the New Yorker describing her childhood living with OCD and her treatment process. She also sheds light on OCD and mental disorders in her HBO series Girls, and on her personal social media accounts. Recently, Dunham posted this workout selfie with a powerful caption.
JK Rowling: The well-known Harry Potter author has long admitted her feelings of depression prior to writing the wizarding world series and even said she contemplated suicide. Therapy and writing pulled Rowling from her dark moments, and many believe she shared those feelings in the series through the Dementors’ characters, noting that they remove the world of all light and happiness. In May 2015, one fan asked Rowling via Twitter, “…What would you say to someone who has failed to find meaning and wants to finally give up?” She responded with a slew of breathtaking, awe-inducing and even adorable photos, then offered some advice.
>> Read more: Depression: How to Identify and Cope
Brooke Shields: When Brooke Shield’s child was born, she expected to feel happy but instead faced feelings of panic and sadness as she suffered from postpartum depression. An estimated 9 to 16 percent of postpartum women will experience PPD, though she told People that she didn’t acknowledge it at first. Shields shares her story in the bestselling memoir “Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression,” discussing how the illness has affected her life, from her struggle to get pregnant to her recovery with talk therapy, medication, and time.
>> Did you know eating your placenta is said to help prevent postpartum depression? Read about it here.
Glenn Close: Though she has never experienced living with mental illness, actress Glenn Close is an advocate for mental health awareness as both her sister and nephew struggle with disorders. She began volunteering at Fountain House, a recovery center that allows members with mental illnesses to work, live and learn together. She partnered with the organization to found the non-profit Bring Change 2 Mind, a national anti-stigma campaign seeking to remove misconceptions about mental illness.
She contributed an article for Huffington Post and wrote that she didn't believe her campaign would cure mental health but she hoped it would help end the stigma around it. "The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by the year 2020 mental illness will be the second leading cause of death and disability. Every society will have to confront the issue. The question is, will we face it with open honesty or silence?" Close wrote.