How do you know that you have a broken bone? You get an X-Ray. How do you know that your eyesight is weak? You take an eye exam. But how can you realize that you are suffering from depression? It’s not that easy, which is why so many celebrities are using their star power to champion mental health awareness.
There is no simple test that can determine that and that is the main reason why depression and other mental health conditions remain overlooked. With the negative stigma and indifference towards mental health, it can be hard for people who are suffering from mental health issues to get the proper help they need.
There are many famous people who have also come forward and candidly shared their own mental health issues and how they got over them. Here is a list of 15 male celebrities who are still strongly standing for mental health issues:
1. Dwayne Johnson
When you are a tough actor who’s rich and famous, people will never imagine you to be suffering from any mental illness. This is where Dwayne Johnson breaks all the myths. He had been suffering from depression for quite a significant amount of time before finally recovering.
Now, he is a mental health awareness advocate who believes that help should always be extended to people suffering from depression no matter what.
2. John Green
The author once tweeted out, “Like millions of others, I take medication to help treat my mental illness. Treating chronic medical conditions must not be stigmatized.”
Be it through candid interviews, Reddit Q&As or blogs, Green never shies away from talking about mental health issues.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio
In his childhood, DiCaprio suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which consumed his life. However, with time, he managed to keep the condition under control. DiCaprio is living proof that teaches us sheer willpower can pull you out of the muck of mental illness.
4. Prince Harry
Prince Harry is a living example of the devastation that happens when there is a tragedy in the family. After his mother’s death, Prince Harry got trapped into depression and it took him 20 long years before he decided to seek help. Now that he is recovered, he helps others come out of depression and spreads mental health awareness across the world.
5. Stephen Fry
The lovable actor Stephen Fry has not been spared too from the clutches of mental illness. Fry was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 37. The bouts of extreme sadness in the midst of happiness made his life hell. What’s worse, he got addicted to vodka and cocaine as he tried to replace one bad thing with others.
After his recovery, he became a significant face in the fight against mental illness. He is now the president of the mental health charity Mind.
6. Ryan Reynolds
The story of Ryan Reynolds shows how overwhelming events can wreak havoc in one’s life. In his words, “I never, ever slept. Or I was sleeping at a perfect right angle — just sitting straight, constantly working at the same time.” Reynolds now advocates the importance to prioritize one’s life above work.
7. Chris Evans
Chris Evans suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. To help himself, he first took the spiritual path to calm his mind and then sought professional help.
Evans shared stories about his mental health issues on many interviews to try and educate people on the topic. He has never been afraid to ask for help regarding his anxiety.
Now, he is an avid mental health awareness advocate and asks people to never feel embarrassed about having mental health issues.
8. Jared Padalecki
The Supernatural TV series actor went public with his own battle with anxiety and depression. After his recovery, Padalecki now supports people suffering from depression, addiction, and self-injury tendencies. His 2015 campaign Always Keep Fighting raised funds by selling merchandise to support the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms.
9. Michael Phelps
Phelps struggled with bouts of depressions, which led to him turning to substance abuse in a desperate attempt to cope. He now requests people to reach out for help if they are struggling to overcome some dark chapters of their lives. The Olympian has recently been awarded the Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion for his advocacy for people with disabilities and mental illness.
10. Ryan Phillippe
Phillippe struggled with depression for a long time since his younger years. He has since taken active steps to combat it and now is a much better place. He encourages people to talk about their mental health problems instead of shutting themselves in their dark rooms.
11. James Franco
As someone still recovering from mental health issues, Franco advocates for people to be compassionate towards individuals suffering from depression. Despite controversies and allegations, Franco continues to work and take care of his mental health at the same time.
12. Justin Bieber
Bieber is another personality who got overwhelmed by too much attention and fell into depression. As a star who started his career at a young age, the pressure of hectic concert schedules and fame totally make him go overboard. He is now more aware of his condition so he knows how to better cope with it and he strongly advocates taking care of the mind first over career.
13. Kanye West
West revealed in an interview that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a type of illness characterized by hypomania (highs) and depression (lows). With the help of proper medication and treatment, he finally recovered. Now, he influences others to reach out for help if they are feeling depressed or suicidal.
14. Howie Mandel
Mandel experienced having germophobia as a result of his OCD. He now teaches people not to get defeated by the condition and asks them to seek professional help and take medication. Moreover, he motivates people to stay strong and face the challenges that lie deep inside our minds. “No one can handle issues such as depression, anxiety or [phobias] on their own and it’s incredibly isolating,” Mandel says.
15. Brandon Marshall
Despite being a successful football player, Marshall never shies away from talking about his bipolar disorder. He keeps inspiring his fans to not give up on their own fight against mental illness.
With so many famous men coming out in support of people suffering from mental illnesses, it seems that the issue of raising mental health awareness is finally getting its due attention.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Month in May saw celebrities giving advice to their younger selves when they needed it the most. Campaigns like Green Ribbon where companies request their employees to wear the mental health ribbon are heartening to see. All these activities are targeting just one crucial objective — to make people open up about their mental health.
As Michael Phelps once said, “Since that day I opened up about my emotions, it’s been so much easier to live and so much easier to enjoy life.”