According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 49%—yes, almost half—of people who have felt symptoms of depression and anxiety never seek medical help. In any given year, one in five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem and by age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
So why aren’t we talking about this more? The taboo around speaking openly about mental illness still exists, although campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk and Opening Minds (established by the Mental Heath Commissions of Canada) are working to eradicate it.
Celebs who get candid about their own mental health struggles also help chip away at the stigma. From Lady Gaga using her GRAMMYS platform for good to Chrissy Teigen’s personal essay on her postpartum depression, here are more than a dozen public figures who have shared their own deeply personal experiences in the name of raising awareness, eliminating stigma and helping us all feel a little less alone.
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Chrissy Teigen wrote a personal essay detailing her struggle with postpartum depression for the April 2017 issue of Glamour.
“I was different than before. Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful. […] I didn’t have an appetite. I would go two days without a bite of food, and you know how big of a deal food is for me. One thing that really got me was just how short I was with people,” Teigen disclosed. “Before, when I entered a room I had a presence: head high, shoulders back, big smile. Suddenly I had become this person whose shoulders would cower underneath her chin.”
Teigen is always candid, but this essay remains one of her most personal statements yet. “I started taking an antidepressant, which helped,” she wrote. She continued by sharing what so many of us may think when finally coming to terms with mental illness: “I also just didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. […] But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling.”
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