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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During an interview with Rolling Stone in December 2016, Emma Stone spoke openly about her anxieties as a child, and how her brain would create worst-case scenarios out of any situation.
“When I was about 7, I was convinced the house was burning down. I could sense it,” she said. “Not a hallucination, just a tightening in my chest, feeling I couldn’t breathe, like the world was going to end. There were some flare-ups like that, but my anxiety was constant,” Stone recalled. “At a certain point, I couldn’t go to friends’ houses anymore – I could barely get out the door to school.”
While Stone attended therapy, it was actually performing that eased her mind the most. “I started acting at this youth theater, doing improv and sketch comedy,” she told the magazine. “You have to be present in improv, and that’s the antithesis of anxiety.”
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