You Are Not Alone: Famous Women with Mental Illness

The only thing I know that is harder than living with a mental illness is going through it thinking you are alone. When I was growing up, mental illness wasn’t talked about, period. And, it definitely wasn’t a trait that you shared with pride. I grew up thinking that the feelings I had made me different, separate, and inherently wrong. But the world is changing, and celebrities today are opening up about their own struggle with mental illness. Something as simple as saying, “I have anorexia,” can let someone know that they are not alone. That’s why I wanted to write an article with quotes from various celebrities talking about their struggle with mental disorders and how they overcame them. I want to show girls, like me, that not only are you just as valuable as a human being when you have a mental illness, but you can be successful and kick ass just the same.

 

Catherine Zeta Jones

Bipolar

“It’s not easy. I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops, but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it’s completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don’t have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it.”

 

Demi Lovato

Anorexia and Bulimia

"I'd be lying if I said there weren't days where I just want to stay in bed all day because I'm ashamed of my body. It's a struggle I'll probably have to deal with for the rest of my life. But I have so much life to live; I don't want to waste it."

 

Kristen Bell

Anxiety and Depression

“I still take it [medication] today and I have no shame in that, because my mom had said to me, ‘If you start to feel this way, talk to your doctor, talk to a psychologist, see how you want to help yourself,”

Lady Gaga

PTSD

“I have wrestled for some time about when, how and if I should reveal my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After five years of searching for the answers to my chronic pain and the change I have felt in my brain, I am finally well enough to tell you. There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness, but it’s important that you know that there is hope and a chance for recovery.”

 

Lena Dunham

Anxiety

"You know, it gets easier and easier. My fears came true: people called me fat and hideous, and I lived. And now I keep living." 

 

Sarah Silverman

Depression

“But if you ever experience it [depression], or are experiencing it right now, just know that on the other side, the little joys in life will be that much sweeter. The tough times, the days when you're just a ball on the floor—they'll pass. You're playing the long game, and life is totally worth it.

Jennifer Lawrence

Anxiety

“I find a certain peace by thinking of me in public as sort of an avatar self. You out there can have the avatar me. I can keep me. And I just try to acknowledge that this scrutiny is stressful, and that anyone would find it stressful. So I’ve got to try to let it go, and try to be myself, and focus on important things, like picking up dog poop.”

 

Kim Basinger

Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia

“…in the end, we’re all kind of fearful. We all have fears and insecurities and ups and downs…Now I wake up and enjoy life. I didn’t want to live on drugs. I wanted to face everything I was afraid of.”

 

These women are proof that no matter what your illness, no matter how debilitating, you can still do what you love and make a difference in the world. Best of all, you can be a role model for other girls, a beacon of hope to show them that they are not alone.

 

 

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