As a mental health issue that is often brushed off as 'stress' or 'nerves,' celebrities are increasingly speaking out about the crippling effects of this seemingly invisible illness.
"I have lived with anxiety and sporadic bouts of depression for most of my adult life," Olivia Munn shared in a heartbreakingly honest post on Instagram. "10 years ago I tackled it, learned to fully understand it and haven’t felt the dark depths of depression in about a decade. But before that, thoughts of suicide crossed my mind more than a few times. For those who don’t understand depression, when someone is in that place it’s not because they want to die... it’s because the ongoing, relentless darkness is too painful to endure anymore. You don’t have to suffer from anxiety and depression to feel that low. Something very sad or traumatic can happen to you just once to bring about that feeling of despair. But please listen to me- from someone who is telling you that she’s been where you are- when I say that SUICIDE IS NOT THE RIGHT CHOICE. 💛 Here is a list of the international suicide prevention numbers. Please don’t hesitate to call for you or someone you think needs help. A phone call could change everything. Even if you think you don’t want to get involved or don’t want your friend to be mad at you or if you’re the one suffering and don’t want to be talked out of it or feel insecure about asking for help. Those are temporary consequences. With suicide, there’s no do-overs. Please try every single option you can before making a choice that cannot be undone." - Olivia Munn
“When my mother told me about my childhood, she always told me that there was a light in me, a spark that inspired me constantly. When I started school, the light went out. It was never known what it was, a kind of social anxiety”. And it turns out it didn't stop there: "I tried to jump out of an Air France flight once," she revealed to Entertainment Weekly. "I can't believe I didn't get arrested. I got really claustrophobic and I had to get out." Despite usually flying privately, that apparently doesn't help with the anxiety; "It's scary not being able to control yourself," "I'm not afraid of the airplane, I'm afraid of me on the airplane and losing control of myself," she admitted. - Jennifer Lawrence
“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues" - Selena Gomez.
"My surroundings would trigger a panic attack, so I couldn’t go to the studio unless I was lying down in the car with a pillow over my face. I used to beat myself up about it. There were a couple of times after I released Delirium when I was doing promo and thought, “Oh god, it’s coming back, it’s coming back,” but it didn’t. I think my body has become quite good at controlling anxiety" - Ellie Goulding.
"I thought I was going to die. I went to the doctor, and he said, ‘I’ll give you some Valium,’ and Francesca Sorrenti, thank God, said, ‘You’re not taking that.’ It was just anxiety. Nobody takes care of you mentally. There’s a massive pressure to do what you have to do" - Kate Moss
“Anxiety was a huge hurdle for me to deal with this past year (and security concerns didn’t help), but I think I’m finally learning how to cope” - Kendall Jenner
"I promised myself I would not let exercise be the first thing to go by the wayside when I got busy with Girls Season 5 and here is why: it has helped with my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible. To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it's mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I'm glad I did," Lena Dunham revealed in an Instagram post. - Lena Dunham
“I go through phases where my anxiety isn't as bad and when it's pretty awful. When it's good, I'll be able to leave the house, go shopping, visit other countries for work, do meet and greets and generally live life like a 'normal person'. When it's bad, I can't even leave my bed or I'll start my day off by opening my eyes and having a panic attack” - Zoella
“It can feel, at times, if you let your anxiety get the better of you, like everybody’s waiting for you to really mess up - and then you’ll be done" - Taylor Swift
“The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friends house and I though the house was burning down. I called my mum and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop. I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later, I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change" - Emma Stone.
“I was beginning to get fuzzy I couldn’t even tell which day or which city I was at. I would sit there at ceremonies and hey would give me an award and I was just thinking about the next performance. My other was very persistent and she kept saying that I had to take care of my mental health” - Beyonce.
"I love performing. I love the buzz. I don’t want to do any other job," he says. "That’s why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain...It’s this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes" - Zayn Malik revealed in his book Zayn.
“I still do get terribly nervous, and that’s partly due to the fact I think too much and overanalyse things. I’ll start worrying about my parents or my dog, and I’ll picture him opening the window of my apartment and falling out, even though I can’t get that thing open myself” - Amanda Seyfried.
“Sometimes I panic to the point here I don’t know what I’m thinking or doing. I have a full anxiety attack. I have them all the time anyway, but with auditioning it’s bad" - Dakota Johnson.
“I have anxiety. I’ve always had anxiety,” he says. “Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.” - Ryan Reynolds
If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental health issues, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36.