7 Celebs Who Struggle With Mental Illness (And 8 Who Deny They Do)

Mental illness is an issue that many people struggle with every day of their lives. It affects people in different ways and can often be difficult to cope with. For years, there was a stigma associated with mental illness that still exists today to a certain degree. There are still people who deny that it can be an issue, but more and more people openly admit that they struggle with mental illness. Oftentimes, those who deal with mental illness suffer from intense anxiety, clinical depression, social anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, mental illness can interfere with work and personal relationships.

It’s no surprise that many celebrities have dealt with mental wellness issues. Actors, comedians, and musicians all have a history with mental illnesses. For some, they were able to overcome their problems and achieve even greater fame. They work high intense jobs and are under the harsh spotlight. Several of them struggle with their problems but find ways to cope. Celebrities have helped bring awareness to mental illness, and many have openly discussed their issues. However, there are still those who don’t take it seriously or feel that it’s a weakness. Many famous celebs that have had a history of mental illness are still in denial of their issues. The mind is a fragile thing and needs to be taken care of. Here is a look at 7 Celebs Who Suffer From Mental Illness and 8 Who Deny It.

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15 Kiefer Sutherland (Denies)


Getting into a fight with a Christmas tree is never a good sign. Kiefer Sutherland is best known for his role as the ultimate hero Jack Bauer. However, Jack Bauer would probably not be proud of Kiefer’s wild actions. Kiefer Sutherland sometimes displays erratic and out-of-control behavior. There is a possibility that he may struggle with depression and anxiety. He is either unaware or maybe he is just in denial. Kiefer has had a history of alcohol abuse and DUIs. In 2009, he turned himself in to the NYPD after head-butting fashion designer Jack McCollough. He was allegedly standing up for his friend, Brooke Sheilds. However, the best example of Kiefer struggling with mental health was when he literally had a run-in with a tree. In 2006, Kiefer was partying at a London Hotel. He saw a Christmas tree and decided to tackle it. Kiefer has never spoken about considering therapy or seeking any type of help.

14 Emma Stone (Admits)


Actress Emma Stone struggled with her mental health as a child. She started suffering from panic attacks from around the age of 7. The panic attacks were so severe that she described it as “the house burning down.” She elaborated, “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.” Eventually, her social life started to suffer as she rarely went out or to a friend’s house. However, she overcame her anxiety with a combination of therapy and acting. She started participating in youth theater, improv, and sketch comedy. She originally had plans to become a sketch comedian but instead focused on musical theatre. She explained how acting helped her deal with her mental health: “You have to be present in improv, and that’s the antithesis of anxiety.”

13 Tom Cruise (Denies)


If Tom Cruise ever suffered from depression or anxiety, he would never admit it. He’s actually anti-psychiatry so it would be a bit difficult to admit to mental health issues. To be honest, anyone who jumps around on Oprah Winfrey’s set proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes probably shouldn’t be anti-psychiatry. His dedication and commitment to Scientology has caused many problems in his personal life. He once got into a public feud with Brooke Shields because she used anti-depressants to deal with her postpartum depression. In fact, Cruise essentially doesn’t even believe in it. He claimed that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance. This resulted in an on-air argument on the Today Show with Matt Lauer. Shields responded to Cruise by saying, “(Cruise) should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them.”

12 Gary Busey (Denies)


Gary Busey is known for his erratic demeanor and strange comments and is often considered to be “crazy.” However, it’s very likely that he suffers from mental health issues due to a head injury. In the late ‘70s, Busey rose to fame and was best known for his portrayal of Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story. On December 4, 1988, he was involved in a motorcycle accident and wasn’t wearing a helmet. He fractured his skull and at the time, it was suspected that he might have brain damage. In 2008, he met with a psychiatrist during the second season of Celebrity Rehab. The doctor theorized that Busey’s brain injury had a much greater impact on his mental health. He suspected that the injury “weakened his mental filters” causing him to “speak and act impulsively.” It’s very possible that the injury caused mental health issues relating to depression and anxiety.

11 Ronda Rousey (Admits)


Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey was once the most dominant female fighter. She won 12 consecutive fights, winning 11 by arm bar submission. However, she suffered a devastating loss to Holly Holm in 2015 by knockout. She suffered from pretty severe depression and didn’t fight for over a year. In 2016, she suffered another major loss to current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. After her loss to Holm, Ronda said to Ellen DeGeneres, “I was sitting in the corner (thinking) like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?’ And I was literally sitting there and thinking about killing myself and that exact second, I’m (thinking) ‘I’m nothing ... what do I do anymore and no one gives a (expletive) about me anymore without this.’” She continues to deal with her mental health and went on to say, “Maybe winning all the time isn’t what’s best for everybody ... maybe I had to be that example of picking myself up off the floor.”

10 Mel Gibson (Denies)

Mel Gibson has often found himself at the center of controversy. Several of his films have caused a major uproar among fans, critics, and the media. He’s angered just about every minority group in the world. In 1991, he gave an interview where he made several homophobic comments. He’s struggled with drugs and alcohol, which could be a way for him to deal with depression and anxiety. In 2006, he was arrested for a DUI and randomly stated, “(expletive) Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” He’s denied being racist or homophobic but admits to making outlandish comments. Famously, a recording was released of Mel having an apparent breakdown as he ranted at Oksana Grigorieva. During the call, he suggested the idea of her getting r*ped by “a pack of (racial slur).” There is a possibility that Mel might suffer from mental illness but is in denial.

9 Chrissy Teigen (Admits)

Chrissy Teigen struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety after giving birth. She wrote a personal piece in the 2017 issue of Glamour discussing her battle with mental health. She said, “Getting out of bed to get to set on time was painful” and “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.” Chrissy is married to John Legend and gave birth to their daughter, Luna, in 2016. She admitted that she often stayed on her couch and stayed in the same spot. It got to a point when John would often sleep on the couch with her. She wrote the piece in order to help other mothers. She said, “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. Sometimes, I still do.”

8 Courtney Love (Denies)

Courtney Love is one of the most controversial celebrities of all time. She’s been accused of being involved in the death of iconic musician Kurt Cobain, so she can’t be blamed for suffering from depression, anxiety, and having suicidal thoughts. However, she’s never admitted to it publicly. She’s had a well-documented struggle with substance abuse and had several stays in rehab. Oftentimes, those who struggle with mental illness turn to drugs, alcohol, and prescription pills to cope. She’s had several onstage meltdowns and given incoherent interviews. After years of claiming to be sober, she appeared on Late Show with David Lettermen and Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson, where she was clearly intoxicated. She’s had several physical altercations with fellow musicians and fans. Her erratic behavior has always been dismissed as simply being “crazy,” which isn’t a fair statement. Mental health is a serious issue for some, but the first step is admitting it.

7 Prince Harry (Admits)


Prince Harry is a member of the Royal Family and fifth in line to be King of England. He is the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Recently, Harry has opened up about his struggles with mental health. He suffered in silence for 17 years before finally seeking help. When he was a young child, his mother tragically died in a car accident in Paris. He dealt with the pain by not dealing with it at all. He said, “I can safely say that losing my mom at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had quite a serious effect on not only my personal life, but also my work as well.” Instead, he “stuck his head in the sand” and tried to never think of his mother. This resulted in severe mental issues, including depression and anxiety. It wasn’t until his late 20’s or early 30’s that he started counselling to deal with the pain and issues.

6 Lindsay Lohan (Denies)

Lindsay Lohan has never admitted to struggling with any type of mental health issues, although she has displayed symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Her struggles with drugs and alcohol have been well-documented. She’s had several stints in rehab and has struggled with addiction. However, she’s usually stated that the difficulties have to do with exhaustion, dehydration, and overheating. In 2007, she shot the drama film Georgia Rule. During that time, she was going through a breakup, and it negatively impacted her work. She was somewhat difficult to work with and often showed up late to set. Also in 2007, it was reported that she once chased her mother’s personal assistant around a shopping mall parking lot. Additionally, it was rumored that she punched out a woman at a NYC club. As time has gone on, she lost several movie roles, and her career declined. Much of her unexplained behavior might be related to issues involving mental health.

5 Kid Cudi (Admits)


For years, Kid Cudi has struggled with depression and anxiety. He’s openly talked about his issues on several occasions. In late 2016, he revealed in a Facebook post that he had checked himself into rehab. He wrote, “Yesterday I checked myself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges…my anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember.” He admitted to feeling ashamed, scared, and sad. He felt like he was letting a lot of people down. He apologized to his family and friends but promised to overcome his mental health problems. In the past, he developed an addiction to drugs, alcohol, and prescription medication to manage his anxiety. He noted that with his fame and success, he often pretended to be happy when in public. He also stated, “I have everything I ever dreamed of in terms of stability. But I hadn’t been living that reality, because depression was (expletive) me up.”

4 Kanye West (Denies)

Perhaps one day, Kanye West will be more open about his battle with mental health. He’s mentioned a little but for the most part keeps a tight lip about it all. Kanye is one of the best-selling artists of all time; just ask him, he’ll tell you. He’s known for his rather large ego and erratic behavior. He famously interrupted Taylor Swift while accepting a Grammy to say that Beyoncé should have won. He once said, “My biggest pain in life is that I’ll never be able to see myself perform live.” There is a possibility that some of his unexplained actions are linked to mental health. In the past, he has mentioned being suicidal at times but never elaborated. In late 2016, he was admitted to UCLA medical center for “temporary psychosis” caused by sleep deprivation and dehydration. He was said to be depressed and paranoid but remains officially undiagnosed.

3 Lady Gaga (Admits)


Lady Gaga has helped her fans embrace their unique personalities and to be proud of themselves. Gaga is known for her eccentric personality and fashion sense. She is one of the best-selling musicians of all time and accomplished it by being true to who she is. Gaga credits the LGBTQ community with her massive success and has become a huge supporter of the community. She visited homeless LGBTQ teens in New York. She opened up about her own struggles with mental illness. During an interview with Today, she said, “I told the kids today, ‘I suffer from PTSD.’ I’ve never told anyone that before.” With the help of doctors and family, she has been able to deal with these issues. She feels that it’s helped her better understand LGBTQ kids. “Many of them are trauma survivors. They’ve been rejected in some type of way. My own trauma in my life has helped me to understand the trauma of others,” she said.

2 Charlie Sheen (Denies)


At one point, Charlie Sheen was the highest paid actor on TV. However, he soon had a very public meltdown, which may have been caused by mental illness. In 2011, after completing a stint in rehab, Charlie publicly blasted his then-boss, Chuck Lorre, and made several derogatory comments. He ended up being fired from Two and a Half Men, which resulted in his meltdown. He gave several strange interviews where he claimed to be a warlock with adonis DNA and tiger blood. He’s been in several relationships where he’s been both emotionally and physically abusive. During an interview, he famously said, “I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total b****in’ rock star from Mars.” He’s entered rehab a few times but has never publicly discussed his mental health. Charlie wouldn’t call it a meltdown or mental illness; he’d call it winning.

1 Demi Lovato (Admits)


Demi Lovato has openly discussed her bipolar disorder as well as her struggles with depression, self-harm, and bulimia. She said, “I just think mental illness is something people need to learn more about and the stigma needs to be taken away from.” She’s admitted to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to deal with her mental health. However, she ended up developing a serious addiction to both. In 2010, she entered herself into rehab after punching a backup dancer. She took responsibility for the altercation, and her family urged her to seek help. After her rehab stint, she stayed in a sober-living facility as she felt it was the best way to deal with her issues. She is now living on her own with a puppy and is doing well. She said, “I’m living well with my mental illness–I am actually functioning like a very happy person would.”

Sources: People, Complex

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