It’s okay to not be okay.
Living with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness can be difficult. But if you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Millions of people in the United States — even some of the biggest names in Hollywood — share similar experiences.
From actors and activists to influencers and musicians: these stars have all bravely opened up about their own mental health, and what they do to cope with it.
1. Billie Eilish
Many artists have notoriously spoken out about the woes of touring, but Billie got real about her personal experiences in an interview, explaining that “It felt like an endless limbo. Like there was no end in sight…Thinking about that literally made me throw up…from the anxiety.” After opening up about her experience with depression, self-harm and panic attacks, Billie also revealed that being 17 was the best year of her life, and things have turned around, thanks to her changed perspective.
2. Shawn Mendes
By releasing “In My Blood”, Shawn spurred a worldwide conversation around anxiety. And since then the icon has opened up about using medicine to cope, helping to break that stigma. The 21-year-old artist revealed that among meditating and other coping strategies, he used medication to help him stay calm on stage. Through growth and healing, he’s also been able to move away from that medication. During his show in Glasglow, Scotland on April 6th, he shared: “I think it’s important that you know that today is my very first show without that medicine.”
3. Cole Sprouse
The “Riverdale” star shared a personal story about how he used photography to cope with his depression. On Instagram , Cole wrote: “It was depression that drove me to do it. That’s the real truth. It was depression that led me to the camera.”
4. Lana Condor
Lana covered a wide range of mental health topics in a this video. During the candid on-camera discussion, titled “Hi Anxiety,” the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” lead explained how breathing helps her cope with anxiety, and also offered advice to those dealing with body dysmorphia and eating disorders. “You are definitely not alone…You have to, inside, tell yourself how beautiful you are,” she shared.
5. Dove Cameron
Depression and anxiety aren’t the only types of mental illness out there. In a real and raw interview, the “Descendants” actress detailed her experiences with mania. “I do have episodes of absolutely what feels like mania or something that is like I’m all of a sudden in the pits of despair. I can’t get myself out. I’m on the floor and I’m crying,” she shared.
6. Conor Smith
The In Real Life member, tweeted: “Biggest battle I’ve had to fight is against myself.” Conor, who has previously spoken out about similar topics and about understanding his identity, described his thoughts as “depressing and toxic.” The 20-year-old musician has also incorporated his experiences into his performance and art by rapping his truth.
7. Camila Cabello
In an Instagram post, Camila detailed her experience with social anxiety. She wrote, “I was generally incredibly nervous and socially anxious when I was little.” The former Fifth Harmony singer also spoke openly about how those experiences as a kid have now translated into her adult life.
8. Ariana Grande
In an interview with Troye Sivan, Ariana opened up about her battle with anxiety. “I’ve always had anxiety, I’ve had anxiety for years.” Ariana then explained that it’s during those periods of feeling anxious that she turns to writing music to help her get through the toughest of times.
Using her app and website as a platform, Zendaya revealed that she’s struggled with anxiety ever since a specific event triggered her nearly a decade ago. “It stemmed from a bad experience I had while singing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2013. It wasn’t my best performance and I’ve never let myself live that down. I had mad anxiety ever since that.”
10. Rowan Blanchard
Along with being a talented actress, Rowan is also an activist on an array of social issues that all aim to push our world forward. Rowan has been open on Instagram about her personal mental health struggle. In fact, she’s even taken the time to share with fans some wisdom that she’s gained through reflection and healing. She wrote: “I learned this year that happiness and sadness are not mutually exclusive. They can exist within me at the same time in the same moment.”
11. Niki DeMartino
The YouTuber took to Instagram to gush about her boyfriend’s efforts to help her battle through her depressive slump. She wrote, “I’ve been in a depressive slump. those of you who battle it, knows it comes out of nowhere and it’s hard to snap out of.”
The stigma around mental health makes it difficult to talk about and even more difficult for some people to get help. We’re starting the conversation here, but it doesn’t have to end here. Talking about mental illness and being there for those who may be struggling is the easiest way to help. It may not be easy to open up, but speaking with parents, a counselor, or your friends about what you’re going through is the first step to getting better. If you or someone you know needs immediate help, you can be connected to a crisis counselor here or call 1-800-273-8255.
Want to spread a little kindness? Check out what Lilia Buckingham wrote about being a positive online force.