Both history and present-day reality have taught us that Hollywood and the celeb scene are chock full of toxic masculinity. There have been some strides, but the work that still needs to be done is tremendous.
It's for that reason that it's so remarkable to hear men engage in healthy attitudes publicly. They can so easily get away with not doing so that the act of them doing so becomes something and hey, we all know the bar is in hell.
But all jokes aside, it's taken a lot of grit for guys in Hollywood to speak out on delicate matters like mental health, especially knowing that so many in their industry are somehow going to think differently of them for it.
Here are some of the men who are normalizing discussions of mental health with their very public platforms.
1.Prince Harry has spent the last few years opening up about the grief he experienced losing his mom, Princess Diana, as a teen. He realized that he hadn't dealt with it after many headline-making incidents and realized he needed to heal from within.
"To make that decision to receive help is not a sign of weakness. In today’s world, more than ever, it is a sign of strength," Harry says at the beginning of his mental health docuseries in partnership with Oprah Winfrey, The Me You Can't See.
2.Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has shared that he battled depression after the end of his football career with the Canadian Football League.
"I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone. You're not the first to go through it," he told Oprah Winfrey in a Master Class discussion. "I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], 'Hey, it's going to be okay.'"
3.Ryan Reynolds recently opened up about what it's like to deal with anxiety in the spotlight. He seems like one of the most charming, friendly guys out there, but he says he feels like that persona takes over from his anxious inner self.
"I fixate on things. That's sort of the engine of anxiety. I lay awake at night, wrapping and unwrapping every possible scenario," he told Wall Street Journal Magazine. "I tend to pave over anxiety with work and, to a lesser extent, achievement. You want to tick boxes sometimes. So these days, my goal is to be as present as I can and not just tick a box just to do it."
4.Chance the Rapper talked about his mental health journey in a 2017 Complex interview.
"A really big conversation and idea that I'm getting introduced to right now is Black mental health. 'Cause for a long time that wasn't a thing that we talked about. I don't remember it," he shared. "I don't remember people talking about anxiety; I don't remember, when I was growing up, that really being a thing. Now I'm starting to get a better understanding of that part of my life."
5.In 2011, NFL star Brandon Marshall was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Shortly after, he went public with his diagnosis.
"Before this ordeal, I kept asking God to show me my purpose," he told the Sun-Sentinel at the time. "I'll be the face of BPD. I'll make myself vulnerable if it saves someone's life because I know what I went through this summer helped save mine."
6.Kevin Love first experienced a panic attack years into his NBA career, and it changed his whole perspective on mental health.
"Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are. This is an everyone thing. No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside," he wrote for The Player's Tribune. "Not talking about our inner lives robs us of really getting to know ourselves and robs us of the chance to reach out to others in need."
7.Pete Wentz has been open about his own mental health struggles throughout his career. He's also openly discussed his bipolar diagnosis.
"My best piece of advice, more than anything, is that there's other people out there that feel [suicidal], or are feeling that right at that time," he said. "Maybe your favorite actor, or a guy in a band, or whoever, there are people who feel that exact same thing and have made it through that. I would say more than anything, you're not alone in it."
8.Kid Cudi sought treatment for depression and suicidal ideation in 2016.
"I deserve to have peace," he shared with fans in a Facebook post. "I deserve to be happy and smiling. Why not me? I guess I give so much of myself to others I forgot that I need to show myself some love, too."
9.Brad Pitt has admitted to experiencing bouts of depression throughout his adult life.
"I used to deal with depression, but I don't now, not this decade — maybe last decade," Brad said, referring to the 2000s. "But that's also figuring out who you are. I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester — 'This semester, I was majoring in depression.'"
10.Michael Phelps is known for his incredible accomplishments as an Olympian, but he's also made a point of opening up about his experiences with depression and suicidal ideation.
"You know, for me, I basically carried just about every negative emotion you can possibly carry along for 15, 20 years, and I never talked about it," he told Today. "And I don't know why that one day I decided to just open up. But since that day, it's just been so much easier to live and so much easier to enjoy life, and it's something I'm very thankful for."
11.Chef David Chang opened up about living with bipolar disorder and depression in his 2020 memoir, Eat A Peach. He credited his struggles with arming him with a mentality that he needed to get where is today.
"So much of who I am has been my battle with depression. And my battle with my own self has resulted in a lot of good things and bad things," he told NPR. "But oftentimes, I look back at how I started my restaurant career as an owner, and really the reason why I ventured in doing something so foolish was because I was looking at life in a very binary option."
12.Zayn Malik has talked about having trouble balancing his love of performing with his anxiety.
"The thing is, I love performing. I love the buzz. I don’t want to do any other job. That’s why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain," he shared with TIME. "It’s this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes. Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you’ll enjoy it when you’re doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It’s a constant battle within yourself."
13.Elton John battled substance abuse and bulimia, but it took him 16 years before he was able to get help. He now acknowledges that he thought he was fixing his mental health problems himself.
"It was the best thing I ever did," he shared. "But, you know, those three words — I need help. If only I’d said them earlier."
14.Wentworth Miller responded to public ridicule of his weight by revealing food was his coping mechanism for struggles with depression.
"I've struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights," he told Telegraph. "If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love."
15.Pete Davidson has never shied away from talking about mental health, especially his own. He spoke about it very head-on in the face of harassment he got following his breakup with Ariana Grande.
"I've been getting online bullied and in public by people for nine months. I've spoken about BPD and being suicidal publicly only in the hopes that it will help bring awareness and help kids like myself who don’t want to be on this earth,” he wrote on his since-deleted Instagram. "No matter how hard the internet or anyone tries to make me kill myself. I won't. I'm upset I even have to say this."
16.Jon Hamm opened up in 2010 about tending to his mental health as he experienced the highs and lows of fame.
"I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape. I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment," Jon told The Guardian. "I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: It gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bullshit. It helps."
17.Bruce Springsteen's father was a paranoid schizophrenic, and learning what that meant changed his perspectives on mental health, as well as how he handled his own.
"I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself. I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise, I can swing rather dramatically and...just...the wheels can come off a little bit," he told Esquire. "So we have to watch, in our family. I have to watch my kids, and I’ve been lucky there. It ran in my family going way before my dad."
18.Oscar De La Hoya has struggled with his mental health, as well as addiction, for decades.
"This is the biggest fight of my life," De La Hoya told ABC News. "I could put all my opponents in one ring and battle all of them, but this monster [depression and addiction] is going to be the toughest fight of my life."
19.Jim Carrey has talked about battling depression for nearly two decades.
"I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything's just OK," he told CBS News in 2004. "There are peaks; there are valleys. But they're all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in... I rarely drink coffee. I'm very serious about no alcohol, no drugs. Life is too beautiful."
20.Chris Evans almost walked away from his acting career because of his anxiety after experiencing panic attacks on set. He turned downCaptain Americaseveral times as a result, but with the help of Kevin Feige and Robert Downey Jr., he got some help and went ahead with the role.
"It was the first time I started having mini panic attacks on set. I really started to think, 'I'm not sure if this [acting] is the right thing for me; I'm not sure if I'm feeling as healthy as I should be feeling,'" he recalled. "To be honest, all the things that I was fearing never really came to fruition."
What celebrity do you think does the best job speaking about mental health? Whose story has stuck with you? Share in the comments!
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