Mental health issues do not discriminate. It is a fact that 1/4 of us will suffer a mental health issue at some point in our life, regardless of gender, class, or ethnicity. This also applies to celebrities. It may be hard to imagine that their lives are not as perfect as their social media posts portray, but the truth can be very different.
Being constantly photographed, judged and scrutinised by the media it’s no wonder that many celebrities feel insecure and paranoid about their looks. Despite being named one of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ in 2009 by The People Magazine, Twilight star Robert Pattinson has been very open about his struggles with body dysmorphic disorder, where those with the condition believe an aspect of their own body is severely flawed. He explained: “I get a ton of anxiety, right up until the second I get out of the car to an event when suddenly it completely dissipates. But up until that moment, I’m a nut case. Body dysmorphia, overall tremendous anxiety.”
The constant, relentless lifestyle that many celebrities endure crammed full of events, tours and travelling can also take its toll on mental health. In recent years Justin Bieber cancelled the remainder of his tour to heal his “mind, heart and soul”, opening up about how his lifestyle has caused him to suffer from insomnia – forcing him to step back from his usual chaotic position in the limelight.
Despite the enormous impact that mental illness has had on celebrities’ lives, we cannot ignore the huge awareness that has been raised surrounding mental health; that wouldn’t have been possible unless their stories had been shared. By normalising mental health issues and diminishing the stigma that mental illnesses are abnormal; they have set a prime example to younger generations.
However, it is important to realise that some young people are impressionable, and although celebrities may not realise this, they may be indirectly glorifying mental illness. Nevertheless, as long as the right support is available and celebrities are careful about the way they express their experiences, their impact is positive, and the message they send out to the world is vital.
For more information or support surrounding mental health visit Mind.