Anxiety can manifest in many forms. A constant feeling nervousness, rapidly increasing heart rate, sweaty palms, and a vague sense of impending doom, are some of the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Most people deal with anxiety to some degree at some point in their life, but there are an estimated 40 million people in the United States, for whom this feeling of anxiousness is part of their daily life.
Panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder are different types of anxiety disorders. Though each person experiences it slightly differently in terms of severity, in its most extreme form, this condition can affect every aspect of a person’s life, from work to dating and even going out in public.
Around 18% of adults in the United States have some form of anxiety disorder, yet there is still a stigma associated with it. Recently there is a push to normalize the public perception of this disorder, and not only doctors and researchers, but celebrities are also at the helm of bringing the conversation about anxiety disorder into the mainstream. They are talking about their own experiences with anxiety to raise awareness.
Here is a list of celebrities who talked about their experiences
Adele looks effortless on a stage, but she has an extreme form of stage fright. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2011, Adele told them that she regularly suffered from anxiety attacks. These often occur due to a demanding performance schedule. “I’m scared of audiences,” she said. “One show in Amsterdam, I was so nervous, I escaped out the fire exit. I have thrown up a couple of times,” she continues, “once in Brussels, I projectile-vomited on someone. I just got to bear it. But I don’t like touring. I have anxiety attacks a lot.”
Emma Stone says that she suffers from anxiety and panic attacks since she was a kid. She told the Wall Street Journal, “The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down,” she continues, “I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years, it just would not stop.” She claims that acting helped her overcome her condition. “There is something about the immediacy of acting.” She said. “You can not afford to think about a million other things. You have to think about the task at hand. Acting forces me to be like a Zen master: What is happening right at this moment?”
Though not everyone can follow her lead to fight their anxiety problems, the essence of it is what anyone can follow. One can apply this advice to the practice of mindfulness, which encourages them to take deep breaths and live in the moment. It can divert their mind off of the feeling of anxiousness.
People recognize her as the co-host of the View. She has a specific form of anxiety; she has a fear of flying. She told CNN in an interview in 2011 that she had avoided flying for about 30 years. Her fears started when she witnesses a mid-air collision on the balcony of her hotel room. She said, for decades, she traveled around the country exclusively by a train or a bus. Later in her life, she participated in exposure therapy, which was an airline program targeted at anxious flyers. She said, “Some people meant to fly,” she continues, “And I don’t know if I meant to fly, but I do it now.”
Though women are 60% more likely to have an anxiety disorder as compared to men, it doesn’t mean that men are immune to this condition. In a TV interview back in 2006, the star Scooter player, David Beckham revealed that he as OCD, that can manifest itself in ritualistic, repetitive behavior, involving sorting or cleanliness. He told the interviewer “I have got this obsessive-compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line or everything to be in pairs,” he said “I will put my Pepsi cans in a fridge, and if there is one too many then I will put it in another cupboard somewhere. Everything has to be perfect.”
At the time, many praised Beckham for coming forward with his struggles. An OCD U.K. representative told the Independent, “There is still a lot of stigma about the condition and GPs are not very good at picking up on it,” he said, “Young men, are often reluctant to ask for treatment, so to have a person like David Beckham coming out and talking about it is very good.”
Black in 2006, popstar Selena Gomez took a break from her career because of panic attacks, depression, and anxiety connected to her lupus. In early 2018, Gomez spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about her mental health and the reason behind her taking time to create new music. She told the Harpers’ “I have had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it is not something I feel I will overcome,” she added, “I want to make sure I am healthy. If that is good, everything else will fall into place.”
She has been open about her anxiety disorder. In 2014 she told People Magzine that she has kind of worn anxiety grooves in her brain. It does not always sound good in there. Referring to the exercise therapy, she wrote an Instagram post, “To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression. I know it is mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen,” she added, “I’m glad I did. It isn’t about the ass; it is about the brain.”
Lawrence started dealing with anxiety as a teenager. At first, she did not know what it was. In an interview, she told Madame Figaro, “When I started school, the light went out. I never knew what it was, a kind of social anxiety.” Later she seeks out medical help and got prescription medications. She recently talks to the New York Times, and said, “I find a kind of peace by thinking of me in public as an avatar self. You can have the avatar me. I can keep me. And I try to acknowledge that this scrutiny is stressful and that anyone would find it stressful.”
Even Oprah Winfrey is not immune to the occasional anxiety attacks. She describes a panic attack she had back in 2012 on the set of Lee Daniels’ The Butler, “In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing.” She said in an Access Hollywood interview, “I will tell you, when I realized that I thought, All right if I don’t calm down, I am going to be in serious trouble. I was doing the voiceovers, and I remember closing my eyes between each page. Looking at the page and the words at the same time were too much stimulation for my brain.”
In 2017, after the bombing at the Manchester Arena concert, Ariana Granade experienced PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) symptoms. In an interview given for the British Vogue cover story, she reveals that she had anxiety for a long time. “I have always had anxiety. I have never spoken about it as I thought everyone had it. When I got home for the tour, it was the most severe I think it has ever been,” she said.
Chris has talked about his battle with anxiety in various interviews, claiming, “sometimes I struggle with anxiety, especially when promoting films like this,” he told ShortList magazine at a promotion event for Captain America. “Just doing what I do, and to be in the public eye, is stressful.”
He went to therapy after getting the role of Captain America. “it’s good to talk about what you are struggling with,” he said at the New York Times interview, “It is not like I had a massive breakthrough, but for some reason, it feels more manageable.”