We are no stranger to anxiety these days. In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic alone, the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. At this point in time, there’s likely someone you know who deals with anxiety, even if you yourself do not.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. — before the pandemic, it was documented that anxiety affects on average 40 million adults, or 18.1 percent of the population, every year, per statistics from Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Of course not everyone who has anxiety has been diagnosed and treated, so there are many more people who live with anxiety than who have access to treatment. Anxiety manifests itself in different ways for different people — one such manifestation is panic attacks. In terms of the numbers, panic disorder affects 6 million adults, or 2.7 percent of the population, with women twice as likely to be affected as men.
We’ve established how common it is to live with mental illness, especially anxiety. Anxious thoughts do not discriminate — not even if you have celebrity status. It’s easy to put celebrities on a pedestal and think that their lives are perfectly “happy” and void of the mental health struggles that the rest of us may have, but that is just not true. Sometimes they can be even more debilitating for people who are famous and might spend a lot of time either alone or guarded from appearing in public.
If you’ve ever had a panic attack or have anxiety, you know how excruciating they can be to deal with, and you are not alone. Many celebrities have been open about mental illness in hopes of normalizing it and encouraging people to seek treatment if they need it.
Read on to hear more about some celebrities with anxiety who have shared their experiences coping with their mental health.
A version of this article was originally published in March 2016.
Emma Stone opened up to The Wall Street Journal about panic attacks in June 2015.
Sarah Silverman told Glamour in October 2015 she first experienced panic attacks and depression as early as age 13.
Taylor Swift opened up to NME in October 2015 about anxiety.
Lena Dunham posted a photo of herself dressed in workout clothes on Instagram along with a motivational caption about mental health and anxiety.
Amanda Seyfried revealed to Glamour U.K. in October 2011 she has panic attacks.
In an interview with Elle U.K. in August 2016, Kristen Stewart addressed her mental health.
Demi Lovato opened up to Nylon in January 2014 about her anxiety.
Dakota Johnson revealed to Nylon in September 2015 she'll sometimes have an anxiety attack before auditions.
Jennifer Lawrence opened up to French magazine Madame Figaro in November 2013 about her social anxiety.
Adele told Rolling Stone in April 2011 she gets "shitty scared" of audiences.
Kim Basinger opened up to New York Post in May 2007.
Oprah Winfrey told Access Hollywood in September 2013 that she had a near mental health breakdown in 2012.
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