15 Celebs Who Are Shutting Down Stigmas About Mental Illness

“I say constantly that there’s no shame in dealing with these things."

by Katie Kausch

With almost 19% of adults in the United States experiencing a mental illness in any given year, it should come as no surprise that many celebrities live with mental illness too.

In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week (which runs from Oct. 4 through 10), here are 15 celebrities who have shared their stories about mental illness and health. By speaking out about their experiences and what they do to take care of themselves, they're helping to decrease the stigma associated with living with a mental illness.

Demi Lovato



Lovato is open about her experience with both bipolar disorder and an eating disorder. She has been an outspoken advocate for people with mental illnesses and honest about the difficulties associated with her recovery.

"I cannot tell you that I haven’t thrown up since treatment – I cannot tell you that I have not cut myself since treatment," she said in her MTV Documentary, "Demi Lovato: Stay Strong."

Pete Wentz


BBC Radio 1'

The Fall Out Boy front-man has been candid about his depression, anxiety and suicide attempt. "I was happier doing music, but at the same time I did feel ... I always kind of had this underlying depression that happened in high school, and happened again in college," Wentz told MTV News' Half Of Us Campaign.

"It felt paralyzing at that time," Wentz said, describing his anxiety while writing his band's Platinum album, "From Under The Cork Tree."

J.K. Rowling


J.K Rowling - In Conversation

Rowling has never shied away from talking about her depression. "What's to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time, and I am quite proud that I got out of that," she told a student journalist in 2008, the Associated Press reports.

The Harry Potter author has also been a source of hope for many in difficult moments, including through the famous Dumbledore quote, "Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light."

Lena Dunham

Living with OCD, anxiety and depression hasn't stopped Dunham from a successful career. She recently opened up on Instagram about how exercise helps her cope, writing, "It has helped with my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible. To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it's mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I'm glad I did. It ain't about the ass, it's about the brain."

Drew Barrymore



Famous since childhood, Barrymore struggled with drug and alcohol addiction as a young girl. A suicide attempt as a teen also lead to a three-month stay in a rehabilitation facility, according to People, and which the actress discussed in her autobiography, Little Girl Lost.

Barrymore has reportedly never relapsed, and has since had a successful career acting and directing.

Hayden Panettiere


66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

The new mom recently opened up with her experiences of postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter in December 2014.

"It's something a lot of women experience. When [you hear] about postpartum depression you think it's 'I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child,'" the Nashville star said on "Live! With Kelly and Michael."

"I’ve never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal."

Troian Bellisario


Famous for playing a character with a prescription pill addiction, Bellisario has dealt with her own mental health challenges.

"I started self-harming when I was a junior," Bellisario told Seventeen Magazine in 2014. "I would withhold food or withhold going out with my friends, based on how well I did that day in school ... I didn’t know what was right and what was wrong, so I think I created this bizarre system of checks and balances to create order in my world. But it really backfired."

John Green


The Fault In Our Stars author has been candid about his anxiety on his Tumblr page, answering anonymous questions from fans about how to live with it.

"It's not easy and I don’t always do it well, but I’ve been living with this for a long time and have a good medication regimen that works pretty well (at the moment at least) and also have a good therapist I’m able to work really closely with," Green wrote to a fan. "None of that happened overnight, and it's a difficult thing to live while you're figuring out how to manage it. But it's important to know that it can get better, and that you are not alone in this experience."

Olivia Munn


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Munn lives with social anxiety and trichotillomania, which is the obsessive compulsion to rip out your own hair.

"I don't bite my nails, but I rip out my eyelashes," the "Newsroom" actress told the New York Daily News. "It doesn’t hurt, but it's really annoying. Every time I run out of the house, I have to stop and pick up a whole set of fake eyelashes."

Angelina Jolie


The 20th Annual Critics'

Jolie's turbulent youth has been well documented, and in 2010 she revealed to OK! Magazine that at 14 she began cutting herself with her boyfriend. She said she turned to cutting when "sex didn't feel enough and emotions didn't feel enough."

"I went through a period that when I felt trapped I would cut myself. I have a lot of scars," she said.

Collin Farrell



Farrell spent six weeks in a rehabilitation center to address his depression and drug and alcohol addictions.

"Desperation will allow you to do incredible things in the name of survival ... I had created an environment for myself, a way of living for myself which, on the outside, seemed incredibly gregarious and vivacious," he said on "Friday Night With Jonathan Ross."

"I don't believe I have any chemical predisposition towards depression, but let's just call it... I was suffering from a spiritual malady for years and I indulged it."

Russel Brand


Russell Brand Delivers The Reading Agency Lecture

Brand has been open about his body image and food issues, telling The Guardian that he has struggled with bulimia. "It was really unusual in boys, quite embarrassing. But I found it euphoric. It was clearly about getting out of myself and isolation. Feeling inadequate and unpleasant."

The comedian also still regularly attends Alcoholics and Narcotics anonymous meetings to control his drug and alcohol addictions.

Jared Padalecki



Padalecki has lived with major depression for years.

"I say constantly that there’s no shame in dealing with these things," Padalecki told Variety in an in-depth interview. "There's no shame in having to fight every day, but fighting every day, and presumably, if you're still alive to hear these words or read this interview, then you are winning your war. You're here."

Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz

Although he has never publicly mentioned a diagnosis, Mraz talked about how he tries to ward off his depression frequently.

"I think the reason my music focuses on optimism," he told The LA Times, "is because that's what I'm focused on so that I'm not depressed all the time. It's no accident that every song is about, 'Here's how you can feel better,' because it's just in my nature to generally wake up on the wrong side of the bed."

Jack Harries


vInspired LIVE

The YouTube star revealed he lives with depression in a video, as part of an effort to encourage conversation about mental health.

"From what I've seen, more often than not, people dealing with a mental illness find it harder to deal with the stigma than they do the mental illness itself, and that is crazy because the stigma is created by us," he said. "Mental health disabilities are an illness, not a weakness. They are an issue, not an identity."

The National Alliance on Mental Illness wants to end the stigmas surrounding this topic. You can take the StigmaFree Pledge, and tweet your story using the #IAmStigmaFree.