Comedian and actress Sarah Silverman just shared her deeply personal story with Glamour, and it got me thinking who are some other outspoken people using their platforms to shatter the stigma about mental health? Here is Sarah’s story and four others.
1. Sarah Silverman lives with depression and anxiety.
What it is: Depression is a mood disorder that causes people to lose interest in things around them and feel an unshakeable sadness. Anxiety is a build up of worry and nervousness about things with unpredictable outcomes.
“Then, at 22, I got hired as a writer-performer for ‘Saturday Night Live.’ The whole world was open to me! But one night, sitting in my apartment watching ‘90210,’ something came over me again. Though it had been nine years, I knew the feeling immediately: depression. Panic. I’d thought it was gone forever, but it was back. My friend Mark helped me get through it. He found me a therapist at 2:00 A.M. and informed me that no, I would not be quitting ‘SNL’ in the morning and moving back to New Hampshire. Instead I got a prescription for Klonopin, which blocks panic attacks. It saved my life, even when I was fired from ‘SNL’ at the end of the season.”
2. Demi Lovato lives with bipolar disorder.
What it is: A disorder that can cause manic highs and devastating lows, sometimes with short transition times between the two extremes.
“I never found out until I went into treatment that I was bipolar.”
“Looking back it makes sense. There were times when I was so manic, I was writing seven songs in one night and I’d be up until 5:30 in the morning.”
3. David Beckham lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What it is: An urge to check things over and over or perform certain rituals. It can be disruptive to daily life.
I’ll go into a hotel room. Before I can relax I have to move all the leaflets and all the books and put them in a drawer. Everything has to be perfect.”
4. Olivia Munn lives with trichotillomania.
What it is: A compulsive urge to pull out hair, usually triggered by anxiety.
I don’t bite my nails, but I rip out my eyelashes. 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.”
5. Channing Tatum lives with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.*
What it is: A chronic condition that makes it difficult to pay attention, be still, and resist impulsive urges.
I have never considered myself a very smart person, for a lot of reasons,” he says. Not having early success on that one path messes with you. You get lumped in classes with kids with autism and Down Syndrome, and you look around and say, Okay, so this is where I’m at. Or you get put in the typical classes and you say, All right, I’m obviously not like these kids either. So you’re kind of nowhere. You’re just different. The system is broken. If we can streamline a multibillion-dollar company, we should be able to help kids who struggle the way I did.”
The great thing about people being willing to share their experiences so bravely is that it can make us all feel a little more courageous in letting others in on our personal struggles. If you think we can start to deal with mental health constructively and together, sharing these stories is a great place to start.