David Harbour and 10 Other Celebs Who Have Been Candid About Their Mental Health Struggles

The observance of World Mental Health Day last week might have urged people to become more open and willing to have conversations, but the truth is, everywhere, someone is suffering. No one is immune to experiencing bouts of emotional or mental health issues, and many find solace in the fact that they’re not alone.

Many celebrities have opened up about their personal battles when it comes to mental illness, and some are vocal about seeking help or needing time to work through their issues. Below is a list of stars who have chosen to be vulnerable with the public about their own inner struggles.

David Harbour
David Harbour on ‘SNL’ | Will Heath/NBC/Getty Images

David Harbour

Stranger Things actor David Harbour recently went on the Blank Podcast to discuss how acting has given him a “lifeline” as he lives with bipolar disorder. “It has made working even more vital to me – it’s kind of a lifeline. If I wasn’t an artist I’d be a lot worse off and it’s made work more vital.”

Harbour was diagnosed years ago and in previous interviews, has stated that he kept it under wraps because he feared he’d lose out on acting jobs.

Lady Gaga

Several years ago, Lady Gaga revealed that she has post traumatic stress disorder due to a sexual assault that happened to her at age 19. In 2018, she told Self magazine that the PTSD has contributed to emotional pain and physical pain. She remains an advocate for mental health and sexual assault survivors.

Mariah Carey

The pop star did an interview with People in 2018 where she told the world about her bipolar diagnosis, which she first learned about in 2001. Like Harbour, she thought sharing her secret would reflect poorly on her career, but she decided to get professional help and wanted to tell her story.

“I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music. I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating.”

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey | Amy Sussman/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Jared Padalecki

The Supernatural star has been open about his ups and downs with depression and anxiety, and he wound up inspiring fans to speak about their own struggles.

Padalecki’s charity work includes the launch of his “Always Keep Fighting” campaign, which is in partnership with the organization, To Write Love On Her Arms, which supports people dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses.

Jared Padalecki
Jared Padalecki | Getty Images/Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

DMX

This weekend, DMX checked himself back into rehab, as he’s been struggling with substance addiction for years. But in 2013, he talked about his bipolar diagnosis with Dr. Phil and how it affects his family and career. Billboard reports that his recent concert cancellations and visit to rehab are necessary so he can seek the treatment that he needs for all his issues.

Kid Cudi

Rapper Kid Cudi has once described his depression as “crippling” and said he didn’t know what peace felt like. In 2016, he checked himself into rehab to seek treatment for suicidal urges and depression. During an appearance on the Red Table Talk last year, he spoke about his past pain and how he kicked his substance abuse habit.

Demi Lovato

Singer Demi Lovato has been honest about her bipolar condition and the fact that she’s had suicidal thoughts. She too has battled substance abuse problems and experienced an eating disorder, depression, and myriad mental illnesses. Lovato is committed to helping others as a mental health advocate and works with communities around the world to raise awareness and provide support.

Lili Reinhart

Reinhart once shared that when the opportunity to work on Riverdale appeared, she was going through the worst depression of her life. The actress has talked about her own depression and anxiety on social media and encourages others to get therapy like her, something she’s benefited from regularly.

Lili Reinhart
‘Riverdale’ actress Lili Reinhart | Rachel Luna/FilmMagic

Sophie Turner

Games of Thrones actress Sophie Turner appeared on Dr. Phil’s podcast earlier this year to talk about her painful struggle with depression and cyberbullying. It affected to her the point where she didn’t want to go anywhere and drove her to tears. She credits therapy and her husband with helping her get to a better place.

“I love myself now, or more than I used to. I’m now with someone that makes me realize, you know, that I do have some redeeming qualities, I suppose, and when someone tells you they love you every day, it makes you realize why that is, and I think it makes you love yourself a bit more.”

Serena Williams

As a new mom, Williams admitted that she had difficulty navigating post-partum emotions. Along with that, there have been moments in her career that have caused her mental and physical distress. But in her 2018 essay published in Harper’s Bazaar, she spoke about the need to seek therapy. She continues to speak out about mental health issues.   

Ruby Rose

Recently, the model/actress told her own story about dealing with PTSD, suicidal thoughts, and depression. In a lengthy Instagram post, Rose described her experiences which began during her childhood and continued into adulthood. She ended her message with a note about self-love and self-care.

Most of these celebrities chose to be candid in the hopes of removing the stigma and shame that is part of the perception of mental illness. Seek assistance. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text Crisis Text Line at 741-741.