Does growing fame cause mental health problems? Celebs are sharing awareness on mental health, New fad?

Why are celebrities beginning to speak out? (source: NBS new)

More and more people are sharing about their experiences with mental health problems. Although it was a stigma in the past, it is now common to see even celebrities talking openly about their mental health conditions. However, many people have now begun to wonder whether all of this is just an act that they are putting up in order to gain more fame and the title of being “influencers”. Because if we think about it, it is true to some extent that more celebrities than ever before have started to speak out. In fact it seems, rather than non-celebrities, it is celebrities who seem to be suffering and speaking out more. But could this also mean that growing fame causes mental health problems? What is the real deal? Are celebrities just putting up a show and is this just a new craze? Well, let’s discuss a bit.

Who are some notable celebrities that have opened up about their mental health conditions?

Some of the many celebrities who have spoken up about their mental health conditions include:

  • Kendal Jenner– “I have such debilitating anxiety because of everything going on that I literally wake up in the middle of the night with full-on panic attacks,” she told Cara Delevingne in an interview. With so many negative comments being passed here and there online, she said that it can get extremely difficult to stay positive.
  • Adele– After having her son, Adele spoke out about suffering from post-partum depression. Since then she says that she has been slipping in and out of depression constantly. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant.” she said. ”Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it.”
  • Ryan Renolds– When shooting for Deadpool, Ryan Renolds was suffering from anxiety. It was so bad that he says he was unable to fall asleep at night. “The expectations were eating me alive” he said.
  • Miley Cyrus– “[Depression is] more of an issue than people really want to talk about. Because people don’t know how to talk about being depressed—that it’s totally okay to feel sad. I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down.” She has since encouraged everyone who is struggling, to talk to someone about what they are going through.
  • Ellen Degeneres– “When I walked out of the studio after five years of working so hard, knowing I had been treated so disrespectfully for no other reason than I was gay, I just went into this deep, deep depression. It’s so corny but it’s true.“ Ellen has since gone uphill and fought through her depression to today being one of the happiest, most successful celebrities the world has ever known.
  • Dwayne Johnson– when talking about his battle with depression, he said “You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it. “ When talking about how important support is for someone going through mental health disorders, he said “I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK. It’ll be OK.’ So, I wish I knew that.”

What are the factors that are known to contribute to mental health disorders?

According to medical research, factors which contribute to mental health disorders include:

  • Genetics– Many researches have shown that mental illnesses can run in families. Having parents who suffer from mental diseases can lead to higher risk of their child suffering from the same disease. Experts believe that mental illnesses can be linked to several human genes.
  • Infections– Infections that affect the brain have also been suggested to cause mental disorders.
  • Brain defects or injury– brain defects or injuries in some specific areas of the brain have also been shown to lead to mental health problems. Improper brain development in the fetus can also lead to mental disorders in the future.
  • Substance Abuse– Abuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs is also a leading cause of depression, anxiety and paranoia.
  • Childhood Trauma– Severe childhood trauma, be it physical, emotional or sexual has often shown to impact the psychological development of the person- eventually leading to mental disorders. These may also include neglect and lack of empathy.
  • Expectations– High expectations from your society, peers, family or yourself can often lead to severe anxiety
  • Low self-esteem, loneliness and feelings of inadequacy have been seen to be major factors in causing depression.
  • Other factors may include- toxins, poor nutrition

Is it really fame that causes mental health problems?

With so many celebrities suffering from mental health conditions, it seems fair to assume that fame causes mental health problems. But that statement is far from the truth. All we see are the more luxurious, easy sides of being a celebrity. However, there are a plethora of difficulties that celebrities go through- and these are the factors that lead to mental health problems, not fame.

What factors? You may ask. Well, to begin, celebrities are never able to enjoy a “normal life”. Their every step, every move is being watched, supervised and photographed. With the immense pressure of being an idol to millions around the globe, many times, they are unable to live life according to their own rules. This many times also interferes with their personal relationships which may suffer grave consequences as a result. This in turn leads to loneliness

There is also always a pressure of having to stay relevant and having hefty piles of expectations to live up to. Everyone’s time in the spotlight comes, but the troubles begin when people begin to forget them and they no longer seem relevant. Celebrities are constantly under the pressure of having to do something bigger, better. This can lead to a major blow to their self-esteem while making celebrities more anxious than ever. And with so much anxiety, it is rather difficult to refrain from substance abuse. So you see, it can be a chain of reactions leading to the growing amount of mental disorders today.

Social media is another important factor that has added to the burden, especially when it comes to celebrities. People today can easily leave mean comments and snide remarks. With so much negativity, it definitely can get difficult to cultivate positive thoughts and positive vibes.

How has celebrities speaking up helped others who are suffering from mental health conditions?

Celebrities speaking up about their mental health conditions have greatly encouraged everyone to seek help. Because of this, the stigma surrounding mental health problems are fading away day by day. Fans of celebrities have formed social circles where they are able to talk to each other about their problems. It is not a fad; it is merely celebrities showing us a more humane part of themselves, which they have been burying for so long. In this light, celebrities speaking up about their problems just works to remind us that we are all human, that we all need help from time to time and we should never be afraid to ask for help if ever need be.


Maren Morris

Bob Seger