Famous People With Mental Illnesses

Dr. Niraj Singh Yadav
9 min readMay 28, 2023
Famous People With Mental Illnesses

Famous people with mental illnesses

Mental illness can affect anyone, no matter how rich or famous they are, and these famous people with mental illnesses are proof of that.

Many people are still ignorant to the fact that mental illness affects their favorite celebrities just as much as it affects the average person on the street.

This list of famous people with mental illnesses includes actors, musicians, reality TV stars, sportsperson and more.

In order to fully understand the effects of mental illness on those involved in the entertainment industry, it is important to include them in this list as well.

Here are the lists of famous people with mental illnesses….

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Jake Gyllenhaal an American actor revealed that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The actor explained that his family has a history of mental illness and bipolar disorder, which can affect people in different ways.

It was only once he was older that he decided to get help for it. There is not a day when I don’t have an hour of something on my to-do list, and you know what? That makes me happy, he said. That fulfills me.

The Interview star also discussed how while getting help made him feel better about himself, it does not make him special. It is important to understand we all have mental issues because no one is perfect.

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt

Some people with mental illness are able to hide it well, while others are not. Brad Pitt has been struggling with his mental health since his early 20s and had his first stint in a mental hospital when he was 22 years old.

“I am a recovering alcoholic in Alcoholic Anonymous”, Pitt said during an interview with Rolling Stone.

I have been dealing with anxiety issues, which means I can not drink.

He has suffered from depression and frequently uses Alcoholics Anonymous to help him cope.

Angelina Jolie

When famous American actress and an academy award winner, Angelina Jolie revealed that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy, her announcement sparked new conversations about cancer and mental illness.

This courageous and compassionate woman has been open about living with a genetic mutation that predisposes her to breast cancer.

She also suffers from depression, which means she is at higher risk for health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

In early 2013, she said that depression was worse than cancer because your mind is saying ‘kill yourself’.

She sought out therapy as a remedy for her depression, so it is no surprise that when these two issues went hand in hand her breast cancer diagnosis followed closely behind her experience with postpartum depression after giving birth to daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie decided to take control of both issues.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Eating disorders are one of those mental illnesses that can affect anyone, regardless of gender, social status or age.

It is estimated that 90 percent of people with eating disorders are young women between 15 and 24 years old.

These disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

Despite how common they are, there is still a huge stigma associated with them.

That is the reason why many celebrities choose to remain quiet about their illness, but not Gwyneth Paltrow.

In her 2015 GOOP newsletter, she openly discussed her struggles with anorexia nervosa, noting that it took years for her to feel like herself again.

Amanda Seyfried

Actress Amanda Seyfried recently opened up about her mental illness, which she described as an anxiety disorder.

I have had really bad anxiety and major depression and panic attacks my whole life, she said in an interview with Net-A-Porter.

Natalie Portman

Harvard graduate Natalie Portman dropped out of college to pursue her acting career.

Her decision to quit school led to a psychiatric hospitalization and a year-long stay in an institution.

In 2006, she received an Academy Award for Best Actress. She is known for her roles in V for Vendetta, Closer, Garden State, and Black Swan.

Justin Timberlake

Although Timberlake might not have publicly come out and said he has bipolar disorder, he has been open about his struggle with depression.

His openness could be because his father had a history of alcoholism and died by suicide when Justin was four years old.

I am not immune to depression. That is very real. But I do know it is something that isnot going to last forever, he told Vogue in 2013.

Even if you have a mental illness, or if your brain does not work in a way that it should, like mine, you can still lead a normal life.

Drew Barrymore

An addiction to painkillers, a suicide attempt at age 7 and an ongoing struggle with PTSD are just some of Drew Barrymore’s painful past experiences.

The Scream and Charlie’s Angels star has battled severe depression since she was a child.

I grew up in a very dysfunctional family, she told CNN in 2008.

My parents did not protect me. Now sober for six years, Barrymore says her family history contributed to her depression.

Mental illness does run in my family, she said on Anderson Cooper 360°.

Winona Ryder

Known for her Oscar-nominated performance in Little Women, Ryder was arrested in 2001 after she was caught shoplifting more than $5,000 worth of merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Just one year later, she received a second arrest for misdemeanor theft when she allegedly stole clothes and other items from another store.

The actress has reportedly struggled with depression, anxiety and panic attacks since childhood, which may have contributed to her legal troubles. I went into a deep depression, Ryder told Glamour magazine in 2009.

Colin Farrell

After struggling with heroin addiction and suffering from a panic attack, Farrell struggled to regain his place in Hollywood.

He has since gone on to star in several blockbuster films, including Total Recall and Phone Booth.

More recently, he appears to be enjoying life as a family man following his recent marriage to former Miss Ireland Yvonne Walcott.

While his career is on an upward swing once again, Farrell remains open about mental illness and sees it as nothing more than another label that should not define him or anyone else.

Abraham Lincoln

Can you tell me, Who wrote the following words?

“I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.”

There are many mental health professionals, who did not know that, this was very famous and influential person suffered from mental illness “melancholy.” (a mood of sadness which lasts for a long time)

The answer is Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln battled his depression and generalized anxiety disorder all over his life. He went through many ups and downs in his life.

Even at the times, he was very close to committing suicide and admitting overcome to his mental health problems.

Michael Phelps (Olympic swimmer)

Every day, Michael Phelps, decorated American Olympian of all time works out in his home gym. most also works on his mental health daily.

After spending time with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts for years, he began prioritizing putting equal importance on his physical and mental health.

In 2004, after winning six gold and two bronze medals at the Athens Olympics, Michael Phelps said he felt “post-Olympic depression” for the first time in his life.

Ricky williams

An American former professional football player Ricky Williams even better known for his progressive views on weed. Suspended five times for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, Williams actually missed two full seasons on account of his marijuana usage.

He suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) also called social phobia.

Social anxiety disorder is a type of mental illness, mainly characterized by an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others.

This fear can have an effect on work, school, and other daily activities. Sometimes it can even make it hard to make and keep friends. But the good news is social anxiety disorder is treatable.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is a British business magnate, adventurer and commercial astronaut. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Airlines. He has dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit and hyperkinetic disorder).

He performed poorly academically. On his last day at school, his headmaster told him he would either “end up in prison or become a millionaire.”

This mental illnesses (dyslexia and ADHD) has not stopped him from building a major record label in his life.

David Neeleman (Founder of JetBlue Airways)

A famous Airline serial entrepreneur David Neeleman has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. His school was torture.

He struggled with standardized tests in school, but chose to focus on his strengths rather than his weaknesses.

Terry Bradshaw

(An American football player and former quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers)

Terry Paxton Bradshaw an American former professional football player

The first player selected in the 1970 draft, Terry Bradshaw became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in history. He leads, the Steelers to win four Super Bowl championships, six AFC championship games and eight straight playoff appearances (1972–79).

He had diagnosed with clinical depression in 1999 after experiencing anxiety attacks, intense anger frustration, alcohol abuse, and sleeplessness. Bradshaw now maintains his mental health with medicines, therapy, and faith.

I think there is practical value in knowing about famous/successful people who suffered from mental health problems.

There are several potential benefits from knowing about these persons and their disorders.

One of the main ones is that we can share this knowledge with our patients and provide them with hope and encouragement that having a mental disorder does not necessarily mean that a person cannot be productive, successful, or happy.

It is not just only celebrities who suffer from mental health disorders.

Every day, millions of Americans face similar illnesses and can benefit from therapy, psychotherapy or counseling to manage their symptoms and move on with their lives.

If you or someone you know is stressed and struggling with mental illness, consider seeking help.

Originally published at https://www.nirajhealth.com on May 28, 2023.



Dr. Niraj Singh Yadav

I am a Neuro-Psychitrist and blogger used to write health and fitness related articles regularly.