Famous male public figures who have sought mental health advice and have spoken out about their state of mind in the last year, have been increasingly open about their mental health struggles. It is certainly becoming an increasingly familiar sight to see those in the public eye talking openly about issues from anxiety to PTSD and all manner of other areas that have affected them. The mental health advice that they have found and are giving is clearly encouraging them to open up and that can only be a good thing. Some of those that we hear from are expected while others less so – all for very different reasons – because everyone’s life experience is unique. It’s also interesting to see that those that are coming forward and seeking therapy are from such a wide variety of areas. Whether it’s actors or musicians, celebrities on TV or from the world of sport, it’s helpful to see that these men in the public eye are just as susceptible to mental health struggles as the rest of us.
It’s No longer about being told to man up
From the top and possibly one of the most expected – Prince Harry has been vocal about his own mental health challenges, discussing the impact of the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and his experiences with therapy and counselling. Given that he has lived his entire life in the public eye, has had plenty of stress and trauma to deal with and also had to see it played out on TV and in the newspapers, it’s very unsurprising that he has sought out mental health advice from a young age. Even now, he’s currently in the process of taking the newspapers to task about invasion of his privacy which he has talked about being a severe attack on his mind, his family and his life.
Highly successful actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the actor and former professional wrestler has spoken about his battles with depression, highlighting the importance of seeking help and eliminating the stigma around mental health. As an advocate for positive mindsets and striving to improve, it’s clear to see that the mental health advice that he has received has had a major impact on where he finds himself now.
The much loved and entertaining Ryan Reynolds, has shared his experiences with anxiety, discussing how he manages his mental health and emphasising the need to break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Whether it’s dealing with the death of his father, working in an unrelenting industry in Hollywood or buying a football in Wrexham FC, the Deadpool actor has benefitted from therapy sessions to help him. For someone like Reynolds, there is the added pressure of keeping up appearances where he is ‘expected’ to be funny or play the characters that he portrays and talking about his anxiety, seeking therapy and generally being open with his feelings has helped him a lot.
Sportsmen and mental health
Sport has traditionally been seen as a ‘macho’ environment where anxiety issues or openly dealing with trauma can be seen as a weakness. Indeed, there is often a school of thought that sports star earn enough money to be able to deal with any kind of mental issues discreetly or even worse, they are paid too much to have mental health problems. Someone whose profession required extreme mental discipline is Michael Phelps. Whether it’s the dedication of a rigorous training routine or the focus of the mind before a race, there is a serious level of mental stress and learning of how to deal with anxiety and more. The Olympic gold medal winner has been open about his struggles with depression and anxiety. He has advocated for mental health awareness and the importance of seeking help and advice wherever possible.
Kevin Love, the NBA player has been a vocal advocate for mental health in the sports community. The Miami Heat player has spoken about his own experiences with panic attacks and the importance of addressing mental health in professional sports. In fact he has learned to channel it to becoming a positive influence in his life and using it to help him play basketball
And finally, from the arts world is the highly influential John Green. While primarily known as an author – he wrote The Fault In Our Stars amongst others – and a YouTube personality, John Green has been open about his struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety.
It’s a fact that 1 in 5 people with mental health struggles are prescribed pharmaceutical drugs to battle their issues, yet for some reason whatever the situation, they are prescribed the same solution. When we take time to listen to the people we respect and find their advice is therapy, exercise, community, sharing and supporting. It’s time to re-think how we offer mental health advice and whether it’s PTSD, anxiety, OCD, depression or any other type of situation, the approach to seeking therapy or counselling needs to reflect the requirements of the individual.