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Top 10 Inspiring Celebrities with Mental Illnesses

Script written by Savannah Sher These celebs have mental illnesses but by opening up, they have chosen to be vulnerable and inspiring. We’ve included celebs like Demi Lovato, Jared Padalecki, Gina Rodriguez, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Carrie Fisher, J.K. Rowling, Selena Gomez, Adam Levine, Kristen Bell, Kesha, and Angelina Jolie

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Top 10 Inspiring Celebrities with Mental Illnesses

Being in the spotlight hasn’t prevented these stars from opening up about their personal struggles. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Inspiring Celebrities with Mental Illnesses.

For this list, we’re looking at celebrities who have inspired their fans by speaking openly about the struggles they have faced.

#10: Lili Reinhart

Just like the character she plays on the hit CW show “Riverdale”, actress Lili Reinhart is more than meets the eye. Betty Cooper may seem like the perfect, preppy, girl next door but from the very beginning of the show it’s clear that something is bubbling underneath the surface. Before being cast on “Riverdale”, Reinhart was going through a hard time, auditioning for roles while simultaneously working in the restaurant industry. She admitted to W that at one point, "I felt like my world was crashing,” and she had to go home to temporarily live with her parents to help with her anxiety. It happens to the best of us Lili, and thank you for sharing!

#9: Angelina Jolie

This actress and humanitarian is one of the world’s biggest celebrities, but for a long time she remained silent about the mental health issues she suffered as a teenager. In 2010 though, she revealed that when she was fourteen, she underwent a period of depression and used cutting as a form of release. In a separate interview she said, "For some reason, the ritual of having cut myself and feeling the pain, maybe feeling alive, feeling some kind of release, it was somehow therapeutic to me." She has also admitted to contemplating suicide. Knowing how a star as bright as this one suffers from issues just like the rest of us works to destigmatize mental illness.

#8: Kesha

In 2016 at a Billboard event for women in music, Kesha was honored with the Trailblazer Award, and took her acceptance speech as an opportunity to open up about her battle with anxiety as well as her difficulties with eating disorders. She acknowledged that her influence could help people who are fighting the same fight, saying, “These are struggles millions of people around the world deal with on a daily basis.” The musician has been checked into rehab in the past to tackle these issues, and it’s admirable that she isn’t ashamed to discuss them publicly.

#7: Kristen Bell

This actress may be known for her upbeat and bubbly personality, which often translates into her roles, but Kristen Bell has in recent years dispelled the myth that she is always on her A-game. It sounds like Bell was blessed with a supporting and open-minded mother, because when she was a teenager her mom helped her on the path to dealing with her mental illness with prescription medications. Bell says she feels no shame about taking serotonin inhibitors and compares them to diabetics taking insulin. In a world of people afraid to ask for help, that’s the sort of honesty we need from role models.

#6: Adam Levine

You’ve probably heard of kids being diagnosed with this mental disorder with regularity, but it’s not often that adults speak out about suffering from it. ADHD usually reveals itself during childhood, but sometimes can go undiagnosed for years or in some cases decades. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 fame told publication Very Well that he was given his diagnosis in his early teens and as an adult has worked with the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) to help adults recognize that the disorder can still affect them.

#5: Selena Gomez

During the 2010s, Selena Gomez has been at the top of her game: owning the world of social media, topping the charts with her hit singles and keeping her fans constantly engaged in her personal life. Despite all of the success she has found however, Gomez has struggled with a number of health issues over the years, receiving a kidney transplant due to the medical condition lupus in 2017. The year before, after ending one of her tours early in order to get treatment for anxiety and depression, she gave a powerful speech when accepting an award at the AMAs.

#4: Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher lived much of her life in the spotlight after starring in the original “Star Wars” trilogy in the late 70s and early 80s. By the time she passed away in late 2016, the world knew much about the troubled life that the actress had been living. She suffered from bipolar disorder, which she revealed in both an interview with 20/20 and the documentary “Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive”. She also abused drugs as well as prescription medications. Hopefully, knowing that one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars battled for much of their adult lives can help people to re-evaluate the stigma of mental illness.

#3: J. K. Rowling

She rose to success after penning one of the most successful works of fiction of all time, but before achieving greatness, J.K. Rowling fought an uphill battle, dealing with being a single mother living in poverty. Her rags to riches story is well documented, and many serious fans are also aware of the fact that Rowling has admitted to suffering from depression in her life. In fact, she even created one of her magical creatures as an embodiment of the illness. Dementors, which first appear in the third “Harry Potter” book, suck the happiness out of every space they enter, and Rowling has said that they were inspired by her experience with depression.

#2: Lady Gaga

Stefani Germanotta, better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, has written many songs that have touched fans and offered a relatable experience for those dealing with a wide variety of life’s struggles. At the end of 2016, Lady Gaga has opened up about the fact that she suffers from a mental illness that is not often discussed outside of references to soldiers’ experiences: PTSD. She says that since being raped at the age of 19, her life has been completely changed, and that she deals with PTSD symptoms on a regular basis. Her personal mantra is one that anyone can use in a moment of need: “You are brave, you are courageous.”

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Miley Cyrus

Gina Rodriguez

Jared Padalecki

#1: Demi Lovato

She became famous as a Disney Channel child star, but it soon became apparent that Demi Lovato was dealing with struggles that her fans couldn’t imagine. Depression, alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders, self harm and bipolar disorder - she was fighting with them all. Refreshingly, she has been honest about the fact that despite several stints in rehab, recovery is not always a straight line to success. To be clear, mental illness isn’t a competition, but Demi takes the number one spot on our list today due to the incredible work she’s put into bringing awareness to mental health, and her willingness to be transparent with her struggles, thus inspiring millions of people.

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