It’s no secret that many people find it difficult to talk about mental illness. Feelings of shame and judgement can stop us from confiding in others or seeking help. However, approximately 1 in 4 people around the world struggle with a mental health condition of some kind. And when we talk about it, we help others to speak up and get help, too.
Throughout 2018, many influential people opened up about their mental health struggles. From musicians to actors and even a member of the Royal Family, it showed that mental illness can affect anyone. Most importantly, these people told us that seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the influential people who spoke about mental illness this year…
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Prince Harry made headlines when he opened up about his mental health struggles earlier this year. Speaking in a rural town, he talked about the importance of asking for help when you need it.
“You must not silently suffer. You are all in this together and if I may speak personally we are all in this together, because asking for help was one of the best decisions that I ever made… You will be continually amazed how life changes for the better.”
This message is important as men often have trouble opening up about their mental illness. The stigma that it’s ‘weak’ or ‘shameful’ to open up about these struggles can stop people from getting help. This is why it was so powerful to see Prince Harry speaking so publicly about his own experience. It showed that getting help is important and with the right help, there is always light at the end of a dark tunnel.
Well done Harry! This is a subject that has been pushed under the rug for too long! UR admired, young & the perfect person 2 speak on this!
— @wasregan (@wasregan) November 18, 2017
In an interview, Mariah Carey revealed that she has struggled with Bipolar II for almost two decades. After being diagnosed in 2001, she said she was ‘in denial’ about her mental illness and afraid of the stigma associated with it. It wasn’t until 2018 that she began taking medication and going to therapy. These two forms of treatment has helped her manage the condition long-term.
Mariah admitted that she was at first “afraid of losing everything” if the world knew about her mental illness. This fear is one that many people face and one that can stop them from getting help. However, Mariah Carey has showed that with the right treatment, things can get better. Your illness doesn’t need to stop you from living a successful, happy life.
Many people assume that postpartum depression develops immediately after a woman gives birth. However, what’s less talked about is how this condition can arise up to 12 months later, too. Actress and model Chrissy Teigen experienced this mental illness ‘sneaking up on her’ after giving birth to her first child. Earlier this year, she opened up about how “sometimes it [post-natal depression] takes time to kick in.” Most importantly, she wanted women to know that it’s okay to speak up and ask for help if they need it.
“I thought postpartum was, you have the baby and you’re sad. It was like, no. It sneaks up on a lot of people. That’s why I thought it was important for me to talk about.”
The stigma associated with postpartum depression often stops people from speaking about it. Because of this, many women found comfort and reassurance in Chrissy’s words. Her experience shows that postpartum depression can affect any new mother, and it is never something to feel ashamed of.
We Moms need to reach out to each other. We need to break the stigma. We need each other.
— Christina (@duffygirl8) June 8, 2018
After a tough couple of years, Ariana Grande spoke out about her experience with depression and anxiety. On Twitter, she spoke about how therapy has ‘saved her life so many times.’ Her own positive experiences lead her to encourage others to reach out for help if they need it. Earlier in the year, she also spoke about how we need to pay more attention to mental health as a society. She encouraged others to pay closer attention to their loved ones. By doing this, we can make sure people are getting the help they need.
As such an influential artist, it’s amazing to see Ariana Grande speaking so openly about her struggles. Conversations like these help to break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
Being in the public eye, Little Mix know how body-shaming can affect someone’s confidence and mental health. This is why the group used their music video for ‘Strip’ to encourage fans to feel comfortable in their own skin. Women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities and abilities starred in the video. Beauty is found in diversity, and the group demonstrated this perfectly.
In Australia, women who diet severely are most at risk of developing an eating disorder. On top of this, women who frequently diet are 5x more likely to develop depression. It’s not hard to see how body-shaming can severely impact a person’s mental wellbeing. The conversation Little Mix started about this issue is one that we hope continues throughout 2019!