Ryan Reynolds opens up about his anxiety: ‘please know you’re not alone’


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. People from all walks of life are trying to reach those who might need a helping hand with their personal well-being. This year, Ryan Reynolds added his voice to via Instagram. Ryan posted an honest, relatable message about anxiety and made a plea for us to talk about and treat mental health. Ryan wrote:

May is almost over. It’s also Mental Health Awareness month. Which brings me to this

One of the reasons I’m posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip. And one of those reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety. I know I’m not alone and more importantly, to all of those lie me who overschedule, overthink, overwork, over-worry and over-everything, please know that you’re not alone. We don’t talk enough about mental health and don’t do enough to destigmatize talking about it. But, as with this post, better late than never, I hope…

[From Ryan Reynold’s Instagram]

This is not the first time Ryan has spoken about his anxiety. He spoke to GQ about breaking down after finishing Deadpool. He’d fought so hard for the movie to be made, and made a certain way, and gave so much of himself, that it nearly took all of him in the end. Ryan sought help but it was because he feared he had a neurological issue. According to his 2016 interview, it sounded like that was the first time he’d been diagnosed with anxiety. Ryan came to understand that he’s had anxiety his whole life and many of his antics in his youth were caused by anxiety and not pure self-destruction. I know how hard it is to understand past behavior was a result of something that didn’t get diagnosed or realized until later. Which is why I applaud Ryan for speaking out for Mental Health Awareness month, because maybe something he said helps someone else seek treatment sooner than he did. These comments help in other ways as well. I don’t have anxiety, but I know some who do. I didn’t know over-scheduling was linked to it. Now that I do, I can reach out to my friend when I see her over-scheduling and working too much because she’s probably needs support.

Ryan’s good friend and frequent prank buddy, Hugh Jackman, had the top reply on Ryan’s IG post. It was genuine and supportive and exactly what those reading it should see, “Mate – your honesty is not only brave but, I’m positive will help countless others who struggle with anxiety too. Good on you!” People frequently mistake humor for confidence, comedy is a great mask. So I think it’s important that people like Ryan and Hugh, whose public relationship is to mock each other (much to our enjoyment), show they can also be honest and supportive of each other. This is what this month is about and I am very glad to see such high-profile people honoring that.

Photo credit: Avalon Red, Backgrid and Instagram

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12 Responses to “Ryan Reynolds opens up about his anxiety: ‘please know you’re not alone’”

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  1. Erica says:

    “People frequently mistake humor for confidence, comedy is a great mask.”

    I just had a talk with my therapist about this a few weeks ago. I come across as very confident, very sure of myself and I joke about damn near everything. It’s all a front, its how I hide my insecurity, my anxiety, my depression. I turn everything into a joke. So many people who TRULY know me are always shocked when I share how I really feel about things, that I’m in therapy, that I suffer from depression and anxiety. I had no idea that I came across like that until recently. I’m glad that Ryan is speaking up about this. The more people talk about it, maybe it’ll help more people.

    • ToLiveLikeWeRDying says:

      Always sad that on great posts like this there are always so little comments!!! Just want the writers to not give up on posts that are non royals!! Thank you for still trying!

      Most people wear a mask. After a series of unfortunate events we become more clear of who and what we are that the mask shatters, yet we still try to pick up the pieces and glue it back together, in fear of showing our true selves. Because, to be that vulnerable, to have nothing to hide is the unknown, and the unknown can be scary. There is no blueprint to being your authentic self, it just happens with time and error. Be kind to yourself, be there for yourself, and show who you really are! We need true connection and truth. The truth shall set you free! The fear of truth is the hardest part to get over, and truth itself is freeing! Be free!

  2. Lily P says:

    EDIT: meant to reply under @Erica

    Agreed humour is such an easy comfort in times of anxiety and depression! I’m so glad more and more high profile people are speaking about mental health in such a candid way. My mum has been in and out of hospital the last few months due to the physical impact of prolonged anxiety and she’s only now starting to share with friends how isolating and draining anxiety has been for her. It’s a shame it took hospital to get her to the point she is so any effort to improve casual conversation around it is super important in my book.

  3. Louise says:

    I was diagnosed with PTSD qnd depression at 50. It explained so much. I wish i had sought help sooner.

  4. Killfanora says:

    Good for you Ryan! Talk, talk, talk about mental health people. It reassures folk suffering from it, and encourages them to seek help. Excellent message.
    And shout out for Wrexham FC, whose sweatshirt Ryan is wearing in the last pic. A little football club in Wales, UK, that Ryan and his friend bought and support.

  5. Gah says:

    Loving all the mental health talk! Also that Ryan gave specific examples for how it shows up for him.

    • Dierski says:

      I’m loving all the mental health conversations too!! I hope it keeps going strong after May (and mental health awareness month) ends – coming out of this pandemic, I think a lot of people need to hear that they aren’t alone in their various mental health struggles. After a year of isolation, pandemic, antimask45 related fears, etc., we all will need reminders to care for our mental health and to be gentle on ourselves as we return to being back out in the world.

  6. MrsF2u says:

    Led me to be an over achieving nervous wreck. Best day of my life was three summers ago when my doctor said – no amount of therapy is going to help a brain subjected to 45 years of this. You are taking anxiety meds.

    My life has been changed by it – for the better.

    I no longer get the feeling of mice running around in my body, sweating, sleepless, nervous tics, etc etc.

    I hid it under perfection, an immaculate home, spotless clothing.

    I’m glad he wrote the post and thankful Celebitchy posted about it.

    Thanks Celebitchy Team!

  7. Ashby says:

    Ryan Reynolds seems like one of the most decent people in the entertainment business.

    I get such a great vibe from him, I’m sure he has his flaws like all of us, but I have a really good feeling about him and I’m so glad that he is open about his mental health struggles.

    I can certainly relate, I’m a CRAZED, CRAZED PERFECTIONIST and demand of myself to be the best 24/7, everything from perfect personality to perfect skin, hair, nails, clothes, house, career and on and on…

    I’m not talking about covering up flawed skin cleverly with make-up, I’m talking about having perfect skin, it’s working for now, but how long can I keep up?

    Luckily I’m only doing this to myself and no other people.

    It’s exhausting to me for sure.

    Thank you, Ryan!!!

  8. Bailie says:

    Ryan seems to be a good guy.
    We need this conversation to continue, mental health is so very important.

  9. Jo says:

    Anxiety: my lifelong pal too.

  10. StormsMama says:

    Just came to add that
    According to Allen Carr alcohol can actually cause anxiety.
    It was a major eye opener for me. Now when I take long breaks from drinking I realize how true it is.
    I wonder how many people would be helped by stopping drinking alcohol.

    I am in no way suggesting anxiety is only connected to alcohol.
    But I couldn’t help but see the gin in that pic with Ryan and wonder how much that plays a part