Ryan Reynolds–once named as the Sexiest Man Alive, the star of box-office hit franchise Deadpool, and husband to the beautiful Blake Lively–encounters mental health hardships in his life, despite having a triumphant career. He’s a testament to the fact that anxiety doesn’t have to isolate you. In fact, anxiety can make you even more likeable.
“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” Reynolds has said to The New York Times. Upon a film release, press junkets are presumed. Reynolds can become apprehensive as he prepares for talk-show appearances.
He describes being overtaken by a nauseating sensation as he undergoes stress. He also shares that pressure increases his malaise: “When there’s built-in expectation, your brain always processes that as danger.”
“When there’s built-in expectation, your brain always processes that as danger.“
He admits to self-medicating his agony by partying in his early 20’s. His relationship with his father strained his perspective on family dynamics–something many of us from dysfunctional homes can relate to. He has even referred to his father as the “stress dispensary.”
Although struggling with anxiety for most of his life, it wasn’t until he was faced with a nervous breakdown that he chose to seek professional help. “I went to go see a doctor because I felt like I was suffering from a neurological problem or something. And every doctor I saw said, ‘You have anxiety’.”
Reynolds acknowledges that certain aspects in his life, like his relationship with his late father, affected his outlook and his anxiety. However, he has chosen to relinquish those thoughts. “We’re all just hurtling through space in this green, spinning shit-wheel of devastation. At some point, you just kinda gotta live and let go,” he said to The New York Times.
While it’s not easy to cultivate this attitude, non-celebrities can take inspiration from Reynolds’ acquired wisdom. It’s encouraging to know that even if you once had terrible anxiety, you can come out on the other side with a more helpful perspective on life. And the first step is to reach out.