Ryan Reynolds opens up about his anxiety
May is mental health awareness month, which might explain why so many of your friends and the influencers you follow online have been more open lately about their experiences with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Ryan Reynolds, who spends most of his time on the internet making us laugh, being a hunk, and otherwise roasting his wife Blake Lively, got sincere for a moment to speak about his “lifelong” struggle with anxiety.
“May is almost over. It’s also Mental Health Awareness month. Which brings me to this,” he starts in a May 26, 2021, Facebook post. “One of the reasons I’m posting this so late is I over-schedule myself and important things slip. And one of the reasons I over-schedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety.”
Over-scheduling and anxiety tend to go hand-in-hand. Claudio Zanet, a therapist in San Francisco, tells Psych Central that some people with anxiety stay busy and tend to over-schedule themselves to avoid feeling their feelings or being alone with their thoughts. Some people may even feel more anxious when they don’t have an immediate task to do. “They have integrated [being busy] into their defense structure as a tool to protect themselves from difficult feelings, and it has provided tremendous value to them in their lives,” Zanet explains.
“I know I’m not alone and, more importantly, to all those like me who over-schedule, overthink, overwork, over-worry, and over-everything, please know you’re not alone,” Reynolds continued. “We don’t talk enough about mental health and don’t do enough to de-stigmatize talking about it. But, as with this post, better late than never.”
Clearly, the post resonated, his Facebook post has been shared 17,000 times in the short time it’s been live.
Thousands of fans chimed in to share their experiences with anxiety, as well.
“I have a bad habit of keeping myself busy to avoid my anxiety. Then I push myself into a void, but since I started therapy, I can recognize what I’m doing and make time for myself. Thank you for talking about mental health and breaking the cycle,” wrote one commenter.
“Yep many of us are in the same boat. We just push ourselves to do as much as well can and put off some of the things that are actually very necessary for our mental health,” shared another.
This isn’t the first time that Reynolds has opened up about his struggle with anxiety. He told The New York Times in 2018, “I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety — both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”
We don’t need one month to talk about mental health. Keep talking and keep seeking out resources and know that you are not alone.