A constant nervous feeling, sweating palms, a rapidly increasing heart rate and a vague sense of impending doom. These are just some of the common symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 3.6 percent of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization, and celebrities are far from immune. In fact, anxiety is fairly commonplace in Hollywood and among others in the spotlight given the demanding nature of their professions.
Creatives and athletes are often under extreme pressure to reproduce the same or better caliber work that catapulted them to fame in the first place, all while under an increasingly critical public eye. Agreements and strict deadlines with record labels, producers, and coaches can put a major emphasis on performance goals that tend not to take the health and well-being of the artists and sport stars into account. And with their erratic schedules — long hours on set, late-night shows, demanding tour itineraries, and hours-long, grueling practices — it’s no wonder that anxiety is common among this crowd.
The following celebrities live with various types of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. But by understanding these conditions and their related symptoms — often with the help of professionals — these singers, actors, athletes, and personalities have been able not only to better manage their anxiety but also continue to thrive in their careers.
10. Kim Kardashian
In a 2016 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, fashion mogul and reality TV icon Kim Kardashian West opened up about her anxiety, particularly around car crashes, and started seeing a therapist.
Her younger sister Kendall Jenner also struggles with anxiety and sleep paralysis, and in the same episode, they attend a meditation class together.
Just a month prior to that episode, Kardashian had been bound and held at gunpoint in a Paris hotel room. “I definitely get a lot more anxiety now, just with people knowing your every move,” Kardashian West told T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore in a September 2017 interview.
While avoiding things occasionally isn’t too harmful, it can build up over time and eventually result in a snowball effect. “Not only can that avoidance spread to more and more circumstances, but the individual would never be able to see how ‘truly’ dangerous a situation is. What I find is that the more we do the things that scare us, the less anxiety has a grip on our lives,” she says.