‘Game of Thrones’ star Lena Headey’s brush with anxiety and depression

‘Game of Thrones’ star Lena Headey’s brush with anxiety and depression

Lena Headey, who stars as the indomitable Cersei Lannister in “Game of Thrones,” disclosed her struggle with anxiety and depression in a frank discussion on Twitter in April 2017. Asked by a fan if she ever felt insecure, Heady surprised everyone by responding to the question and subsequently opening up regarding her mental health struggles. Although she mentioned that she was not insecure, Headey admitted that she was inclined to “overthink” and suffered from “huge” anxiety. She also added that she was “familiar with depression.”

The actress did not restrict her interaction to a single response – she subsequently posted a series of messages expressing her thoughts. Calling anxiety a “beast,” Headey explained that it was necessary to talk to beasts and “release them back into the wild.” She added that anxiety and depression are real and chemical, and urged others to open up about their struggles.

In 2015, Headey had spoken about her depressive phase following her divorce in 2012 and an ongoing, acrimonious custody battle for her son Wylie. She had described the ending of her marriage as “tough,” and that she had to endure immense hurt, sadness and disappointment. Heady had also spoken about her “massive grief” and how it felt like a mourning process although nobody had died.

Celebrities help in reducing associated stigma by talking about their mental health problems

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety and depression are among the two primary mental illnesses in the United States. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting around 40 million Americans, or 18 percent of the adult U.S. population. The NIMH data also shows that in 2015, 16.1 million adults in the U.S., representing 6.7 percent of all adults, had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

One of the most unfortunate aspects of mental illness is that many people prefer to suffer in silence instead of seeking help or discussing their issues. The NIMH has previously acknowledged that less than 40 percent of people with mental disorders seek treatment. The primary reason for this is the stigma associated with mental health issues. Other impediments, include low level of mental health awareness, cultural influences, absence of support networks and the mistaken belief that treatment will be ineffective.

When celebrities like Headey publicly open up regarding their own mental illnesses, it leaves a deep impact. Such instances help others to view mental illnesses in a normal light and lessen the associated stigma. More importantly, people start recognizing and accepting that mental disorders can strike anyone, even celebrities. Headey’s realistic posts on Twitter have struck a chord with her followers, with some of them highlighting their own experiences and struggles with mental illnesses.

Anxiety and depression are real; people should openly discuss them

Headey encourages people to come forward to discuss their struggles with mental health. She persuades people to be honest with themselves without concealing who they truly are. Although they will be momentarily terrified, the feeling will go away in an instant. Headey also reminds people that they should not be afraid to let others see them for who they really are, and that “magic happens” when people are vulnerable, truthful and human. Headey inspires her fans by mentioning that they meant to be nothing else but “beautiful”.

If you know someone who is suffering from an anxiety disorder, contact the experts at the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California to know about evidence-based anxiety disorders treatment in California. You can call our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online with our experts to find out the some of the best mental health treatment centers in California.

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