Celebrities are Just Like Us, They Deal with Anxiety Disorders, Too
When faced with a stressful situation, the body’s reaction is Anxiety and prolonged fear and anxiety for long periods indicates an anxiety disorder, such as general anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical anxiety disorder, individual phobias, social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia. Over 40 million adults (18% population) in USA have anxiety disorders due to a mix of genetics and traumatic events triggering off anxiety disorders. Many celebrities today expose their anxiety disorders and help find ways to deal with symptoms and causes. Here are some famous people with anxiety disorders and the impact on their lives:
Abraham Lincoln is somber and serious in photographs, due to traumatic events in his life- the deaths of his mother, beloved elder sister, and ten of his twelve children. His inadequacy stemmed from a lack of education and social upbringing and, resulting in deep anxiety all his life and presidency. Researchers identify severe generalized anxiety disorders, based on his letters and journals. Lincoln’s found ways to deal with stress and anxiety, as he managed severe challenges.
Emily Dickinson, born in 1830, is a world famous poetess and among America’s literary giants. Her reclusive nature is as well-known as her poetry as she limited interactions only with her family members after leaving a Seminary. Though she conversed with journalists, writers, and editors, her interactions were limited to letters, refusing to even meet most persons due to her fear of death and severe anxiety disorder, possibly agoraphobia.
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh’s life is a fascinating case study for psychiatric students, world over. His multiple mental health disorders, physical and psychiatric diseases such as bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and anxiety disorders, led to his stay in an asylum. His own letters note his “fits of anxiety” and “attacks” of melancholy. His excessive drinking, especially absinthe, enhanced the severity of his anxiety and other disorders. Genetic studies research his suicide, the possible suicide of his younger brother and one of his sister’s schizophrenic diagnoses.
Kim Basinger’s anxiety disorders began as a child as she suffered from panic disorder, social anxiety, and agoraphobia. Her condition was so severe that her parents suspected autism. Though tested, her condition was never diagnosed. Basinger publicly discussed her anxiety disorder experiences, and appeared in a HBO documentary on “Panic: A Film about Coping” to raise awareness about such disorders. For treatment Basinger tried psycho-therapeutic methods. Although her condition has improved, she notes instances of panic.
Barbra Streisand of Hollywood fame is very reclusive and not often seen in public, or performed publicly for 30 years of her career, except for charity. At a concert in Central Park, Streisand forgot the lyrics of her song, developing an intense fear of performing in public again. Streisand worked through the panic attacks and anxiety disorder symptoms to perform publicly, with medication.
Whoopi Goldberg, a famous actress, and talk show host, needs to travel but has a deep fear of flying called aerophobia. She saw a mid-air collision over 30 years ago and travelled only by bus, train, or car, throughout the country. Individuals suffering from phobias undergo exposure therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. Goldberg’s treatment began by enrolling in a “flying without fear” program.
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