Ryan Reynolds is always kidding around. From trolling Hugh Jackman to teasing wife Blake Lively online, this A-lister is always up for a gag and a giggle.
But this week, as Mental Health Awareness month in the US drew to an end, the Hollywood actor took to social media to address something much more serious: his battle with what he calls his “lifelong pal”.
"One of the reasons I'm posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip. And one of the reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety,” he says.
"I know I'm not alone and more importantly, to all those like me who overschedule, overthink, overwork, over-worry and over-everything, please know you're not alone,” he adds, in hopes of destigmatising the topic.
Fans and stars alike flooded the comments section with messages of support for the hunky Hollywood star.
"Mate, your honesty is not only brave but I'm positive will help countless others who struggle with anxiety too. Good on you!" wrote friend Hugh Jackman, who met Ryan on the set of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Now a dad of three, Ryan (44) has in the past admitted to struggling with crippling thoughts about making it in Tinseltown during his 20s and self-medicated for a while, “trying to make myself vanish”.
"I have anxiety. I've always had anxiety. Both in the light-hearted '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," he said in a 2018 interview with The New York Times.
The star of the upcoming movie “Free Guy” once shared with GQ how, around the time he wrapped the first instalment of the quirky superhero film Deadpool, doctors were sure of his diagnosis.
“When it ?nally ended, I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I literally had the shakes. 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’”, he said.
Ryan credits the support of Blake (33), whom he met on the set of Green Lantern, as well as various coping mechanisms for helping him through the tough times. “When there’s built-in expectation, your brain always processes that as danger,” he said. “Blake helped me through that. I’m lucky to have her around just to keep me sane.”
Reynolds joins a long list of stars such as Lizzo, Gillian Anderson and Kendall Jenner who have all been candid about their battles with depression and anxiety.
"We don't talk enough about mental health and don't do enough to destigmatise talking about it,” Ryan says. “But, as with this post, better late than never, I hope."
SOURCES: LADBIBLE.COM; PEOPLE.COM; NYTIMES.COM; GQ.COM; VANITYFAIR.COM