What Ryan Reynolds Just Said About His Mental Health

Ryan Reynolds might be known best for trolling his wife Blake Lively on social media than penning heartfelt statements — but, for once, the actor put all jokes aside in his latest post. Reynolds is hoping to "destigmatize" anxiety as he told his 37 million Instagram followers about his personal struggles in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Reynolds has previously been open about his struggles with anxiety, having told GQ back in 2016 he had a "nervous breakdown" after making his first "Deadpool" movie. "It just never stopped. When it finally ended, I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I literally had the shakes." 

After seeing a doctor, Reynolds said he was diagnosed with anxiety disorder — one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting more than 18% of the population, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. "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,' " Reynolds told GQ. Coupled with the pressure of playing the popular comic book character and the emotionally draining 11 years it took for him to convince producers to pick it up, Reynolds said the experience was "hard" on his "nervous system." "And I was banging the loudest drum for 'Deadpool.' I wasn't just trying to open it; I was trying to make a cultural phenomenon." 

But the actor provided more insight into his condition to Instagram, suggesting his battle's far from over and that he has even dealt with anxiety his whole life.

Ryan Reynolds revealed how he responds to anxiety

While "The Green Lantern" star shed light on his anxiety after "Deadpool," on May 26 he revealed it's been a "lifelong" struggle. Reynolds acknowledged he was late to post about Mental Health Awareness Month, but he explained it was due to him overbooking himself — a way of combating his anxiety. "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. 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." 

In 2018, Reynolds told The New York Times he had a "real unhinged phase" during his twenties, as he self-medicated to deal with this condition. He also suggested to MR PORTER that the root cause of his problems may have been his late father, who was "tough" on him and his brothers. "Growing up in my house, it was never relaxing or easy and I know that, throughout my life, I've dealt with anxiety in different ways."

Reynolds concluded his post saying: "We don't talk enough about mental health and don't do enough to destigmatize talking about it. But, as with this post, better later than never, I hope..." Celebrities applauded the star's candid approach, with friend Hugh Jackman commenting: "Mate, your honesty is not only brave but I'm positive it will help countless others who struggle with anxiety too. Good on you!"