Ryan Reynolds Reflects on "Lifelong" Mental Health Struggle

Ryan Reynolds opened up about his struggle with anxiety for Mental Health Awareness Month. Read his heartfelt message to his fans.

By Corinne Heller May 26, 2021 4:44 PMTags
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Ryan Reynolds is reaching out to people who, like him, suffer from anxiety.

The 44-year-old Deadpool actor shared a heartfelt post about his lifelong mental health struggle on his Instagram page on Wednesday, May 26.

"May is almost over. It's also Mental Health Awareness month. Which brings me to this," Ryan wrote. "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. 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..."

Ryan has opened up about his mental health struggles before. "I have three older brothers. Our father was tough. He wasn't easy on anyone. And he wasn't easy on himself," the actor, whose father died after a battle with Parkinson's disease in 2015, told Variety in 2017. "I think the anxiety might have started there, trying 
to find ways to control others by trying to control myself. At the time, I never recognized that. I was just a twitchy kid."

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He echoed his comments in a 2018 interview with fashion outlet MR PORTER, saying, "My dad was a tough guy. He was good in many ways as well, but he was tough on us. This is not meant to be some sob story—everyone carries their own bag of rocks around and I am no different in that regard—but 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."

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He continued, "I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but anxiety is also a great fuel. I mean, my God, it's the anti-complacency pill, but it's also something that you need to manage."

Also in 2018, Ryan told The New York Times, "I have anxiety. I've always had anxiety. Both in the lighthearted '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 added that he's able to overcome his anxiety at work by channeling his Deadpool character. "When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead," he said, "and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set."