When we are physically sick, it is often easy to tell that something is wrong. Typically the symptoms are obvious. Physical health shouldn’t be the only thing we are aware of. Mental health is just as important.
While in the past, it may have been taboo to discuss our mental health, the conversation is changing and today more and more individuals, including celebrities are shining a spotlight on stress and anxiety.
Besides destigmatizing mental health, celebrity voices are helping with something else: finding solutions for their suffering.
Cameron Diaz and her co-author Sandra Bark wrote the best-selling The Body Book: The law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other ways to Love Your Amazing Body. When asked about the stress of menopause for example, Diaz says “its empowering to learn that the more you accept it, the less stressed you are and the more prepared, and the more you allow yourself to contemplate: ‘What does this mean to me? Where do I want to end up, and who is going to take that journey with me?’”
Diaz isn’t the only one to speak out about the importance of mental health.
Julianne Moore was asked how acupuncture and Chinese medicine has helped her. Moore replied, "For back pain, it's amazing. I also had a period after my mother died where I couldn't sleep. I mean, I was just in shock for the longest time and didn't sleep for, like, a year. I was just a wreck. And I had some really intense acupuncture treatments, and it kind of reset my nervous system. So I think it's very helpful. ... When I was making Safe, actually, I got so thin that I stopped having my period and my blood pressure got dangerously low. And the only thing that really got me back to normal was Chinese medicine."
Actor Jim Carrey has opened up about this history with depression and how he feels he’s more or less won the war against his mind. “At this point, I don’t have depression. When the rain comes, it rains, but it doesn’t stay. It doesn’t stay long enough to immerse me and drown me anymore.”
In the past, Carrey has been quick to credit better health and well-being through acupuncture treatment and has stated, “Undergoing (acupuncture) treatments and following nutritional advice has led to a marked change in my physical vitality and my general state of well-being.”
Studies show that Americans are reporting an increase in mental health issues, as well as substance abuse issues. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll said that 53% of Americans reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus – up from 32% in March. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also reported “considerable elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19.”
Though anxiety and depression and the resulting stress these conditions incur are separate struggles, they often go hand in hand. Experts have suggested acupuncture, meditation, breathing exercises and physical activity outdoors as ways to moderate both. These techniques release endorphins in our brain, and these chemicals improve our mood and reduce our stress.