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11 times famous men spoke up about mental health and made it easier for others to get help

For so many male celebrities, traditional masculinity is the most valuable currency they possess. It sells at the box office and on magazine covers. 

But, whether they mean to or not, some famous men are rejecting the myth that only weak men experience feelings like anxiety and depression. Instead, celebrities like Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Prince Harry are openly discussing their mental health and emotional well-being.   

SEE ALSO: 'You're not alone': Famous men are talking about mental health, and their voices could save lives

By giving the public a glimpse into their personal journeys, these men are helping defeat the stigma that keeps so many people from getting help.  

Here are 11 examples of celebrity men leading the way when it comes to mental health: 

1. Ryan Reynolds

The movie star you know as the Marvel character Deadpool (and Blake Lively's husband) recently told the New York Times that he deals with bouts of anxiety.

"I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety," Reynolds said. "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."

Fantastic & inspiring article about Ryan Reynolds’ journey with anxiety.It is beyond important that people in his position speak on mental health. For so long, I’ve always felt ashamed to talk about my anxiety, ADD & OCD.Proof you are not alone. 👇https://t.co/Bi1RQLRsiw

— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) May 6, 2018

2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Johnson, a former professional wrestler turned movie star, fits just about every expectation we have of traditional masculinity. Yet he's also been outspoken about his own mental health experiences. Earlier this year, he talked about depression as well as his mother's suicide attempt. 

"Struggle and pain is real," he wrote in an Instagram post about being affected by suicide. "We’ve all been there on some level or another."

Got tons of responses to this. Thank you. We all go thru the sludge/shit and depression never discriminates. Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone https://t.co/ADHjYtGe3k

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 2, 2018

3. Brandon Marshall 

NFL football player Brandon Marshall was one of the first high-profile men to talk about mental illness when, in 2011, he discussed being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. 

"Before this ordeal I kept asking God to show me my purpose," he told the Sun Sentinel at the time. "I'll be the face of BPD. I'll make myself vulnerable if it saves someone's life because I know what I went through this summer helped save mine."

4. Kevin Love

In March, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love wrote an essay for the online publication The Players' Tribune about experiencing panic attacks. 

"No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside," he wrote. "Not talking about our inner lives robs us of really getting to know ourselves and robs us of the chance to reach out to others in need." 

I’ve never been comfortable sharing much about myself. I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem. I’ve realized I need to change that. https://t.co/355HcQw3Ei

— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) March 6, 2018

5. Patton Oswalt 

The comedian and actor isn't afraid to share his intimate feelings, whether he's discussing depression or suicide. When his wife unexpectedly died in 2016, he talked about the hopelessness and despair of grief. In a Facebook post that garnered 180,000 reactions from users, Oswalt wrote about somehow finding a way forward. 

"[I]'m going to start telling jokes again soon," he said. "And writing. And acting in stuff and making things I like and working with friends on projects and do all the stuff I was always so privileged to get to do before the air caught fire around me and the sun died."

6. Pete Wentz 

The Fall Out Boy frontman has spoken about his mental health experiences, including a bipolar disorder diagnosis, for years. In a lengthy video interview for the mental health awareness initiative Half of Us, Wentz described reaching a breaking point and then seeking professional help. 

"My best piece of advice, more than anything, is that there's other people out there that feel [suicidal], or are feeling that right at that time," he said. "Maybe your favorite actor, or a guy in a band, or whoever, there are people who feel that exact same thing and have made it through that. I would say more than anything, you're not alone in it." 

7. Wayne Brady 

In 2014, the comedian and TV host went public with experiencing depression. 

"It took me a while to get my stuff together to go, 'You know what? If you're not happy, you have to do something about it,'" Brady told Entertainment Tonight. "Just to admit that you are feeling this way is a huge step. To claim that, to say, 'Why do I feel dark? Why do I feel unhappy? Let me do something about this.'"

8. Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi, a hip hop artist and Kanye West collaborator, checked into a rehab facility for depression and suicidal ideation, in 2016. In a Facebook post, he told his fans about his longtime experiences with anxiety and depression.  

"I deserve to have peace," he wrote. "I deserve to be happy and smiling. Why not me? I guess I give so much of myself to others I forgot that I need to show myself some love too." 

9. Prince Harry 

After years of making headlines for controversial reasons, Prince Harry decided in 2017 to talk to the media about what it was like to lose his mother, Princess Diana, as a child, and the grief and anger he experienced for years as a result, and how he sought mental health help. 

"Because of the process I have been through over the past two and a half years, I’ve now been able to take my work seriously, been able to take my private life seriously as well, and been able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else," he told The Telegraph

10. Michael Phelps

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, has also experienced depression and suicidal feelings. 

"After years, and years, and years of just shoving every negative, bad feeling down to the point where I mean, I just didn't even feel it anymore," he told Today last year. "It was a long, long, long road and I just never wanted to deal with it. And for me, that sent me down a spiral staircase real quick and like I said, I found myself in a spot where I didn't want to be alive anymore."

The ANGST film has 1 goal: to start a conversation about anxiety.I know how much talking about it helps. https://t.co/t6N9nRU5tP #AngstMovie

— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) October 6, 2017

11. Logic

Last year, the rapper Logic released the song "1-800-273-8255," which is named for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

In an interview with Genius, he recounted meeting fans who said his music saved their lives, which prompted the concept for "1-800-273-8255."

"In my mind, I was like, 'Man, I wasn't even trying to save nobody's life,'" he said. "And then it hit me, the power that I have as an artist with a voice. I wasn't even trying to save your life. Now what can happen if I actually did?"

For more information on men's mental health, visit the National Institute of Mental Health. You can search for behavioral health treatment here. If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Here is a list of international resources. 

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