Celebrities who are open about their mental health issues

We often think that celebrities have perfect lives but underneath it all lies a struggle most people can relate to 

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:46 PM  | Top of The

Celebs who have spoken out about mental illness

When you're rich and famous, what problems could you possibly have?

More often than not, the myth has been shattered because celebrities are now letting us into their private lives.

Some of our local celebrities have been open about their mental health struggles; from attempted suicides, to anxiety attacks and depression, these stars have been brave enough to open up about their mental health issues and that has helped go a long way towards ending the stigma that continually surrounds mental illness.

Let's take a look at some of the celebrities who have been open about their struggles with mental health.


Celebs who have spoken out about mental illness

Hip hop star, HHP has been open about his struggles. The Bosso Ke Mang hit maker stunned the country when he admitted that he had tried to take his own life three times. 

He is now doing a whole lot better and we wish him well.

Lalla Hirayama  

Celebs who have spoken out about mental illness

The TV personality revealed her struggles with anxiety attacks last year and she said that she was diagnosed with the condition five years ago. She once had an attack on national TV (reportedly during an episode of V-Entertainment) but she later managed to overcome it.

She once told Times Live that during the early years of her disorder, she had up to 12 panic attacks a day.


Celebs who have spoken out about mental illness

Ifani opened up to Drum magazine about feeling depressed, in the in-depth interview he said, “2013 was a full year of depression. I would only come to life on stage because I was feeding off the audience’s energy. But as I left the stage, I was back to my misery,” 

Mpho Popps


The comedian has been open about his struggles with depression.

Bonnie Mbuli

Celebs who have spoken out about mental illness

The actress and TV presenter opened up about her depression in her book, Eye bags & Dimples. In an interview with IOL, she said that it began at a young age & that it is something that was prevalent in her family, her mom was also suicidal when she was young.

She said, “the trauma of my childhood had caused so much psychological and emotional damage that, over time, it translated into physical symptoms, and insufficient serotonin was causing my clinical imbalance."

Bonnie who is also a mom is in a much better place and her story has helped other people overcome their struggles.

Theo Nhlengethwa

Celebs who have spoken out about mental illness
Daily Sun

Boom Shaka star, Theo had a rough patch in 2014 when he went through depressive episodes, it was a culmination of many tragic events including the death of Lebo Mathosa, speaking to Drum magazine he said, "people have said the most shocking things about me and it's one of the reasons I landed up in hospital. I became a joke and a laughing stock in the industry.”

Celebrities are just like the rest of us and they go through things too. As such we should learn to be a little more sensitive to everyone we come across, regardless of who they are. 

If you, or someone you know needs help, please click here to access a safe space called 'Let's Talk' - an initiative launched by Pharma Dynamics,  a local generic pharmaceutical company focused on affordable, effective healthcare. The platform has been developed for those who struggle with mental illness to share issues to share their struggles and get access to the help they need. 

You can also click here to access The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) or: 

  • For counselling queries e-mail: [email protected]
  • To contact a counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday, call: 011 234 4837 /fax number: 011 234 8182
  • For a suicidal emergency contact on 0800 567 567
  • 24hr Helpline 0800 12 13 14
  • SMS 31393 (and SADAG will call you back)

Main image credit: Instagram/lalla_hirayama