Ryan Reynolds may be known for his wicked sense of humour that often spills over on to his social media, but the actor has also admitted to a lifelong struggle with anxiety, which he can now openly speak about thanks to his three daughters.
Last month, the ‘Deadpool’ star took his Instagram account to honour Mental Health Awareness Month by sharing his own pain and struggles through the years.
Now, in a recent chat with Entertainment Tonight, the 44-year-old star shared that his three daughters - James, 6, Inez, 4, and Betty, 1 — whom he shares with wife and fellow actor Blake Lively, inspired him to speak out.
“Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviours and model what it’s like to be sad and model what it’s like to be anxious, or angry. That there’s space for all these things,” Reynolds told Entertainment Tonight. “The home that I grew in, that wasn’t modeled for me really. And that’s not to say that my parents were neglectful, but they come from a different generation.”
He continued: “Part of that is to destigmatise things and create a conversation around [mental health]. I know that when I felt at the absolute bottom, it’s usually been because I felt like I was alone in something I was feeling. So I think when people talk about it, I don’t necessarily dwell on it or lament on it, but I think it’s important to talk about it. And when you talk about it, it kind of sets other people free.”
In his post on Instagram, Reynolds admitted that he was speaking out at the tail end of the month but explained why he was late in speaking out about his own issues.
“One of the reasons I’m posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip,” he wrote. “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,” the actor continued. “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...” Reynolds added.
His post got a comment from actor Hugh Jackman as well with whom Reynolds is involved in a friendly feud over the years.
“Mate - your honesty is not only brave but, I’m positive will help countless others who struggle with anxiety too. Good on you!,” wrote Jackman.
Reynolds, meanwhile, is gearing up for his next film, ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’, which is dropping in UAE cinemas on June 16.