International Men's Day: Jim Carrey, Zayn Malik and others who have opened up about mental illness
It's International Men's Day today! A day to celebrate men's achievements, contributions, and more importantly, to promote basic humanitarian values.
For the uninitiated, International Men's Day was first observed by the people of Trinidad and Tobago, a dual-island Caribbean nation near Venezuela. Conceived and coordinated by Jerome Teelucksingh from The University of the West Indies, the idea to create such an event comes from the realisation that there was no day celebrating men. "I realized there was no day for men... some have said that there is Father's Day, but what about young boys, teenagers and men who are not fathers?" he was quoted saying.
The objectives of celebrating the day are set out in "The Six Pillars of International Men's Day", and they include focusing on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, highlighting discrimination against men, and promoting male role model.
A secondary theme for IMD, usually suggested by world coordinators such as peace in 2002, men's health in 2003, healing and forgiveness in 2007, positive male role models in 2009 and 'our children's future' in 2010. And this year, the theme is Making a Difference for Men and Boys - it aims to focus on promoting the need to value men and boys and help people make practical improvements in men and boy’s health and well-being.
To celebrate International Men's Day, here are some of the celebrities who have come out in the open and spoken about their struggles with mental health issues.
“At this point, I don’t have depression. I had that for years, but now, when the rain comes, it rains, but it doesn’t stay. It doesn’t stay long enough to immerse me and drown me anymore.”
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
"Depression doesn't discriminate, and I thought that was an important part of the narrative if I was going to share a little bit of my story of the past. Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living or where you come from, it doesn't discriminate, we all kind of go through it. If I could share a little bit of it and if I could help somebody, I'm happy to do it."
"I have anxiety, I've always had anxiety.‘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. I have gone through a period of partying, to try and make himself vanish in some way and would frequently suffer from anxiety-related insomnia."
“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle."
"I still struggle with it but just remember every day that everyone deals with some level of anxiety or pressure; we're all in it together. All pain is temporary, and the thing is with anxiety, and why it's such a hard thing for people who don't have it to understand."
“I had a bit of a struggle at first because my life really contracted and I couldn't do a lot of the stuff I used to be able to do. If you get as famous as quickly as I did, your personal growth stops suddenly.”
"We’re all human. People are often afraid to admit difficulties, but I don’t believe that there should be a struggle with anything that’s the truth. If you were a guy, you used to have to be really masculine, but now expressing emotion is accepted and respected."
"I was just super depressed. I mean, I tried to kill myself. I was really fucked up after that [tour], because I had this girl that I thought I was going to marry and we broke up. I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t living up to my standard, I was living up to other people’s standards, and I just said ‘I don’t see the point'.”