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6 Famous People With PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

June is PTSD Awareness Month, so it’s an appropriate time to learn more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This mental health issue can impact anyone, and there are quite a few celebrities and famous people with PTSD who have come forward to talk about it.

Famous People With PTSD

Surviving or witnessing a deeply traumatic event is a lot more common than most people may assume. It’s estimated that 50 percent of women and around 60 percent of men experience or observe some kind of harrowing or painful event at least once in their lives.

Whether it’s physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse, natural disaster, war, homelessness or witnessing a tragic death or injury, these types of events can leave devastating emotional and psychological scars.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop in those that have experienced or witnessed trauma.

The mere memory of the trauma can cause distressing thoughts and feelings, and leave a person feeling anger, sadness, depression or detached from those around them.

They may deal with upsetting flashbacks, suffer insomnia or repetitive nightmares of that terrible moment.

Treatment is Possible

With proper counseling and treatment, people suffering from PTSD can lead healthy, productive lives as they learn how to recover from the trauma.

Left untreated, however, the illness can worsen and lead to other problems, such as chronic depression, anxiety, or addiction.

A 2013 study found that nearly half of all people seeking treatment for a substance use disorder also met the criteria for PTSD.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that around 8 million adults in the U.S. will suffer from PTSD in a given year, though that number is likely under reported because many people never get the help they need and deserve.

Because anyone can be a victim of, or witness a traumatic event, it can be helpful to know that there are even celebrities who have opened up about their struggles with this serious mental health issue.

Celebrities and Famous People With PTSD

Here Are 6 Celebrities and Famous People With PTSD

1. Ariana Grande

On May 22, 2017, excited fans crowded into Manchester Arena, in Manchester, England, to enjoy a concert by the iconic pop star, Ariana Grande.

Tragically, a terrorist detonated a bomb, which killed 22 people and injured more than 800. Grande opened up about her struggles, saying in an interview, “It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss. But, yeah, [PTSD] is a real thing.”

2. Shia LaBeouf

No longer just a famous child actor, Shia LaBeouf has had some very public struggles with alcohol addiction and the law.

While shooting a movie in Georgia, in 2017, he was arrested and sentenced to court-ordered rehab.

“[Rehab] was the first time I was told I had PTSD,” he said during a podcast with the Hollywood Reporter. “I just thought I was an alcoholic.”

3. Mick Jagger

Even a rock legend like the Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger is not immune to trauma.

In March 2014, Jagger’s longtime girlfriend, fashion designer L’Wren Scott took her own life. On orders from his doctors, Jagger took a month off, cancelling planned Rolling Stones concerts in Australia and New Zealand to deal with the impact of his trauma.

4. Monica Seles

With extraordinary talent, Monica Seles became the youngest professional tennis player to garner a number one ranking at the age of just 13.

In 1993, however, she was attacked on the court, during a match in Germany against Steffi Graf. She took a two-year break while receiving treatment for PTSD.

She returned to the court in 1995, and after retiring in 2008, Seles has become an author and a speaker.

5. Charlize Theron

An award winning producer and actor, Charlize Theron is easily one of the most successful talents in show business.

However, she suffered a traumatic event while a teenager living in her native South Africa. In self-defense, her mother shot and killed her father who’d come up drunk, armed and abusive.

“I survived that, and I’m proud of that,” Theron said in a profile of her life. “That was my entire childhood. My trauma was all of that.”

6. Clint Malarchuk

During a nationally televised hockey game in 1989, Clint Malarchuk, a then goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres, had his jugular vein severed by the skate of an opposing player.

Miraculously, he was back on the ice 10 days later. The accident didn’t come without consequences, though. Malarchuk later suffered anxiety, depression, flashbacks, and more than a decade later was drinking heavily and attempted suicide.

“I went 20 years with undiagnosed PTSD that almost ended my life 20 years later,” he said in a 2019 interview. “We think we’re weak, and we’re not. We’re sick. But with any illness or sickness, you can get well.”

PTSD Awareness

As mentioned earlier, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect anyone, so it’s not unusual for celebrities and famous people with PTSD to talk about their struggles to raise awareness about the disorder.

During PTSD Awareness Month in June, it’s important to learn more about how this mental health issue can impact overall health and well being for so many people.

It’s vital for those who have struggled with trauma to seek help for their own mental health.

There are a number of treatment modalities that are beneficial for healing trauma, such as Brainspotting Therapy and also Neurofeedback Therapy.

Everyone should know that PTSD is a treatable condition, and there is no shame in seeking help for recovery.

Photo Credits:

Ariana Grande by David Shankbone
Shia LaBeouf by John Bauld
Mick Jagger by Gorup de Besanez
Monica Seles by Kingkongphoto &
Charlize Theron by Fuzheado
Clint Malarchuk by Claude Brochu