Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Ryan Reynolds on coping with crippling anxiety attacks: “Blake helped me through”

rexfeatures_5612566e.jpg

It is all too easy to look at people in the spotlight and assume that they are living a perfect life; they look glamorous and confident, they make millions doing a job they truly love and they seem, genuinely, to be happy and successful.

However, with statistics from the Mental Health Foundation indicating there are at least 8.2 million cases of anxiety annually in the UK alone, you can never truly know what someone is going through behind closed doors.

Now Ryan Reynolds is the latest to join those in the public eye who have chosen to be open about their own battles with mental wellness, crediting wife Blake Lively with helping him through difficult periods.


Read more: Selena Gomez’s speech about her mental health battle is so powerful


The Deadpool star, speaking with Variety, recently revealed that he has battled with crippling anxiety ever since he was a child. And a lot of that was due to the pressures put upon him by his father.

“Our father was tough,” explained Reynolds. “He wasn’t easy on anyone. And he wasn’t easy on himself. I think the anxiety might have started there, trying to find ways to control others by trying to control myself. At the time, I never recognized that. I was just a twitchy kid.”

Despite establishing himself in the film industry and finding ways to manage his fears, Reynolds found that his anxiety returned when Deadpool – a film he had passionately campaigned to get off the ground for years – was given the green light.


Read more: These mental health greeting cards will remind you that you’re not alone


“I’d write 10 more jokes,” Reynolds said. “I never, ever slept. Or I was sleeping at a perfect right angle – just sitting straight, constantly working at the same time.”

Attempting to bring such a beloved comic book character to the silver screen proved to be incredibly daunting, particularly as fan expectations were so incredibly high. However, whereas he had battled anxiety alone in the past, this time around Gossip Girl star Lively was there to calm him.

“Blake helped me through that,” he said. “I’m lucky to have her around just to keep me sane.”

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively with their children

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively with their children

It is not the first time that Reynolds has publicly addressed his struggles with anxiety.

In November 2016, he sat down with GQ to discuss the success of Deadpool and admitted he had a “bit of a nervous breakdown” once the film was finally finished.

“I literally had the shakes,” he told them. “I went to go see a doctor because I felt like I was suffering from a neurological problem or something. And every doctor I saw said, ‘You have anxiety’.”


Read more: Fearne Cotton opens up about her depression diagnosis


Asked what it was he felt so anxious about, he responded incredibly honestly.

“I say this with the caveat that I completely recognise the ridiculously fortunate position that I am in. But the attention is hard on your nervous system – that might be why I live out in the woods. And I was banging the loudest drum for Deadpool. I wasn't just trying to open it; I was trying to make a cultural phenomenon.”

Anxiety is, according to the Mental Health Foundation, a “type of fear usually associated with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, but can also arise from something happening right now”.

Symptoms include psychological sensations, such as being unable to concentrate, feeling emotionally numb, and having a sense of dread, as well as physical sensations, such as nausea, tension headaches, difficulty sleeping, or dizziness.

If you suffer from anxiety, your GP can offer talking treatments and certain types of medication to help you stay on top of your anxiety. The charity Mind also provides a number of self-care tips. These include breathing exercises, complementary therapies, and ideas on how best to break the cycle of fear and anxiety.

Visit the website for more advice or, alternatively, contact Anxiety Care UK, Fearfighter, or No Panic for a wealth of information and support.

 

Images: Rex / Instagram

Related

emma-stone.jpg

Emma Stone reveals how she tackled her debilitating anxiety

Fearne Cotton depression

Fearne Cotton opens up about her mental health battle

iStock-515152540.jpg

10 pages that set the bullet journal apart from your normal diary

More

Rebecca Black on the “intense nastiness” and abuse of her early fame

She was just 13 years old when her music video went viral

by Nicola Colyer
23 Oct 2017

Chrissy Teigen is a Clueless fangirl just like the rest of us

She did what we’d all do

by Susan Devaney
23 Oct 2017

Bridget Jones star Sarah Solemani: women need protection in auditions

The Bad Education actor recalls being asked to act out intimate scenes

by Amy Swales
23 Oct 2017

Kate Hudson on the unique harassment faced by women in Hollywood

“It feels horrible. It’s degrading. It’s dismissive. So much needs to change”

by Moya Crockett
23 Oct 2017

Jennifer Aniston reveals the £18 secret behind her iconic hair

And it's extremely low-effort

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Oct 2017

This is why Paloma Faith has never revealed her baby’s name

She welcomed her first child in December 2016, but has chosen not to publicise its name or sex

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Oct 2017

This massive star was very nearly in Hocus Pocus

Oh sisters, how very different things could have been

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Quentin Tarantino on not doing more to stop Harvey Weintsein

“I knew enough to do more than I did”

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Lupita Nyong’o says she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein as a student

“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

Mary Berry takes part in heartbreaking film about child bereavement

“I would thank him for being a brilliant son.”

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017