Ryan Phillipe on how he uses "meditation and exercise" to tackle depression

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Susan Devaney
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It’s all too easy to believe that celebrities are the happiest, most content people on the planet due to their wealth, fame and success.

But Hollywood actor Ryan Phillipe’s unwavering determination to openly talk about his battle with depression is proof that not everything is always as it seems.

Phillipe – who’s currently playing a Marine Corps sniper in the USA drama Shooter -  first publicly opened up about his struggle with depression in 2015. And in a recent interview with US Women’s Health magazine, he discussed how he thinks we perceive the mental illness.  

“I believe that depression and mood disorders are on a spectrum akin to the way autism is, where it’s an individual experience,” he said.  

Phillipe also spoke candidly about the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“I think people fear being stigmatised or treated in a blanket fashion, which is sometimes the response to someone who says, ‘I struggle with depression.’ But really, depression could manifest in a thousand different ways depending on who it is,” he continued.

“I don’t think there’s any reason not to talk about it. We can help each other cope and give tools that we learn along the way.”

But Philippe is finding ways to help him deal with his battle with depression.

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself and be kinder and better. Meditation and exercise work for me,” Phillipe concluded.

And it’s not just celebrities who make us believe they’re living a life of glamour and idyllic happiness. With social media acting as a constant hotbed of activity for our day-to-day musings and social gatherings, is it any wonder we believe everyone except us is currently ‘living their best lives’?

Statistics from the Mental Health Foundation have indicated that depression is the predominant mental health problem worldwide – followed by anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Thankfully a plethora of A-Listers, such as Ryan Reynolds, Selena Gomez and Emma Stone, have also started a dialogue about their own mental health issues. Whether it’s depression, stress or anxiety – and how they too are making changes to their everyday lives to help ease the symptoms.

Depression is, according to the UK-based charity Mind, a “low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life. In its mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits … At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.”

Sue Baker OBE, director at Time to Change the mental health campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, tells

“It’s great to see Ryan Phillipe, an actor known to so many, speaking openly about his experiences of depression. By speaking so frankly about his own experiences, he shows that mental health problems can affect anyone. Ryan’s words will undoubtedly give many people, especially men, the confidence to reach out for support.

“Too many men still don’t see mental health as being relevant to them. That’s why we’ve launched the In Your Corner campaign – to encourage men to look out for their mates and step in if they’re acting differently.”

If you suffer from depression, your GP can offer talking treatments and certain types of medication to help you stay on top of your depression. The charity Mind also provides a number of tips and advice. 

Visit the website for more advice or, alternatively, contact SANE or Samaritans for a wealth of information and support.

Images: Instagram / Rex