Ryan Reynolds has been vocal about mental health, and it’s all thanks to his three daughters.
Having recently opened up about his “lifelong” struggles with anxiety on Instagram, the 44-year-old Deadpool star spoke to Entertainment Tonight about why he chose to speak out in the first place.
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“Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors 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,” the Free Guy star said.
“The home that I grew [up] 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.”
Reynolds shares three daughters — James, six, Inez, four and Betty, one — with wife Blake Lively.
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“Part of that is to destigmatise things and create a conversation around [mental health],” Reynolds said.
“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.”
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In May this year, Reynolds made a statement about mental health and his battle with anxiety in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month.
“One of the reasons I’m posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip,” he said in reference to the fact that when he posted the admission, the month of May was almost over.
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“And one of the reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety.
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“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.
“We don’t talk enough about mental health and don’t do enough to destigmatise talking about it.
“But, as with this post, better later than never, I hope…” he concluded.
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Australian actor and longtime frenemy Hugh Jackman commented on Reynolds’ post, saying: “Mate – your honesty is not only brave but, I’m positive will help countless others who struggle with anxiety too. Good on you!”
Reynolds said that he hopes him coming forward will help others who may be struggling with their own mental health.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.