6 Celebs Who Opened Up About Drug/Mental Health Struggles in 2017

By Victoria Kim 12/15/17

From addiction to depression, models, actresses, rappers and singers bravely stepped forward to share their battles with the world this year.

Demi Lovato

In 2017, we witnessed more celebrities than ever who fearlessly shared their struggles with mental health or substance use that come part and parcel with being famous, and more importantly, a human being.

Here are the six most memorable stories The Fix has covered this year—out of many more—that best showcased the strength and perseverance that come with speaking up about our most personal demons.

1. Demi Lovato

The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer and Disney Channel alum tops our list. Lovato has by far been the most vocal about her addictions and bipolar disorder diagnosis. The pop star celebrated five years of sobriety in May. She also shared that part of her drive to leave behind her life of excess cocaine and alcohol use, and disordered eating, was being able to have a relationship with her younger sister Madison. 

Every day is a battle,” she said in September. “You just have to take it one day at a time, some days are easier than others and some days you forget about drinking and using, but for me, I work on my physical health, which is important, but my mental health as well.”

2. Gabourey Sidibe

The Academy Award-nominated actress had to wrestle with her demons on her own for a long time before she finally sought professional help. Sidibe—who you may know from the 2009 film Precious or in recent roles on the popular TV series American Horror Story and Empire—shared her struggles with crippling depression and disordered eating this past spring, in tandem with the release of her new memoir. The actress now has the tools to cope with negative thoughts and feelings, instead of having to fight these inner battles on her own. 

“I just accepted depression as something that’s part of my anatomy; it’s part of my chemistry, it’s part of my biology,” she said, according to People magazine. “[But] when it’s too big for me to just turn around on my own, I see a therapist.”

3. Logic

The 27-year-old Maryland rapper grew up with a mother and father who struggled with drug and alcohol use disorder. He himself is now sober, once telling the Village Voice that his parents showed him “what not to do.” (He is featured on The Fix’s top 10 list of sober rappers.) Logic's hit single and suicide awareness anthem “1-800-273-8255,” named after the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and featuring singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September. 

“I made this song for all of you who are in a dark place and can’t seem to find the light,” said the rapper.

4. Selena Gomez

The singer and actress is another visible icon for mental health awareness, alongside fellow Disney Channel alum Demi Lovato. In August 2016, the young star made headlines when she canceled her world tour to focus on her mental health. She addressed it at the 2016 American Music Awards, and has continued to be a beacon of hope for people struggling with anxiety as well as physical illness. 

“I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down,” she said. “If you are broken you do not have to stay broken.”

5. Chrissy Teigen

The model and TV personality, who is married to singer John Legend, also put herself in the spotlight, talking candidly about her experience with postpartum depression. She addressed it firsthand in a March essay in Glamour magazine: “I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy. I blamed it on being tired and possibly growing out of the role: ‘Maybe I’m just not a goofy person anymore. Maybe I’m just supposed to be a mom.’” 

In August she discussed her decision to stop drinking, which she said can easily get out of control being in the entertainment industry. “I was, point blank, just drinking too much,” she said. 

The former Sports Illustrated model and Lip Sync Battle host acknowledged that alcohol did nothing to help her postpartum depression and anxiety issues. “I used to think it was kind of nutty to have to go totally sober. But now I get it. I don’t want to be that person… I have to fix myself.”

6. Pete Davidson

The “resident young person” on Saturday Night Live had what he called the “worst year” of his life. Earlier in 2017, the comedian announced that he’d “quit drugs” and was “happy and sober for the first time in eight years.” Just months later, it was reported that Davidson was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which his doctors attributed to his feeling “depressed all the time.” 

“I’ve been having a lot of problems. This whole year has been a fucking nightmare,” he said on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast. “This has been the worst year of my life, getting diagnosed with this and trying to figure out how to learn with this and live with this.” He also shared that he’s on new medication and going to therapy following his BPD diagnosis. “It is working, slowly but surely.”

For an extended list of celebs who have been vocal about their mental health this year, check out BuzzFeed’s “27 Celebrities Who Opened Up About Their Mental Health This Year.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr