“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety. Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”
Anxiety can affect anyone, even Ryan Reynolds, a literal superhero who’s getting ready for the release of the sequel to his blockbuster hit Deadpool.
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In an interview with the New York Times, Reynolds was candid about the anxiety he’s had his whole life, and his quotes about it are incredibly relatable for anyone with a similar experience.
“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” he said. “Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”
Like a lot of people, his anxiety started as a child, when his father’s screaming would put it into overdrive.
“I became this young skin-covered micro manager,” he said. “When you stress out kids, there’s a weird paradox that happens because they’re suddenly taking on things that aren’t theirs to take on.”
As he got older, anxiety would paralyze him, waking him up in the middle of the night, so he self-medicated. “I was partying and just trying to make myself vanish in some way,” he said.
After a few friends died of overdoses, he turned away from partying, the New York Times reported.
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And now, the expectations put on Deadpool 2 to live up to the first movie have tapped into his instinct to expect the worst.
“When there’s built-in expectation,” he said, “your brain always processes that as danger.”
Now, Reynolds says he relies on the meditation app Headspace (same, Ryan) and says one of his tricks is doing interviews in character as Deadpool.
“When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set,” he said of his interview strategy. “That’s that great self-defense mechanism,” he continued. “I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.”
It’s a relief to see more celebs, especially men, being open about their mental health.
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• You can learn more about starting therapy, since pretty much everyone can benefit from talking to a professional.
• You can learn more about anxiety from the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health.
• And if you need to talk to someone immediately, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and the Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting HOME to 741741.