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Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a widely known psychiatric disorder that continues to hit millions of people across the world. Trauma is a deep-rooted issue that does not discriminate by wealth, age, fame, or success. This deep-rooted issue can even re-emerge years after the traumatic event has happened and has reportedly hit many high-profile celebrities. Many of these celebrities with PTSD have publicly opened up regarding their struggles, giving other people hope and inspiration to overcome this illness and work toward recovery.
A List of Famous People with PTSD
Mentioned below are famous people who suffer from PTSD. While many of them have successfully managed their illness, others continue to travel on the recovery road.
When it comes to discussing celebrities with childhood trauma, Oprah’s name tops the list. In her famous autobiography, Winfrey publicly opened up about many traumas she had to deal with as a child, including severe beatings that left her bloody. Additionally, she was also a witness to extreme violence that frequently occurred between her grandparents. Fortunately, Oprah realized her trauma and found a way to overcome it before it affected her life anymore.
This celebrity underwent posttraumatic stress disorder, followed by the suicide of her girlfriend and a famous fashion designer L’Wren Scott. For him, the grief was so much that it left him paralyzed. His doctors reportedly forbade him from traveling for 30 days to stop his condition from getting worse.
While being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga revealed how she suffered from PTSD due to being constantly raped when she was only 19. The rape attempts were from someone she knew, and they damaged her badly. Unfortunately, the mega pop star never got treatment to deal with her trauma properly because she got famous and her life turned upside down very suddenly.
The world knows Chris Brown for his violent outbursts and poor impulse control. While attending a drug rehab as mandated by the court, experts diagnosed the singer with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The PTSD was attributed to the singer’s violent past and was considered a trigger for his poor behavior control.
Alanis became known to the world following her album Jagged Little Pill’s release. The singer describes that apparently star-studded time as an extremely traumatic one, mentioning that she did not laugh for two years. According to her, Alanis was always in survival mode and was constantly overstimulated, and suffered a lot.
The world knows Shia LaBeouf and his struggles with alcohol. He has also been in the news for frequently getting into fights. In 2018, the actor opened up about his struggles with childhood trauma stemming from his mother’s rape that he had to witness. Following his official joining of rehab due to a court order, Shia got the formal diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder and was allowed to work on it.
It is not very clear whether Ariana Grande suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder or not. The singer has; however, been quite vocal about the trauma she experienced due to the terrorist attack at one of her concerts in Manchester, England. The incident happened in 2017 and caused the death of 23 people. The singer considered music the safest thing in the world, and the incident imposed a heavy burden on her heart, according to her interviews.
The world knows Tracy Morgan for his exceptional work, but he also remains one of the most famous actors with PTSD. In 2014, Morgan’s world turned upside down when he was traveling as a passenger in a van toward his house when a high-speed Walmart tractor-trailer hit him. The force of the impact was so high that it overturned the van, leading to a four-car pileup. Morgan slipped into a coma which continued for eight days, whereas his friend, James McNair, died at the scene. Tracey also suffered from multiple broken ribs and a badly broken leg. Following the physical damage due to this incident, the actor developed intense PTSD and anxiety, and depression.
Whoopi Goldberg, the famous comedian, first opened up about her PTSD in 1978, describing it as a result of a mid-air collision she witnessed between two planes. Since then, the comedian has feared flying in addition to experiencing flashbacks of the tragic accident every time she boards a plane.
This iconic singer and actress once forgot the lyrics of a song she was performing on stage in Central Park, New York. Following this incident, Barbara feared performing live and could not do it for the next 30 years. Her PTSD got so worse that she had to receive medication and join therapy to overcome her fear and start performing again.
This popular Saturday Night Live impressionist and comedian has frequently spoken about his posttraumatic stress disorder on public platforms. With a history of being severely abused in childhood, Hammond got involved in years of drug and alcohol use along with self-harming behaviors. After receiving treatment for his underlying issues, the comedian continues to talk as an advocate for immediate treatment and therapy for a sober life.
Seles was known to the world as the world’s top tennis player and winner of the grand-slam only at the age of 16. A few years after her success, she was stabbed in the back using a nine-inch kitchen knife while on a court break during a match in Hamburg. This incident was followed by her father’s new diagnosis of terminal cancer, which stressed Monica so much that she developed an eating disorder along with PTSD. With help, she learned how to live in the moment and made a comeback before retiring from tennis. She has very bravely learned how to get through stress and loneliness while attempting to love herself again. Her struggles with weight gain following the diagnosis of PTSD have been documented in her book called “Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self.”
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
The famous first lady to President Kennedy was thought to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder after witnessing her spouse’s assassination firsthand. While Jacqueline never got an official diagnosis for this disorder, a recently published biography encircling her life describes how obsessive she was in retelling the incident to anyone, in addition to her troubles with sleeping. The biography also mentioned her crippling fear of being a target like her husband, pointing towards an underlying undiagnosed PTSD.
What are the symptoms in celebrities that have PTSD?
Following are some symptoms of PTSD that can hit celebrities:
- Persistent recollections of traumatic events
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Detachment or estrangement
- Intense psychological or physiological distress
- Irritability or angry outbursts
- Problems sleeping
- Problems concentrating
- Increased startle response
- Suicidal ideation
What happened with Whoopi Goldberg PTSD?
Whoopi did not shy from receiving professional treatment and therapy for her PTSD and successfully learned how to keep her condition under control.
Are there any treatment options for celebrities with PTSD?
PTSD hits everyone alike, regardless of how famous they are. Hence, everyone, including celebrities and common people, requires the same treatment and help at all levels. There are plenty of rehabs offering treatment for PTSD for everyone. However, because celebrities prefer to live and seek therapy somewhere peaceful and quiet where the media and paparazzi cannot invade their privacy, many rehabs have started working covertly in hidden areas to exclusively cater to high-profile people who wish to recover in complete secrecy.
Is there a cure for PTSD for celebrities?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for PTSD. However, with timely treatment, help, and support, many people experience a complete resolution of their symptoms and continue living without traumatic flashbacks or memories.