On January 6th, Kendall Jenner revealed on her app (“Kendall Jenner Official App”) that she has been battling with anxiety. It’s refreshing to see how many celebrities have been opening up with their mental health struggle over the past year. Yet, even with celebrities opening up about mental illness there is still a huge amount of stigma surrounding the community.
All it takes is a quick glance at the comment section of Kendall Jenner’s personal Facebook page and one can see how many disparaging remarks are listed regarding her anxiety issues. It’s hard to see people comparing their own mental illness and noting that she would never understand the struggle. The reality is that mental illness does not pick and choose who to affect depending on their class status. This should be proof that it does not matter who you are or how much money you have. Those things can't protect you from the crippling effects of anxiety. As someone who has been fighting to end the stigma behind mental illness I can say that a celebrity who is honest and open with his or her own fight is only going to help spread awareness.
I was a child when anxiety first snuck into my body. I didn’t have money or a career as a child but my anxiety was (and still is) very much a part of me. Anxiety can be situational but for a lot of people it just sits there on the sidelines of your mind waiting for the next chance to punch you in the gut all the time.
Celebrities deal with mental health challenges too
Kendall Jenner is in the spotlight and is constantly being judged, but admitting to anxiety should not be something she is judged on. By opening up to her audience and the general public, she is taking one step towards breaking down the stigma and hopefully this will open the door for more celebrities and people in general to speak up about their own issues.
I have been sick of living in fear of potential employers finding out about my major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Wouldn’t it be incredible if this wasn’t a fear that most people with mental illness have to experience any longer? When people open up about their mental illnesses, especially celebrities, more people are going to accept the fact that it is not what defines that individual. It is a part of their life but it is not who they are as a person, a worker, or a friend. I hope that more people can applaud Kendall Jenner about discussing anxiety and stop disparaging her issues because of her celebrity status.
We are all just people after all.
About the Author: Kelly Porter was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder a year and a half ago. It’s the main dish, but it comes with a side of Severe Recurrent Depressive Disorder and a side of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She's a 30-year-old Massachusetts native in two, and is very open about her diagnosis. This is because more people need to understand that Borderline Personality Disorder is generally a misunderstood diagnosis. Kelly believes that therapy and an understanding of her diagnoses have saved her life.