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Ryan Reynolds is seen as one of the most confident and funny celebrities out there. Whether it’s him ‘breaking the fourth wall’ as Deadpool, or trolling both his wife, Blake Lively, and best friend, Hugh Jackman, on Twitter, it’s hard to imagine that the 45-year-old struggles with much, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I’ve had anxiety my whole life really. And you know, I feel like I have two parts of my personality, that one takes over when that happens.”  Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds on His Journey With Anxiety

The Red Notice actor has previously opened up about his anxiety, but in a new interview with The New York Times, Reynolds shared more about his mental health condition, sharing that he deals with both types of anxiety,

“Both in the lighthearted, ‘I’m anxious about this,’ kind of thing,'” he continued, “and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”

Reynolds also shared in 2016 during an interview with Variety that he believed that his anxiety stemmed from his ‘tough’ childhood, adding that his father was tough on him and his siblings.

What does his anxiety feel like?


Reynolds shared that his anxiety used to present itself in different ways.

For instance, he shared that he used to wake up in the dead of night, battling with irrational panic over his future.

He also shared that he began self-medicating in his early 20s in order to deal with, or better yet avoid, the symptoms associated with anxiety,“I was partying and just trying to make myself vanish in some way.”

How does he deal with it?

The actor told The New York Times that he found a way to manage his anxiety early on in his career. In 1998 when he starred on the ABC sitcom “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” , Reynolds shared that he’d often warm-up the live studio audience in an effort to re-focus “the energy of just wanting to throw up.

He added that when it comes to his upcoming “Deadpool 2” promo interviews, he plans on doing the interviews in character so that he can better manage his anxiety.

“When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set. That’s that great self-defense mechanism. I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.”

Reynolds added that he uses the meditation app Headspace to stay calm and he also does his part to remind himself ahead of appearances that his anxious feelings will soon pass.

Talking about it helps

In the world that we live in, it’s so important to shed light on mental health struggles and Reynolds choosing to be so open about his journey is incredible and we have his family to thank for that.


The Canadian actor revealed that his decision to be open about his mental health was inspired by family (he has three daughters with Lively).

“Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behavior 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,he said.

“Part of that is to destigmatize things and create a conversation around [mental health],” Reynolds continued.

“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.”

MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: vancityreynolds/instagram

Want to know more?

One contributing factor that can lead to anxiety is definitely burnout. It’s clear that burnout is an issue that needs to be addressed, but where to start? Well, according to Prince Harry, putting yourself first could be the answer to dealing with burnout.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.