Last Updated on November 5, 2021 by Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley
Post-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is more common than you may realize. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 6% of the population will experience PTSD at one point in their lives, and roughly 15 million adults have PTSD each year. With these stats, it’s no surprise there are several famous people with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.
PTSD is a mental health disorder that can occur after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. An individual may experience a number of symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, depression, anger, or detachment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with this condition, it can help to learn about the celebrities with PTSD. Just like reading about celebrities in recovery, it highlights the fact that struggles like addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder can happen to anyone.
7 Famous People & Celebrities With PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Here are a few examples of famous people with PTSD have spoken out about the cause of the PTSD, their struggles, experience with the condition and road to recovery.
Lady Gaga is very open about her mental health struggles and is a big advocate for increased awareness. She has spoken at length about her PTSD after being raped at the age of 19. In interviews, she has said how the traumatic event continued to haunt her years later and how the symptoms started to impact her work. She has sought therapy for PTSD yet remains an outspoken advocate for the mental health epidemic.
In 2017, the news of a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK, spread across the globe. The horrific event took the lives of 22 concert-goers and left Grande with PTSD.
She revealed that she sought help after a brain scan showed her physical effects of PTSD. Like Gaga, Ariana Grade attended therapy, and has often said it saved her life.
Sir Mick Jagger, the legendary member of The Rolling Stones, developed PTSD following the sudden death of his partner. His girlfriend, L’Wren Scott, committed suicide, leaving Jagger deeply distraught. He was diagnosed with PTSD and advised to take time off work to deal with the trauma.
Barbara Streisand is just one of many celebrities with PTSD who have developed it due to their career. For Streisand, it was one specific event when she was signing in New York City’s Central Park. During this performance, she forgot the lyrics to the song she was signing. This greatly affected her, and she became so fearful that she didn’t perform live for another 30 years. However, she eventually got help and overcame it through a combination of medication and therapy.
Similar to Streisand, Alanis Morrisette acquired PTSD from her career. More specifically, it was the quick rise to fame that adversely affected the singer. After she released the infamous album Jagged Little Pill, she became the focus of celebrity news, paparazzi, and fans. As a result, she acquired PTSD. When speaking about it, she had said it was the chronic over-stimulation and invasion of space that triggered it. However, like the other famous people with post-traumatic stress disorder, she overcame it through therapy and continues to work on it today.
Those who have watched Whoopi on The View know there is no topic off-limits. As a celebrity with PTSD, she has spoken out about her struggles. When Whoopi was a child, she watched two planes collide in the air and crash. Ever since she’s had a fear of flying and experienced panic attacks when boarding a plane. She has also received therapy and has said that it has helped her significantly.
A plane crash also triggered Travis Barker’s PTSD, but this time he was in it. The Blink-182 drummer survived a 2008 plane crash that left him severely burned but killed three others. Before the crash and thereafter, he struggled with painkiller and marijuana addiction, but after multiple surgeries, he vowed to live a healthier life. Though he healed physically, the trauma still affected him. He suffered from PTSD and ‘survivors guilt’ and refused to fly. He has said that therapy, breath work, and holistic methods of healing have helped him. After 13-years, Barker overcame his fear of flying, taking his first flight overseas to Italy this year. He told People Magazine, “It’s still something very new to me, but having something that gives me the strength and hope to be able to overcome things that were so traumatic in my life, it just says a ton.”
Like everyone else, famous people with post-traumatic stress disorder can receive treatment and recover. These seven celebrities with PTSD are great examples showing that post-traumatic stress disorder is treatable with the right support and intervention.