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7 Celebrities & Famous People with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is more common than most people think and it’s no surprise there are several famous people with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. ...

famous people with ptsd
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Post-traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as PTSD, is more common than most people think and it’s no surprise there are several famous people with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The National Center for PTSD, reports that about 6% of the population will experience PTSD at one point in their lives, and roughly 15 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD each year.

PTSD is a mental health disorder people develop PTSD 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 many celebrities and famous people 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.

Here are 7 Celebrities and Famous People With PTSD

Here are a few examples of many famous people and celebrities with PTSD who have come forward and spoken out about the cause of their PTSD, their struggles, experience with the condition and recovery stories.

celebrities with ptsd post traumatic stress disorder

1. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is very open about her mental health struggles and is a big advocate for PTSD awareness. She has spoken at length about dealing with PTSD after sexual assault 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.

2. Ariana Grande

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 opened up about her struggles and 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.

3. Mick Jagger

Sir Mick Jagger, the famous singer of the band The Rolling Stones, developed PTSD as a result of 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.

4. Barbara Streisand

Barbara Streisand is just one of many celebs 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.

5. Alanis Morrisette

Similar to Streisand, Alanis Morrisette acquired PTSD from her career. More specifically, it was the quick rise to fame that adversely affected the singer and why she struggles with the condition.

After she released the infamous album Jagged Little Pill, she became the focus of 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.

6. Whoopi Goldberg

Those who have watched Whoopi Goldberg on The View know there is no topic off-limits.

As someone in show business 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 the childhood trauma 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.

7. Travis Barker

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. Due to his struggle with PTSD and ‘survivors guilt’ he 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.”

The experiences of these seven well-known individuals underscore the widespread occurrence and significance of PTSD.

Their narratives serve as a source of inspiration and showcase that individuals can flourish despite the difficulties associated with the condition when provided with appropriate treatment and support.

Through their efforts to raise awareness and foster discussions on mental health, these famous people and celebrities with PTSD play a vital role in diminishing the stigma surrounding PTSD and motivating others to seek assistance.

It is important to remember that living a fulfilling life with PTSD is attainable, and aid is accessible to those who require it.

Symptoms of PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD and the symptoms can manifest itself through a variety of symptoms that impact a person’s mental and emotional well-being.

Some of the common symptoms include flashbacks, where the individual may re-experience the traumatic event through vivid and distressing images or sensations.

Other symptoms include intrusive thoughts or memories of the event, which can lead to intense psychological distress.

Additionally, individuals with PTSD may experience nightmares or night terrors related to the trauma, leading to disruptive sleep patterns and chronic fatigue.

Individuals with PTSD may display avoidance behaviors, such as avoiding people, places, or activities that remind them of the traumatic event.

This can lead to social isolation and difficulty in maintaining relationships.

Individuals with PTSD may exhibit heightened reactivity, including increased irritability, sudden outbursts of anger, or difficulty concentrating on tasks.

Finally, PTSD can also lead to symptoms of hyperarousal, such as being easily startled, feeling constantly on edge, or having trouble relaxing.

PTSD is a Treatable Condition

While PTSD symptoms can be debilitating, with proper treatment and support, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and go on to lead productive lives.

One of the most effective forms of treatment for PTSD is psychotherapy, particularly evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

These therapies can help people face and process their traumatic experiences, challenge negative thought patterns, and develop coping skills to manage their symptoms.

In some cases, medication may also be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

If other conditions are present such as mental disorders, bipolar disorder, addiction or a substance use disorder then this could be considered a co-occurring disorder and dual diagnosis treatment should be considered.

Support groups and peer support can also provide individuals with a sense of community and understanding as they navigate their journey toward healing.

It is important if people have suffered with PTSD to seek professional help from qualified mental health professionals who specialize in trauma-focused care.

With the right diagnosis of PTSD, treatment and support, individuals can experience significant improvement in their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

No one should have to suffer in silence, and reaching out for help to learn more about post-traumatic stress disorder is the first step toward healing and recovery.


Can you live a good life with PTSD?

Yes you can lead a fulfilling life with PTSD.

Although the disorder presents its challenges, individuals can significantly improve their quality of life by seeking appropriate treatment, such as therapy, medication, and support networks.

The experiences of these celebrities demonstrate that with the right support and rehab, individuals with PTSD can recover and find fulfillment in their lives.

What famous athlete has PTSD Trauma?

Michael Phelps, a renowned Olympic swimmer, has openly shared his journey with complex PTSD.

Alongside depression and anxiety, which often accompany PTSD, Phelps has discussed his mental health condition. By speaking candidly about his experiences, he has played a role in breaking down stigmas surrounding mental health issues within the realm of sports.

Who suffers from PTSD the most?

While PTSD can impact anyone, certain groups are more susceptible to developing the disorder.

Military veterans who have a psychiatric disorder or who have experienced combat or traumatic events during their service often face a higher risk of dealing with PTSD.

However, it is crucial to recognize that PTSD can affect individuals from all walks of life, irrespective of age, gender, or occupation. It is important to prioritize mental health support and foster a compassionate and understanding society for all those affected by PTSD.

When is PTSD Awareness Month?

PTSD Awareness Month is observed in the United States every June. This month is dedicated to raising awareness and the impact it can have on the lives of those who suffer from it. Through education and outreach efforts, the goal is to increase understanding and support for individuals affected by PTSD.

Photo Credits:

  • Mick Jagger by Gorup de Besanez
  • Lady Gaga by Carlos M. Vazquez II
  • Alanis Morissette by Justin Higuchi
  • Ariana Grande by Cosmopolitan UK
  • Barbara Streisand by Al Ravenna
  • Whoopi Goldberg by Mark Taylor
  • Travis Barker by Carl Lender


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