Canadian Actor Ryan Reynolds Opens up about Anxiety and Mental Health Challenges

Ryan Reynolds in The Adam Project - Credit: Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2022

From comedies to Marvel blockbusters, actor Ryan Reynolds has been a Hollywood fixture since the late ‘90s. With his charm, humour, and impactful fundraising efforts for organizations like SickKids, the Vancouver native is considered one of Canada’s national treasures. And yet, despite all of his success and accolades, the Deadpool actor has struggled with anxiety for as long as he can remember.

At some point in our lives, we all experience symptoms of anxiety; it is completely normal to worry when situations feel uncertain. But when it becomes chronic, and seemingly without reason, anxiety can become extremely difficult to manage, making it a challenge to function on a regular basis. Reynolds has experienced this first-hand, as he recently revealed in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. “I’ve had anxiety my whole life. And you know, I feel like I have two parts of my personality, that one takes over when that happens.”

In 2021 during Mental Health Awareness Month, Reynolds made a heartfelt post on Instagram to offer words of support to fellow anxiety sufferers. “I know I'm not alone and more importantly, to all those like me who overschedule, overthink, overwork, over-worry, and over-everything, please know you're not alone.” The post was met with hundreds of comments from fans expressing their appreciation for his vulnerability.

While the short-lived 1998 sitcom Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place launched Reynolds’ career, it was a tough time for the star and his mental health. In a 2018 interview with The New York Times, he opened up about awakening in the middle of the night with intense fear about his future. Reynolds goes on to discuss how he has self-medicated in the past, “I was partying and just trying to make myself vanish in some way.”

The actor has also explained how over-working and over-committing is a coping method for him. "I tend to pave over anxiety with work and, to a lesser extent, achievement," he told The Wall Street Journal in 2021. He continues, “Well, I said I was going to, so I have to deliver this. I will do that at the cost of my own well-being sometimes.” People-pleasing is both a symptom and a cause of anxiety.

Lately, Reynolds is prioritizing his mental health, taking a short sabbatical from acting to spend more time with his family while focusing on the here and now. "So these days, my goal is to be as present as I can and not just tick a box just to do it,” Reynolds says. “I'm fully embracing and living that right now. It's been amazing."

By sharing their personal stories, public figures like Reynolds raise awareness for mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and other invisible disabilities – and why a proper diagnosis and medical treatment is so important. In doing so, people feel less shame about their own struggles. As we normalize these conversations, we can foster a more understanding and empathetic society in which people aren’t afraid to ask for help when they need it most.

Chronic anxiety can make even the smallest task feel overwhelming. If you are struggling to meet the demands of work and life because of your mental illness, applying for long term disability benefits can provide the support you need as you seek professional treatment and work towards feeling better.

When a long term disability insurance company denies your LTD claim, we can help. With 35 years of experience as a disability law firm in Ontario, Share Lawyers has helped many clients, including those with anxiety, depression, and panic disorders, get the disability benefits they rightfully deserve. Disability law in Canada is always evolving and now covers more conditions than ever before and legal precedent suggests that disability can and should be interpreted in broad terms.

Unfortunately, mental illnesses can be hard to diagnose, especially when there isn’t objective proof that you are suffering. Even if you don’t have a diagnosis, that doesn’t mean you aren’t sick. Anxiety and panic can have a profoundly negative effect on your quality of life and ability to function. If this sounds familiar or you have been wrongly denied long term disability insurance benefits (denied LTD benefits), don’t hesitate to reach out to a long term disability lawyer at Share Lawyers. We will be happy to provide you with a free consultation so you can explore your options.

If you have had your claim for long term disability denied, contact the long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of long-term disability (LTD) lawyers can help. We have recently settled cases against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

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