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Ryan Reynolds Says He Knows What It's Like on the 'Darker End' of the Anxiety Spectrum

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Just about anyone with anxiety can tell you some days are easier than others. There are days when the worries aren’t as loud — and then there are days that are the polar opposite. On bad days, it can feel like your anxiety is all-consuming, and it’s easy to slip from feeling like you’re in control to feeling like you’re on the verge of dying.

Ryan Reynolds understands this. In an interview with the New York Times on Wednesday, Reynolds talked about what it’s like to find yourself on the “darker end” of the anxiety spectrum.

“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” Reynolds told the New York Times. “Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”

While most of us don’t know what it’s like to be interviewed on a talk show, some of us can probably relate to feeling your anxiety slip from “I kind of got this” into “I’m going to die” territory.

It’s important to hear stories like Reynolds’ because men speaking openly about anxiety can be hard to come by. According to the American Psychological Association, 9 percent of men in the U.S. experience depression and anxiety. Though most anxiety disorders are more prevalent in women than men, a few affect both women and men equally such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. Men are also less likely to seek help or talk about their experiences.

“I’m an adult man with anxiety and you’d never know it and that’s the way I want it. Why? Because I, like many men, fear vulnerability is a weakness,” a contributor for The Mighty, John T, wrote about his experience. “I’d rather have an anxiety attack and no one know about it than let a classmate know and be vulnerable, worried about their opinion.”

Another contributor for The Mighty, Brian Hayford, wrote about the expectations society puts on men and it’s concept of “masculinity.” He said that men are “supposed to be tough, good providers, confident, decisive and rational.” Men are supposed to be “fearless.” But he reminds his readers that anxiety does not make anyone less manly.

Ryan Reynolds illustrates this by talking outwardly about his experiences with anxiety and sharing what helps him, which includes humor and using the app Headspace.

Image via Creative Commons/Ping Foo

Originally published: May 3, 2018
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