Ryan Reynolds Says His 3 Daughters Inspired Him to Be Open About His Mental Health

Ryan Reynolds shares his three daughters — James, 6, Inez, 4, and Betty, 1 — with wife Blake Lively

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Ryan Reynolds has his three daughters to thank for helping him to speak out about his own mental health struggles.

Late last month, the 44-year-old actor opened up about his "lifelong" struggles with anxiety in a candid Instagram post in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, which is typically designated for the month of May.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight recently, Reynolds shared that his three daughters — James, 6, Inez, 4, and Betty, 1 — whom he shares with wife Blake Lively, inspired him to use his role as a public figure to speak out.

"Part of it is that I have three daughters at home and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors 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," said Reynolds. "The home that I grew in, that wasn't modeled for me really. And that's not to say that my parents were neglectful, but they come from a different generation."

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds. Jason Mendez/WireImage

"Part of that is to destigmatize things and create a conversation around [mental health]," he added. "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."

In his prior post for Mental Health Awareness Month, Reynolds acknowledged that the month was "almost over" as he explained why he was so late to bring about his own advocacy.

"One of the reasons I'm posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip," he admitted at the time. "And one of the reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety."

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Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds/Instagram

"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 actor continued. "We don't talk enough about mental health and don't do enough to destigmatize talking about it."

"But, as with this post, better later than never, I hope..." Reynolds added.

While chatting with ET, Reynolds also detailed that he hoped his speaking out about his own challenges would potentially help others who may be struggling with their mental health.

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"Other people feel like, 'Oh, he's feeling that and so am I.' And even though we might be in two completely different fields or we might have two completely different lives, it connects us in a way," the Deadpool star said. "A lot of it is just wanting to model certain things for my own kids and model things for anyone who might need to hear it."

Reynolds also admitted, "It's hard to sometimes turn one's brain off and that's a challenge for some people."

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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