"We don't talk enough about mental health and don't do enough to destigmatize talking about it," Ryan Reynolds wrote on his Instagram

By Gabrielle Chung
May 26, 2021 05:06 PM
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Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds
| Credit: Jason Mendez/WireImage

Ryan Reynolds is getting real about his mental health.

The Deadpool star, 44, opened up about his "lifelong" struggles with anxiety in a candid Instagram post on Wednesday in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, which is typically designated for the month of May.

Acknowledging that the month is almost over," Reynolds explained, "One of the reasons I'm posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip. And one of the reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety."

"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," he 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..." the actor added.

Ryan Reynolds
Credit: Ryan Reynolds/Instagram

In a 2016, he told GQ that he mentally collapsed while making the first Deadpool movie — a project he had worked for 11 years to get it made.

"I felt like I was on some schooner in the middle of a white squall the whole time," he recalled of making the superhero film. "It just never stopped. When it finally ended, I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I literally had the shakes."

"I went to go see a doctor because I felt like I was suffering from a neurological problem or something. And every doctor I saw said, 'You have anxiety,' " Reynolds said.

The actor remembered that the pressure for the beloved Marvel character to translate well onscreen was "hard" on his "nervous system."

"And I was banging the loudest drum for Deadpool," he noted. "I wasn't just trying to open it; I was trying to make a cultural phenomenon."

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds
| Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Previously, Reynolds said he especially struggled with anxiety during the early days of his career. He told The New York Times in 2018 that his early 20s was a "real unhinged phase" and he self-medicated to ease his anxiety during that period.

"I have anxiety. I've always had anxiety," he said. "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."