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Ryan Reynolds opens up about his anxiety – and gets support from Hugh Jackman

By Zach Harper

May 26, 2021
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Ryan Reynolds has been very open about the anxiety he's experienced throughout his life and has decided to share about it again because May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

On May 26, he took to Instagram to reveal about how his anxiety manifests in ways that might not be totally obvious to most people. There's a tendency to think of anxiety as something that involves panic or nervousness, but it can express itself in more subtle ways.

"One of the reasons I'm posting this so late is I overschedule myself and important things slip," the 44-year-old shared. "And one of the reasons I overschedule myself is my lifelong pal, anxiety.

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"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. We don't talk enough about mental health and don't do enough to destigmatize taking about it. But, as with this post, better late than never, I hope..."

Hugh Jackman was among those to comment on the post – and had some very kind words for his friend and fake nemesis.

"Mate – your honesty is not only brave but I'm positive will help countless others who struggle with anxiety, too," he wrote. "Good on you!"

In 2018, Ryan opened up to The New York Times about how anxious he can get. He shared how he is "racked by dread and nausea" before going on talk shows, and liked to "warm up the audience" as a way to control his own nervousness back in his early days of his career. He also told the publication he developed a tendency to try and head off potential problems when he was a child and would fix things around the house to keep the stress level of his father, who was a former police officer, low.

Ryan has previously said Blake Lively is one of his biggest supports, telling The New York Times, "She gets me a lot." Photo: © Getty Images

Now, he's able to channel his anxiety in characters such as Deadpool, throwing himself fully into whatever role he's playing.

"When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set," he told The New York Times. "That's a great self-defence mechanism."

Thanks to Ryan for sharing this with the world. Like Hugh said, he'll likely to do a lot of good because there's a good chance many people reading Ryan's message will recognize some of their own behaviour and realize it's anxiety. The great thing is, there are lots of strategies to manage anxiety, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, and no shortage of books about it, too!

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