10 Famous Latinas Who Have Dealt With Mental Illness

credit: @FridaKahlo / Instagram

When it comes to their public personas, Latinas in the limelight are often burdened by pressures to appear as perfect as we expect them to be. Still, despite how put-together some might seem, many often struggle internally with the often very dark and ugly battles that come with having a mental illness. 

Here’s a look at 9 famous Latinas who have endured mental illnesses both publically and privately.

1. Frida Kahlo

Kahlo’s work acted as a very sincere reflection of the traumatic events in her life that ultimately inspired the passionate painter to create her works. Channeling the severe emotional and physical pains that she often endured, Kahlo frequently depicted her struggle on canvas. In August 1953, after her right leg was amputated due to gangrene, Kahlo became severely depressed and anxious causing her to rely on and ultimately become dependent on painkillers. In a diary entry written in February of 1954, Kahlo wrote that she had attempted suicide after learning that her husband, Diego Rivera, had cheated on her. “They have given me centuries of torture and at moments I almost lost my reason. I keep on wanting to kill myself. Diego is what keeps me from it, through my vain idea that he would miss me,” Kahlo wrote. “But never in my life have I suffered more.”

2. Isabel Allende

After the death of her daughter Paula in 1992, the Chilean House of Spirits author fell into a deep depression she thought she would never climb out of. Allende once described the pains of coping with her daughter’s death explaining “If you had told me the day before she fell into the coma that such a thing was going to happen, I would have killed myself. If I had known the amount of pain I would have to endure, I would have killed myself because I would have thought I would never be able to survive this thing –and I wouldn’t have wanted to survive, I would have wanted to die before.”

 

3. Mariah Carey

Thank you for all the anniversary wishes! #L4L

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In a recent interview with People magazine, Carey opened up about her years-long struggle with bipolar II disorder. After experiencing a highly publicized “breakdown” in 2001, the singer with Afro-Venezuelan roots was hospitalized for “extreme exhaustion” and ultimately diagnosed with the mental health disorder that causes manic and depressive episodes. “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she told People. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”

4. Selena Gomez

all apologies

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In the summer of 2016, Gomez was in the midst of her Revival tour when she abruptly canceled its last leg. In a statement issued to People magazine, the singer of Mexican descent explained that she had decided to end her tour early in order to seek treatment for anxiety and depression. Last year she talked about her decision to enter treatment in her cover story for Vogue. “Tours are a really lonely place for me,” she told the magazine,” she said. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically, I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable. I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it—which, I think, was a complete distortion.”

5. Salma Hayek

#nyc

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Back in 2012, the Mexican actress talked to the now-defunct women’s magazine, Lucky, about how her struggles with acne led to severe depression. “This acne was so bad it sent me into severe, severe depression,” she said. Highlighting how mental disorders can manifest themselves in physical ways and ultimately cause a cycle, Hakek explained how her depression led her to gain weight, a result, she said, worsened her mental state. “The next stage with that sort of depression is food: too little, or too much,” Hayek said. “Guess what I did? I mean, I was fat and broken out, I couldn’t leave the house and I couldn’t pay the rent!”

6. Eva Longoria

Two years after enduring a very public divorce with her now-ex-husband Tony Parker in 2011, Longoria opened up about how she fell into a deep depression after their breakup on “The Dr. Oz Show.” Longoria admitted that she didn’t immediately recognize she was depressed but knew that when friends started to compliment her on her weight loss she knew that there was something wrong. “That’s probably the time I got the most compliments because I was so skinny. I was not eating. I was depressed. I was sad. My diet was coffee. So people kept saying, ‘You look amazing. Divorce agrees with you,’ ” the actress of Mexican parents explained. “And I was like, I don’t feel good. I have no energy.”

7. Gina Rodriguez

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It’s not uncommon for fans of Rodriguez to see the “Jane The Virgin” star get real about life. Still, when she opened up to fans on Instagram last year about her struggle with anxiety many were surprised by her reveal. In an Instagram post that featured the actress smiling for a 10-second portrait, the Puerto Rican actress wrote of how she has learned to cope with the mental illness. “I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself,” she wrote on Instagram, along with a clip of herself. “I wanted to protect her and tell her it’s ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.”

8. Camila Mendes

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Last year in October, the “Riverdale” star got real about her decision to seek therapy after years of struggling with an eating disorder and straining to adjust to her new life in the limelight. “I can say from experience that eating disorders are a serious mental disorder,” Mendes wrote in an Instagram post. “Growing up, I watched my big sister suffer from one for many years, and I’ve experienced periods of my life when I’ve suffered symptoms as well.”

9. Jennifer Lopez

Lopez opened up about her struggle to keep up with her mental health back in 2014 when she published her tell-all book True Love. The Puerto Rican actress shared how severe anxiety had affected her life back in 2002. At the time, the Puerto Rican artist was sleeping less than 5 hours each night and working for weeks without a day off while balancing her work on the movie “Enough” and recording a new album. “I had worked maybe 55 days in a row without a day off and shooting on a film, and I just one day was walking towards the set and  every time I walked towards the set my heart would start beating and I would start getting frightened.” After feeling as if she was unable to move and her vision began to blur, Lopez explained that she immediately went to a hospital where a physician told her that her work had taken a toll on both her body and mind.  “The truth is, I wasn’t taking care of myself at all. I wasn’t loving myself at all. All I was thinking about was pleasing everyone else and showing everybody else that I could do all these things and that I was fine… I have to take care of myself first before I can take care of anyone else.”

10. Demi Lovato

I wasn’t made to fall in line..

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Lovato has been vocal about her struggles with bipolar disorder, addiction, anorexia, bulimia and self-harm for years now. In 2010 it was revealed that the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer sought help for her mental illnesses and entered a treatment facility. Two years later 2012, the Mexican musician talked candidly about her path to recovery in the MTV documentary “Demi Lovato: Stay Strong.” In a 2017 Youtube documentary about her sobriety, the singer admitted to being under the influence of cocaine while being interviewed for her documentary with MTV saying “I wasn’t working my program. I wasn’t ready to get sober. I was sneaking it on planes, sneaking it in bathrooms, sneaking it throughout the night. Nobody knew.”


Read: Mariah Carey Is Using Her Voice To Talk About Her Experience With Bipolar Disorder And Stigmas Attached to Mental Illness

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