It's not an easy thing to share a health secret, especially if it's with the whole world. These six stars chose to speak out about their health struggles—and found it both scary and surprisingly empowering.
In a tweet last year, the singer told her fans that she had suffered excruciating pain for years before she was diagnosed with the gynecological disorder endometriosis: "Finding out that I had endo was the most bittersweet moment because it meant I wasn’t crazy! I wasn’t a ‘baby’!"
When Lovato learned she had bipolar disorder at age 18, she thought, "There must be a reason why I’m going through this, and maybe the reason is so that I could help others," she told the website The Cut. Her advocacy has been shattering stigmas ever since. "You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it," the actress said in the same interview.
"Sometimes you feel it’s safer if you lock it up inside," the Today cohost said about her breast cancer experience. But she realized: "No matter what you’ve been through, someone has been through worse.”
The actress conveyed just how serious depression can be in an essay for the website Motto: "Its debilitation was all-consuming.... I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure." She adds: "When you try to keep things hidden, they fester."
After she gave birth, Teigen suffered months of postpartum depression and anxiety. "I have a great life. I have all the help I could need.... But postpartum does not discriminate," she wrote in Glamour. "I want people to know it can happen to anybody."
Learning she had Hashimoto’s disease (which causes an underactive thyroid) at first felt like a curse, the actress told Health in 2016. But, she’s said, her struggle has taught her the power of self-acceptance. "It actually became a blessing because then I got to represent... women who are dealing with this disease."