Today, image is everything. All you must do is scroll through your social media accounts and instantly you will see how perfectly beautiful the lives of celebrities are. Perfect hair, perfect make up, and they always seem to have the energy to wake up and work out at 4:30 while still looking fresh.
We are a society engrossed with the idea of perfection and in love with Hollywood. Because of the glamour that is Hollywood – we think celebrities are immune to challenges ‘normal’ people go through and that includes mental health and substance abuse. At the back of our minds, we always think, “Their lives are so perfect, their bills are always paid, and everyone adores them, I’m pretty sure they have no issues at all.”
We all know that this is not true. In the last year alone, we have seen the deaths of popular figures such as Mac Miller, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain. We have also heard young celebrities speak about their own mental health struggles and we see that mental health affects everyone at every age and every social class bracket
An example is 90s icon Heather Locklear who was made famous by definitive pop culture shows such as Melrose Place, Dynasty, and other TV shows and movies. On the outside, Locklear seemed to have the perfect, Hollywood life but in the summer of 2018, Locklear was arrested and placed on a 5150 hold in June and again in early November. Locklear, who is said to be battling mental health and substance abuse issues, has been in and out of rehab before being placed on her second 5150 hold and eventually a 5250 hold meaning the hold extended from three days to fourteen days.
Those close to Heather believe that this is the best for her during this time because she needs additional help. Prior to her second hold, Heather has been displaying signs of erratic and violent behavior towards herself and others. Those close to the actress hopes that the plan that is being prepared by the therapist she is working with will get her the help she needs.
Locklear, who has been in rehab in 2008, 2017, and earlier this year, has not publicly spoken about her mental health issues in length but friends around her hope that this time she will fully recover and start a new chapter of her life.
For most of us, seeing the celebrities we admire in their moment of weakness can sometimes be overwhelming, but it can also be empowering for those who are suffering from the same illnesses to speak up about the inner battles that they face. It reminds us that at the end of the day, we are all humans and we are all susceptible to mental illness and substance abuse. It is also a good way to remind ourselves to be sensitive to those around us: our families, our friends, and our colleagues.