Experts claim that when celebrities discuss their health problems publicly, it helps to decrease the negative perception surrounding them.

In recent weeks, several celebrities have shared news about their health conditions. Ed Sheeran revealed his ongoing struggle with an eating disorder, while Maria Menounos updated on her pancreatic cancer. Toni Braxton talked about her battle with lupus, and Jewel discussed her mental health reset on CBS Morning. Meghan Trainor also revealed her diagnosis of vaginal spasms.

Experts say that as more celebrities speak out about their health and mental health challenges, it could have a positive impact on fans and viewers by raising awareness and removing stigma. A general practitioner and medical director of the women’s health app Flo, Dr. Adiel Hoffman, said: “Improved awareness can also influence positive health behaviors, such as seeking help from professionals and accessing trusted sources.”

Although there isn’t a ton of medical evidence for celebrity exposure, mental health research shows it can have an impact. For example, in a 2022 analysis, researchers found that publicity about mental health by celebrities may reduce stigma and lead to better acceptance of people with mental health disorders. Publicizing mental health can also help counter false beliefs about illness and minimize stereotypes.

Exposing one’s own mental health problems can encourage others to seek help. Elizabeth Altunkara, director of education at the Eating Disorders National Association, said: “People who struggle with eating disorders and body image issues typically feel shame and find it difficult to be open about it. Being open about these challenges reminds us that anyone can be affected by these issues and that it’s okay to talk about them and ask for help.”

Hoffman believes the same benefits apply to those who talk about other health problems considered “taboo”. It can help raise public awareness and understanding, break down barriers, and encourage open conversation. She also pointed out the importance of providing accurate information and remembering that each individual’s experience is different.

If you or someone you know is struggling with body image or dietary issues, you can call or text the National Eating Disorders Association’s toll-free and confidential helpline at 1-800-931-2237, or via click-to-chat message at For 24/7 crisis situations, text the message “NEDA” to 741-741.

Leave a Reply