Celebrities with Social and Performance Anxiety

Some people may experience mild to moderate shyness, but others live with social anxiety disorder (SAD), which is actually a diagnosable mental health condition. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, SAD involves symptoms such as extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations and anxiety surrounding social interactions such as meeting new people or speaking in front of others at work or school.

 While it may seem counterintuitive given their public presence, some celebrities live with SAD and have spoken out about its effects on their performances. You may be surprised to learn that some of the following celebrities have struggled with SAD during their professional careers, but their stories demonstrate that it is possible to overcome this condition and achieve success in both your personal and professional life.

Chris Evans

Captain America actor Chris Evans has been open about his struggles with social anxiety. In fact, he was worried about accepting the role in Captain America and originally turned it down, according to reports. Evans has admitted to struggling with anxiety regarding being in the press, but he has learned to tell his brain to “quiet down” and feels that his acting roles have actually helped him to overcome anxiety.


Singer Adele is no stranger to the realities of social anxiety. She has even reported that her anxiety before shows used to be so high that she considered giving up touring. She would experience heightened anxiety during performances, worrying that her singing would not be satisfactory. She has used the poise of singers like Beyoncé as an example to build her confidence and overcome social anxiety related to performing.

Zayn Malik

Former One Direction band member Zayn Malik has experienced his own struggle with social anxiety. In fact, he has had to cancel performances because of anxiety related to performing. He felt comfortable during performances with his band, but once he became a solo artist, the stress of performing became too much for him.

Hugh Grant

Actor High Grant had to take an almost five-year break from his career due to social anxiety. He was so critical of himself when performing that he would forget his lines. Fortunately, he reports that he was able to return to acting with support from Meryl Streep.

Selena Gomez

Despite her successes, Selena Gomez has suffered from social anxiety, resulting from both social media exposure and the pressures of being onstage. Gomez has told reporters that she used to have panic attacks just before stepping on stage. With the help of dialectical behavior therapy, Gomez has found relief from anxiety.

Selma Blair

Selma Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, has experienced anxiety alongside this health condition. She has indicated that being in public and socializing have been challenging for her. She hopes to draw awareness to her struggles and has spoken openly about them.

Carson Daly

Even MTV personality Carson Daly has not been immune to anxiety, as he has shared that he was so anxious before his first time on air that he was having difficulty breathing.  He has also experienced high anxiety when being in public places, such as a playground. Luckily, Carson has been able to seek the help of therapy to address his anxiety levels.

Missy Elliot

Missy Elliot has described her struggle with symptoms specifically related to social anxiety disorder, such as being fearful that others are laughing at her or passing judgment. Her anxiety was so strong in the past that she had a panic attack requiring medical intervention before her 2015 performance at the Superbowl.

Jennifer Lawrence

Confident, show-stealing actress Jennifer Lawrence has also experienced anxiety in her past. According to recent reports, she struggled with social anxiety once she started school. She actually found relief when she began acting, because it increased her self-esteem and allowed her to discover her niche.

Ellie Goulding

Singer Ellie Goulding has also struggled with anxiety. In fact, her past panic attacks were at times so severe that she was unable to go to the studio to work. She completed cognitive behavioral therapy and took the anxiety medication Diazepam at times, and she reports that she has overcome her anxiety.

An Alternative Remedy: hemp extract

Numerous celebrities have discussed their experiences with social anxiety, and they have turned to solutions such as medication, therapy, and support from others. While these remedies can be effective for some, there is another potential solution for social anxiety: primary compounds from hemp extract.

Former NBA player Jay Williams has spoken out about the benefits of hemp extract, claiming that it is safer than Percocet for treating inflammation and is effective for reducing anxiety. Williams may be onto something, as a 2011 study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that when people with social anxiety took the extract before a public speaking activity, their anxiety levels were lower, and they experienced less discomfort with the activity. Hemp extract could be the solution to the symptoms that those with social anxiety disorder experience on a regular basis, whether they are celebrities or not.


  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness/index.shtml
  2. https://www.prevention.com/health/mental-health/g27609683/celebrities-with-anxiety-disorders/?slide=13
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  6. https://www.prevention.com/health/mental-health/g27609683/celebrities-with-anxiety-disorders/?slide=1
  7. https://www.prevention.com/health/mental-health/g27609683/celebrities-with-anxiety-disorders/?slide=5
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  9. https://www.prevention.com/health/mental-health/g27609683/celebrities-with-anxiety-disorders/?slide=12
  10. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/health/mental-health/a704514/female-celebrities-with-anxiety-how-they-deal-with-it/
  11. https://www.nature.com/articles/npp20116


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