Extraordinary Chronic Illness Stories: Celebrity Edition

Celebrities with Chronic Illness

We often look up to celebrities as a way to escape our lives. We imagine them as having a perfect life. However, it is important to remember that celebrities are human. Mental and chronic illness doesn’t discriminate or pick and choose who they affect. There are many celebrities with chronic and mental illness. Many of them opt to hide their battle from the world.

Celebrities have the opportunity to bring awareness to various chronic and mental illness, in addition to the many rare diseases out there. Unfortunately, the media often distorts the message they may try to send, or even just their daily lives; presenting us with a difficult understanding of how they deal with their illnesses. Those celebrities who suffer with and deal with whatever chronic or mental illness they have should not have to be afraid to show it to the world.

With celebrities having access to better doctors and able to try the newest fads, diets, and chronic pain treatments out there for chronic and mental illnesses, it can feel as if they have an unfair advantage over the rest of us. Nevertheless, they still struggle with the same illness that we do, and we would be remiss to forget that they are human too and still feel the same pain that we do. It can sometimes be disheartening for those us of who struggle to live our own lives, and then see these celebrities, with the same illnesses, being so successful. In those moments we have to remember that there is a lot we don’t see about their lives, they are expected to perform at a certain level, and they also have people around them to help recover after pushing themselves despite their chronic pain disability. 

Selena Gomez & Lupus Nephritis

Selena gomez

There are several celebrities who battle against chronic or mental illness. Also, there are many types of chronic illness. You  might be wondering what health issue does selena gomez have?

Selena Gomez is the most currently talked about celebrity fighting with chronic illness. She has lupus nephritis and unfortunately as a side effect of her Lupus Selena Gomez required a kidney transplant. She was diagnosed with lupus around 2014 and has been a vocal supporter for self-care. While she does talk about her health publicly, so doesn’t always share it visually. She advocates for mental health through various platforms, including recently being a part of the TV series 13 Reasons Why. Selena Gomez is one of a few celebrities with lupus. Selena Gomez even needed to undergo chemotherapy. Chemotherapy for lupus nephritis is scary, but common. Selena Gomez has been quoted stating that, “That’s what my break was really about,” she told the magazine. “I could’ve had a stroke.” Luckily she has survived it all and is a chronic pain warrior just like many others.

Lady GaGa & Fibromyalgia

Lady Gaga chronic pain

The other top celebrity currently in the news right now is Lady Gaga. She just came forward about her chronic pain diagnosis of fibromyalgia. She also is borderline positive testing for lupus. Lady Gaga told the world via twitter that she suffered from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness. After requiring a hospital visit and canceling tour dates. Lady Gaga has been a huge advocate for using chronic pain to push yourself and using it for something great. She was also able to show the world that sometimes, the battle against invisible illness is too much. Even for celebrities. People suffering from similar illnesses flooded her twitter page. They shared their experiences with her. It was inspirational. That is why sometimes celebrities showing that they are human just like us can bring us all together.

Sarah Hyland & Kidney Dysplasia

sarah hyland chronic illness

A third celebrity is Sarah Hyland, who during this past May faced shaming. As well as bullying for her weight loss. She was also criticized as anorexic. The truth, in fact, is that she suffers from kidney dysplasia and underwent a kidney transplant in 2012 and was taking prednisone. For those who aren’t familiar with this drug, it causes severe weight fluctuation throughout the entire body, including the face. Sarah Hyland replied to critques by saying that her doctor ordered her to be on bed rest, and was taking prednisone. She held back from saying much more, saying that she wanted some privacy to deal with the matters at hand.

Other Celebrities with Chronic Illness

robin roberts cancer

Many celebrities have chronic illness. Nick Jonas deals with Diabetes II. Jared Padalecki battles depression. Morgan Freeman suffers from fibromyalgia. Demi Lovato struggles with both bipolar disorder, addiction, and bulimia. Bella Hadid fights Lyme disease. Meanwhile, her sister Gigi Hadid fights back against Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid disease. Chrissy Teigen dealt with Postpartum depression and recently announced her battle with alcoholism. Robin Roberts fought cancer. Finally, there is also Venus Williams and her bout with the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome.

Remember, there are many types of chronic illnesses. To those suffering: speak up about your battle and don’t be afraid to show us your bad days too. Yes, there will be criticisms for “not looking your best.” Remember, Fellow “spoonies” and chronic and mental illness sufferers we will be there for you. We will be there to support, applaud you, and encourage you as you take a stand in battling chronic illness.



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Danielle Faith is a graduate of the The University of California, Los Angeles with a Degree in Cultural Geography. She know how your location in life (race, religion, economic status, etc.,) influences how you view the world. Today, Danielle Faith is freelance writer and marketing consultant. She specializes in new media marketing and self-improvement. Not to mention, she has a knack for clarity, and over ten years of experience. Danielle has personal experience with chronic pain and illness. Danielle is a survivor and optimist as well as persistent and driven. When she puts her mind to something it gets done. When she is not writing or checking what’s new on social media, she’s listening to music and relaxing with her dog.

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31 Comments on "Extraordinary Chronic Illness Stories: Celebrity Edition"

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Margot Kidder, the late Patty Duke, and Demi Lovato have all dealt with bipolar as I have. Their stories have helped me get through my illness and become stronger than it.

Linda Music

Chronic illness is difficult particularly chronic pain which I am extremely interested in. Great article.


Wow I did know about Selena Gomenz but the other ones where new to me.


And yet they are all successful and do really well. Just goes to show that we can achieve anything despite chronic illness.


Chronic illness can effect anyone! I think it’s great when people share their stories, celebrity or not, to help others going through the same thing!


Wow I had no idea about any of these. Interesting read thanks for sharing very informative!

Lois Alter Mark

I had no idea these celebrities suffered from these chronic illnesses. I’m glad they’re sharing their stories and helping to raise awareness. It will help so many other people.


Chronic illness affects all of us. No one is above it, but we can all be there to support each other!


I had no idea about these celebrities suffering from chronic illness. I’m not a fan of Lady Gaga’s music but I have to admit she is a very strong woman and her music and gigantic presence helps a lot of people, her message is very positive.

Candy Rachelle

This is such an informative post. I have no idea about Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga. Chronic Illness is such a big deal for others. It’s so hard to have an illness like this.


celebrities are just like us – i watched lady gag’s documentary and like her EVEN more now

Mayuri Saxena

I wasn’t aware that these celebrities are suffering from chronic illness. It is so hard to live with illness and put up a smile in front of the world and I love the fact that their illness didn’t stop them to achieve their dreams.

Jessica B

I had no idea about half of these. I think it is refreshing for other people who suffer from these illnesses see someone they admire doing well (and sometimes struggling) like them.

Debbie Savage

I had no idea that some of these celebrities were struggling with chronic illnesses. It sure does bring a realness to them that makes me more intrigued about their story.

Krystal // The Krystal Diaries

Chronic illnesses are very difficult to live with and I don’t understand why as a society we’ve shamed people who suffer from different illnesses. If everyone could be more comfortable with speaking about their illnesses we could all learn from each other.

Terri Beavers

I knew about Selena and Lady GaGa but I didn’t know about these others. They are an inspiration because they’ve accomplished so much even with their illnesses which makes me hopeful with my condition.


I think Halsey has endometriosis, too. I remember hearing about it around the time I had my surgery. It warms my heart to see celebs opening up about their struggles. It helps not to feel so alone.


The only one I knew about on this list is Jared Padalecki, just because I love Supernatural. I don’t really follow celebs much to know about their personal lives, so this was eye-opening that so many battle with all types of illnesses. As you said, we see them as perfect so it’s hard to remember they are human as well.


Chronic illnesses run in my family, mental disorders like depression, anorexia, anxiety and addiction. I have anxiety and depression and it is a battle everyday to deal with it. I try to talk about with others and help others who don’t have anyone to talk to. We’ve lost so many people because of depression because they didn’t have anyone to talk to about.


I feel like there is a widespread knowledge of chronic illnesses! Which is so important. I love when people that are high profile use their platform to spread the word and raise awareness for the many different trials people really can suffer from.


And they are all strong women doing the darn thing! Inspirational, because I know those things have got to be SO hard!


Wow it is so sad! I feel bad for anyone with chronic illnesses 🙁

Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com
Angela Cardamone @marathonsandmotivation.com

That is really fascinating! I did not know that any of these celebrities suffered from chronic illnesses!!


So many strong stories that help others that are traveling along the same lines with chronic illness. It may help to inspire them as they fight the every day battles.


Chronic illness is so difficult for the person that has it as well as their caregivers. We often forget that celebrities are human just like us and experience many of the same things as everyone else. No matter who you are, chronic illness is a terrible thing.


Wow i had no idea about these! Super insightful article


Wow. I didn’t know about many of these. My mom has fibromayalgia. It can be painful.

jill conyers

Awareness of chronic illness without the stigma is so much more prevalent now.

Jake Ferrer

Oh i didnt know that these celebrities has illness. But even though they have they are still awesome!


I definitely believe people hold celebrities to high standards and believe they can never do wrong or have anything wrong with them. I love how celebrities share their struggles whether people believe them or not. Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga and Sarah Hyland are so strong for what they go through on a daily basis.