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In recent years, a number of celebrities have openly confessed their battles with depression and anxiety, which has thankfully taken away some of the stigma surrounding mental illness and has also encouraged more people to open up about their own mental health struggles. With the success of the comedy The Disaster Artist, James Franco has opened up about his battles with depression as well. 

Franco has confessed to the Orlando Sentinel that when he hit a high point in his career with the drama 127 Hours, he said he was “really depressed. Hard work does pay off. But what I didn’t realize is you need balance. You cannot make happiness contingent on work. Or on anything outside of your for that matter. It’s got to be, at the risk of sounding cheesy, it’s got to be a more spiritual thing. I didn’t learn that until a year ago.”

As Franco told Out Magazine, “I have a very addictive personality. When I was a teenager I got over certain addictions, and that’s when I started acting, at age 17. I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn’t even socialize. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realized, ‘Man, I’m so depressed. On the surface my life seems pretty good – I have a career and everything – but I feel isolated and lonely.’”

Franco then went back to school and threw himself into that, “but again, it was just this sort of running, running, running.” Now Franco has new hobbies like dancing and surfing, which he calls “a kind of therapy for me. I’ve started a new chapter of my life. I was very work-addicted and addicted to other things – not substances, I got over that a long time ago – but I’ve recently changed my life, and this is part of my therapy.


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