Ryan Reynolds suffers from 'crippling anxiety'

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Ryan Reynolds may play a superhero onscreen, but the Deadpool 2 star is actually super ‘human’.

Blake Lively‘s husband is opening up about his lifelong battle with anxiety.

“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” Ryan told the New York Times.

Ryan Reynolds attends the press conference for the Seoul premiere of Deadpool 2 on May 2. (Photo: Getty Images)

“Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”

The 41-year-old actor says he is overcome with dread and nausea before every talk-show appearance, becoming convinced he might die.

Profiles — like the one he sat down for with the Times — make him so queasy and jittery that he says he barely ate.

The father-of-two experienced crippling anxiety in his early 20s, calling that tumultuous time his “real unhinged phase.”

“I was partying and just trying to make myself vanish in some way,” he says, explaining that he would wake up in the middle of the night paralysed by anxiety, agonising about his future.

Ryan (pictured with co-star Jake Gyllenhaal) always seems confident on TV, however, the reality is really different. Source: Getty

Ryan notes that he got through it by self-medicating, but after he had friends die of overdoses, he curbed the partying.

As Ryan found success, his anxiety was only amplified. Ever since he was a kid, he says he has used humour as a self-defence mechanism, and it’s something he’s carried forward through his career.

Ryan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Source: Getty

While starring on ABC’s Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place from 1998 to 2001, Ryan would warm up the audience to redirect his panic or, as he describes it, “the energy of just wanting to throw up.”

Ryan has alluded to his anxiety before, telling GQ in 2016 he had “a little bit of a nervous breakdown” after the success of Deadpool.

Ryan uses his hit ‘Deadpool’ films to cope with anxiety. Source: Instagram/ryanreynolds

So, how does he overcome it?

Besides using humor as a shield (which you should know he’s quite good at if you follow him on social media), Ryan has found some other helpful mechanisms. He reveals he uses the meditation app Headspace.

As for coping with the gruelling Deadpool 2 press circuit, Ryan reveals he’s going to do most of his promotional interviews and appearances in character. When he walks onstage, he says he knows the anxiety will lift.

Ryan and Blake are parents to James and Ines Reynolds. Blake is Ryan’s biggest supporter. Source: Getty

“When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set,” Ryan reveals. “That’s that great self-defence mechanism. I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.”

There’s also the bonus of having a great partner. When talking about Lively, with whom he shares two kids, Ryan exclaims, “She gets me a lot.”

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