Posted on 03/12/2015

5 celebrities you wouldn’t know have a disorder


They may have a team of professionals on hand to make them look their best, but believe us when we say the life of a celebrity can be far from perfect – though you may not necessarily be aware of it.

Just like the millions of Joe Bloggs living their daily lives, there are many celebrities who wrestle with their own personal health issues and as it’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we thought we’d share the stories of five celebrities who have embraced their diagnosis whilst building on their success.

Eli Roth – American film director, producer, writer and actor


Roth’s first film, Cabin Fever, was a huge success and made him into brand name director. What you may not know is that many of the gruesome scenes depicted in the horror film are based on Roth’s own experience of living with psoriasis. As a director who has risen to fame without the support of mainstream press, Roth prefers to connect with his fans online. He has been quoted as saying:

"When I was 22, I woke up one morning in New York City and I peeled down my sheets and my legs were hurting so bad. They were all completely ripped apart and cracked and rotted. It was so painful. I went to the doctor and they said it was psoriasis.”

It was the feeling of being healthy one day and literally falling apart the next that inspired his work in Cabin Fever.

Jack Osbourne – English media personality

Jack Osbourne Michael Bezjian WireImage
Photo: Michael Bezjian/WireImage

As the son of musician Ozzy Osbourne and music manager Sharon Osbourne, Jack was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when he was just 26. On average, patients are usually around 37 when diagnosed, but experts admit that multiple sclerosis is unpredictable.

As a neurological condition, symptoms might include fatigue, vision problems and difficulties with walking, but MS is different for everyone. Specialists in this area agree the prognosis tends to be good for patients who are diagnosed when they are young and otherwise healthy.

Paddy Considine – Actor

Paddy Considine Burton Mail
Photo: Burton Mail

Having starred in Blockbuster movies like Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum Pride and The World’s End, it’s perhaps hard to believe that Paddy Considine lives with a ‘debilitating sense of detachment’ from both the people around him and his surroundings (The Telegraph, 10 April 2011).

His eventual diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome came when he was 36 and, in Considine’s own words:

“Naming my problem has helped me a lot. It’s allowed me to make sense of so many things I didn’t understand before – and is allowing me to move forward with my life.”

On a scale which includes autism at its furthest extreme, Asperger syndrome is one of a spectrum of disorders relating to difficulties with communication and social skills. Those living with Asperger’s often find it hard to make sense of the world and have difficulty in reading simple visual signs such as facial expressions or body language.

Sarah Michelle Gellar – Actress

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Better known as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar has been living with Scoliosis ever since she was a youngster. The condition means her spine is shaped like an ‘S’ or a ‘?’ unlike those without the condition whose spines are straight.

Gellar runs on a treadmill and does Pilates to help alleviate the symptoms of scoliosis which can include back pain, chest pain and, in severe cases, shortness of breath. Other ways to treat Scoliosis include physical therapy, surgery, bracing and stretching.

Michael Phelps – Olympic Swimmer

michael-phelps Telegraph
Photo: Telegraph

At the 2012 Olympics in London, American swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time, having won 22 medals during his career – 18 of which are gold!

Believe it or not, Phelps was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) when he was at school and took Ritalin for over two years to control his hyperactivity as he “literally couldn’t sit still.” It was his love of swimming that gave him control over his ADHD by helping him find focus and convincing him to stop using Ritalin for good.

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