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Blogs July 2, 2024

Superheroes and Mental Health: Wolverine and Deadpool Open Up About Parenting with Anxiety

As anticipation builds for the upcoming "Deadpool & Wolverine" movie, stars Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman are making headlines for more than just their on-screen antics. In a recent interview, these Hollywood heavyweights opened up about a topic that affects millions: anxiety and mental health, particularly in the context of parenting.



Reynolds, known for his candid approach to discussing mental health, shared insights on how being a parent has impacted his relationship with anxiety. "I think it makes it better because your focus is less on yourself and more on your kids," he explained. This shift in perspective highlights how parenthood can sometimes offer a reprieve from self-focused anxiety.

But Reynolds goes further, expressing gratitude for his experiences with anxiety. "I love that I've had anxiety because when I see my kids experiencing some of that, which is probably genetic, I know how to address it in a way that is compassionate," he said. This approach allows him to help his children feel seen and understood in their struggles rather than trying to "fix" their anxiety outright.

The "Deadpool" star also pointed out an unexpected benefit of anxiety in his acting career. He described how anxiety often leads to thinking ahead and considering various scenarios - a trait that helps him critically evaluate his performances and storytelling.

Jackman, for his part, praised Reynolds for his openness, noting his positive impact on others. "A lot of people come up to me talking about you... they all say that it's helped me. I can now tell my son; I can tell my dad," Jackman shared, emphasizing the ripple effect of such public discussions.

The conversation then turned to the importance of communicating with children about mental health. Jackman admitted to a recent change in his approach, realizing the value of being open with his kids about his anxieties. He recounted telling his son about feeling nervous before an uncomfortable phone call led to a supportive interaction between them.

Both actors stressed the significance of showing vulnerability to children. Reynolds shared advice from Sean Penn about the importance of discussing successes, failures, and embarrassments with kids. "It's so important that they see that and don't just hear about 'Dad nailed it,'" Reynolds explained.

This candid discussion between two of Hollywood's biggest stars is a powerful reminder that mental health challenges don't discriminate. Even those who seem to "have it all" grapple with anxiety and self-doubt. Their willingness to speak openly about these issues not only helps destigmatize mental health conversations but also provides valuable insights for parents navigating similar challenges.

As we eagerly await the on-screen reunion of Deadpool and Wolverine, it's heartening to see Reynolds and Jackman using their platform to promote such an important message: It's OK to struggle, it's OK to talk about it, and sometimes, our challenges can even become our strengths.



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