Oliver Hudson gets candid about anxiety: ‘I’m as privileged as you can get, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have mine***’

Oliver Hudson opens up about anxiety, fitness and fame. (Photo: Getty; Designed by Quinn Lammers)

the unwind Yahoo Life’s Wellbeing Series where experts, influencers and celebrities share their perspectives on wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Actor Oliver Hudson told Yahoo Life, “Being a celebrity or in the public eye, there’s this perception that you have a lot of money and life is great.” “And yes – a lot of luck. I was born into a wonderful family. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity. I’m blessed. I’m as privileged as you can get, but that doesn’t mean I have mine. No ***. And that doesn’t mean that these big stars and people who have everything you think have their mental health in perfect order because we’re all human, you know?”

In Hudson’s case, a protracted battle with mother Goldie Hawn, stepfather Kurt Russell, and younger sister Kate Hudson’s anxiety and high expectations about measuring her acting success has taken a toll, which she has “no shame” in discussing. No”.

“Sometimes it bothers me a little when I hear comments like, ‘Oh, what do you have to worry about? You have everything,'” he admits. :Like, yes, from the outside, but you don’t know what’s going on in my mind and in my heart and what I’m doing and whatever I’m feeling. We are all human. So I guess I don’t have a problem, I’m not ashamed to talk about that stuff. I think, if anything, it’s relatable and might just help someone not to feel lonely.”

And so the actor and podcaster is talking candidly about his current struggle, dealing with withdrawal symptoms as he goes off antidepressants. Here, the father of three opens up about his “serious” experience with anxiety and shares how to get back in shape by partnering with a personal coach. Future He has benefited both inside and out.

How important is fitness to your overall health?

Extremely… This conversation could not have happened at a better time for me as I have some problems with anxiety right now. I have been on Lexapro for five and a half years and I have decided to move away from it. And for lack of a better word, the comeback to come out of that has been horrendous. There are various iterations of this generalized anxiety, from physical to emotional. The journey for the past two and a half months has been a bit, trying to keep up [my life]: be a father, be a husband, take the kids to school, focus on my career, while everything just feels like s***.

And enter the future – enter fitness in general – and that has been a big part of my recovery, if you want to call it that, or my journey through withdrawal symptoms. To be honest, fitness has always been a part of my life in some form or the other. My problem has always been this: I work hard for six weeks, I see some results, and then I’m done. Continuity has always been a problem for me, and the future has helped me with that consistency. You being held accountable, because you have a coach who is on your ass at all times, ensures that you stay true to your commitment. really before we move on [the phone], Matt – my boy, my trainer – [called]. I missed my workout yesterday and he was like, “What’s up, man?” Like, “What’s going on?” And I’m like, “Oh, s***, I’m about to disappoint her.” So it’s been really amazing to me in that capacity, just holding me accountable, making sure I get [a workout[ in, even if it’s eight, 10, 15 minutes, whatever. Just get it in.

You mentioned your experience with Lexapro and going off that. What made you get to a place where you felt you didn’t need it anymore, and what, besides fitness, is helping fill that void?

For me, it’s circumstantial. I was on Celexa in my twenties. I had major, major anxiety in my 20s, for about a year and a half, actually. It was gnarly. It was nothing like I’d ever experienced and I’ve had bouts with it as I’ve been going through my life, but this was really consistent. It was sort of quarter-life crisis-y stuff. It was hard to leave my house. It manifested in my stomach. I would throw up on the street; my chest would get heavy. I went to every doctor just to rule out anything medical, because it feels so real. I had to go audition in New York City with Laura Linney and read with her — traveling, flying from L.A., puking on the f***ing streets of New York. I mean, I was a mess. 

I was trying to get through. I would still surf, I would still do my stuff, basically having panic attacks where I went. Meditation was really big for me. And then journaling was really big for me in my 20s. And then I had this sort of residual feeling and went on Celexa and it sort of evened me out. I came off of it, and then I was doing a TV show called Nashville. I was away from my family for basically two years back and forth, and that took its toll and this started to happen again so I went on Lexapro. And it’s been five and a half years and I just feel like I don’t need to be on it anymore right now. I decided to wean off it and it’s been a bit crazy. 

But again, meditation is what I’m trying to get back to. Writing, having some sort of a creative outlet and honestly, just talking about it. It’s amazing what kind of medicine that provides, the relief sometimes that you feel when you’re tight-chested, tight-throated and then you actually have a conversation with someone. You’re open. You’re not holding it in. You tell them how you feel, you tell them what you’re going through. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. And just that expression alone alleviates a lot of symptoms. There’s a lot that I do: I’m trying to eat better, I’m trying to work out and just get my head in the right place.

Your family seems so close-knit. How important has that been in terms of keeping you grounded?

Family is number one for me, for sure. Being a father is definitely my number one priority in my life. Family is extremely important to me, and to my family. We all live 10 minutes from each other; we’re lucky. We get to be in each other’s lives almost every day. My mom and Kurt were over here last night; we had Chinese food, lit a fire, we hung out. It’s special. And it’s just about being communicative. 

It all seems great from the outside, especially when you’re in the public eye. You see Mom and Kate and what our relationships are like, and that’s all real — but there’s s***. There’s always s***. you know? So we’re just trying to be mindful of how we make people feel in the things that we say and not being afraid to communicate our displeasure sometimes with the way things are going, which isn’t easy because you don’t know what you don’t want to offend. Sometimes it’s easier not to say anything, but then that resentment can build up, and then it comes out in different ways. So, I think we’re mindful to be open with each other. But yeah, my family is pretty much, that’s it. I mean, what else do you have? You’ve got your friends, for sure… but as long as that family stays tight, things are good. 

Do you have any Father’s Day plans? Do you like to be spoiled?

I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m not, like, a big holiday guy. I love when the kids make me stuff, and they’re getting older now. I used to get all the cards and I’m sure I still will. And then it’s my day, right, so I get to choose what I want to do. And I don’t know; we’ll see what that is. But it’s a meaningful day, man. I think we’re living in a dad-centric era right now. I think there’s a sort of surge of people expressing how important fathers are and what they do now, and looking at modern-day fatherhood, modern-day masculinity and what it all means… 

I’m developing a show right now with one of my best friends, Taye Diggs. It’s an unscripted show about fatherhood, about the exploration of exactly what we were just talking about, and searching the world for fathers who do amazing things and sacrifice for their family. So it’s a space that I’m heavily involved in right now, and it’s important to me. So I think [Father’s Day will] Honestly this year has more meaning than any other year.

What makes you happy?

Oh man. So many things. It’s an interesting question, and there are plenty of answers to this question… I think you re-evaluate what makes you happy. Of course there are materials, external things, be it fishing – I am an obsessive fisherman; That’s my passion – or golf, all those things. But really, coming out of this fog I’ve been in, just contented, [having a] A sense of normalcy, my family, being able to wake up every morning and be grateful for what I have and really feel that way.

And then my children, my wife… My wife is a saint – she is an impossible, and she is the one thing that makes me possible. And I have kids – that’s it. Watching him grow up, be a part of his life in every way, be his father, be his friend… Just that bond, the unity of the family. That’s what really makes me happy.

Is there any advice or mantra that has stuck with you?

[When I was] 24 years old, Kurt – my stepfather, my dad, no matter how you classify him, that man made me the man I am today – [gave me advice]. On my 24th birthday, I was trying to become an actor. I wasn’t an actor yet but I was trying to do it. And ironically, this was exactly when I was going through this anxiety. And my family was, you know: Kurt is a star, Mom is a star. My sister was a star at the time, and I was just trying to make it come true. The expectations I had of myself were beautiful, and I think it really broke me in a way.

But he said, “Look, you have talent. You have to stop giving what the **** people think of you.” It’s just so true. It’s so free. And this is something I strive for. There are ways to reach that place. You don’t do it in isolation and a**hole, but you just don’t have to value other people’s opinions and what they think and how they judge you. *** Who gives as? I have tried to do this. my brother wyatt [Russell, also an actor] – Joe is one of my best friends – he has that attitude genetically. He’s just like, “No, that’s what I do. Love me or hate me, that’s me.” And it’s something I’ve tried to live with, although it’s not easy for me.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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