Dan Levy shares his struggle with anxiety and mental health
Dan Levy, the Schitt’s Creek co-creator and star, has opened up about something very personal in his life. That is his struggle with anxiety. The Canadian actor and writer explain that he has been dealing with anxiety ever since he was young. Dan Levy also thinks that a lot of the anxiety may be because of his sexuality and how society was not always open to that.
The struggle with anxiety
While Dan Levy is enjoying a lot of success from the award-winning show he created with his father, it has definitely been a difficult journey. Levy shared with Bustle that he’s always had a problem dealing with pressure and anxious thoughts. So much so that he hasn’t gone out to socialize much due to that very reason. Dan would often avoid going to birthday parties and different social events as well. Even before that was our new normal.
The stress even caused Dan Levy to have medical problems. It triggered a condition called iritis. Iritis causes eye inflammation due to stress.
Dan Levy thinks it might be because of his sexuality
The actor is not fully sure of what caused the anxiety at such a young age but he thinks it might have something to do with his sexuality. Dan Levy is openly gay and came out to his parents a long time ago.
I think that came from a deep-rooted fear of knowing that I was gay and not being able to be free. By the time I got to high school, when your brain is starting to catch up to your physical impulses, it led to a very confusing time. Because on the one hand, you are now being introduced to things like self-awareness and anxiety. At the same time, you’re becoming more and more savvy when it comes to hiding it.
His parents Eugene Levy and Deborah Divine were supportive and encouraging of him after he came out. They even urged him to be himself. However, Dan Levy was still afraid of how people may perceive him after he came out:
Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of being othered.
Moreover, he was afraid of how other people would not know how to react to it:
Fear of exposing something that I think a lot of high school students at the time didn’t have the tools to process properly, to make it comfortable for me.
Eventually, when he turned eighteen, Dan Levy was invited by his mom to come out over lunch. That gave him the opportunity to start being comfortable with showing who he really was to more people.
Moreover, Dan Levy shared that he found a lot of peace by writing and creating the show Schitt’s Creek with his father, Eugene Levy. However, Dan ended up having major bouts of anxiety during the Schitt’s Creek journey. It became so much that his neck ended up in a brace due to it. Dan needed many chiropractic treatments while on the Schitt’s Creek set as well.
But Dan Levy is more hopeful about his future projects as well as his dating life
It’s just, try and do the best job you can. Try to make sure that you’re loving it. I would like to date more. Circumstance plays such a huge part in what we accept for ourselves. When you’re doing something that you love it’s like, ‘I have a full plate.’ Even though [Schitt’s Creek was] super intense and even though at times I need a neck brace, it was never not inspiring, and it was never not thrilling and exciting and totally satisfying. So to [want to] make space for someone else…in a way, it is the ultimate filter. You’re basically saying, do I want to carve out the space in an already full and fulfilled life for this person? And a lot of the time, the answer is no. But it only makes it that much better when the right person comes along.
It’s amazing to see Dan Levy has conquered his demons and is choosing to have a positive approach to life.