The actor, who is a father to 6 kids of whom four are adopted, struggled with his inner demons through the 90s and even recently.
Some people seem to have everything but we don't know what their lives are really like. We may not know what demons they are struggling with inside. We find successful people to be inspiring but we don't know about their struggles with themselves.
Brad Pitt is easy on the eyes and has been hugely successful but he too went through a hard time. For him, this personal crisis occurred when he was getting tonnes of big-budget movies and started becoming successful. At the time, the actor had transitioned from small budget movies to those like Troy, Mr & Mrs Smith, and more.
"I was hiding out from the celebrity thing; I was smoking way too much dope; I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut. I really got irritated with myself," he said in 2012, according to the Independent UK. "I got to, 'What's the point? I know better than this'. I used to deal with depression, but I don't now, not this decade – maybe last decade. But that's also figuring out who you are. I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester – 'This semester I was majoring in depression'."
In the late 1990s, during a visit to Casablanca, the actor saw "poverty to an extreme I had never witnessed before" and this shocked him so much, he felt a call from within. He decided to seek help and was also counseled by the U2 singer Bono. "I sought out Bono and sat down with him a few times and got involved in some of the stuff he was doing. But it all started before that. It started with private acts," Pitt explained.
In recent years, the actor has opened up again about his mental health. Post his divorce, the actor quit drinking and he opened up about his experience and self-growth. "I think I spent a lot of time avoiding feeling, and now I have no time left for that," he told GQ in May 2017, after his divorce from Angelina Jolie.
He was 52 when his perfect family unraveled. He had an altercation with his eldest son, Maddox, then 15, and after an anonymous phone call to the authorities he was being investigated by the FBI. No charges were pressed by Jolie filed for divorce and he suddenly had no access to his kids.
Soon, he took steps to fix whatever was possible in his life. He didn't "want to live that way anymore" and quit alcohol. Instead, he drinks cranberry juice and fizzy water now. According to him, he runs everything to the ground. "I do it with everything, yeah. I exhaust it, and then I walk away. I've always looked at things in seasons, compartmentalized them, I guess, seasons or semesters or tenures," he said.
He spoke openly about going to therapy as well. "I just started therapy. I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one," he said. The actor said he was "running from feelings. I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know—things I wasn't dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem. And I'm really happy it's been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I've got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that's part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve."
The actor, who bared it all emotionally, even spoke about his stoner days when he was asked if it was hard to give that up. "No. Back in my stoner days, I wanted to smoke a joint with Jack and Snoop and Willie. You know, when you're a stoner, you get these really stupid ideas. Well, I don't want to indict the others, but I haven't made it to Willie yet," he had joked.
It's been a long road for him to recovery and it's inspiring to know that even someone as famous as him struggled with his demons to come out on top. It makes it easier for the rest of the people to believe that they too can overcome their mental health issues, including addictions.