Depression is a state of feeling in which you are constantly feeling low and down. It also comes with an intense feeling of sadness and withdrawal. It is usually characterized by loss of interest in things that surrounds you and/or withdrawal from the things that usually gave you constant joy.
Depression cuts across all races and all spheres of life. People who are in the entertainment industry or in the limelight also have their own fair share of the problems. Behind all those gorgeous faces and handsome smiles you see on television are some people who struggle to get by each day. We wouldn’t have known if they didn’t get to speak to someone about their issues though.
It is very easy for us to think that most celebrities as well as rich people don’t have any problems or issues. They have the money and the fame, what more could they need? Whenever they want something, all they just need to do is snap their fingers and there it is, appearing just like magic. These are all our thoughts but reality is much more different than fantasies.
Behind the closed doors of those mighty and gigantic mansions that are seen on the televisions are individuals who are very famous but are battling severe forms of depression but yet are hiding it under fancy clothes and big smiles.
It is a known fact that the lifestyle of fame and money; having everything all at the snap of your fingertips doesn’t necessarily exempt you from mental illnesses. Sometimes, it even increases the feeling of sadness, anxiety and loneliness that contributes to and as well causes depression.
The celebrities that will be highlighted here are some of the World’s finest who have chosen to speak up rather than keep quiet about what they are facing or faced. Be careful to note that these are not the only people who have battled or are still battling depression, but these are some selected few who have spoken up about they faced so as to encourage others.
These people include:
1. Kristen Bell
If you have ever watch commercials on t.v before or you have seen the hilarious movie ” Bad moms” or seen the sci-fi movie titled “heroes”, or the animation “frozen” then you probably will be able to identify her.
Despite all her roles and castings in great movies, one thing you may never have been able to identify her with is her age-long battle with depression. Bell once said that she usually popped pills to help her control her anxiety and depressions. Hers was due to a genetic serotonin imbalance which was also discovered in both her mother and grandmother respectively.
She revealed how long it took her to get help and when she eventually saw the advantages of getting the help she needed, now she feels free. In her own words, she says “You cant deny a diabetic his shots of insulin so why do people always think that if you need serotonin inhibitor, you suddenly are crazy?”
There is no shame in getting all the help and the medications you need to feel better and more in control of yourself.
2. Jim Carrey
Jim is a very funny man who derives pleasure in making people laugh. Originally, before a man can make you laugh, he himself should be happy but this wasn’t the case for Jim. In an exclusive interview with 60 minutes, Jim admitted to having battled with depression. Who would think a funny man has sadness in his life?
Jim said that after his 2nd divorce, he decided to head over to the office of a psychiatrist. His psychiatrist prescribed a good antidepressants for him named PROZAC. After a while using this drug, Jim realized that this wasn’t the way he wanted to live his life, He realized that he couldn’t be on drugs all the days of his life.
He decided to change his manner of approach and decided that he should opt for the gift of positive learning. All you need to do is to have the ‘ I will succeed’ attitude and never back down until you have succeeded.
This was the mindset that he carried along with him and each day, he has gotten more in tune with life and life’s disappointments.
3. Ellen Degeneres
Ellen got to suffer depression soon after she revealed her sexuality. Ellen was a lesbian and had feared to come clean with the public because of the fear of castigation and condemnation. And when she decided to come out in 1998 and eventually all she feared would happen came to pass.
Her popular show known as “sitcom” was cut off. She lost her show, she was attacked by angry fans, she lost her means of livelihood, she could no longer make money from her show. She later had to walk out of the show with her heads bowed and in tears because she was a lesbian.
This drove her into deep depression as she couldn’t exactly handle the critics and judgements of the entire industry because of her sexuality.
But then perseverance got her through it all. She still persevered in the industry and she finally got her reward and acceptance. She found a show who was willing to accept her expertise in an Emmy-winning talk show.
4. Cara Delevingne
Cara, a very beautiful young lady who got her first job as a model as early as she was just getting out of puberty just at the age of 10years. She was born in one of the wealthiest districts in London and was born to very famous and wealthy parents Pandora Anne Delevinge and Charles Hamar Delevinge who himself was a property developer.
This young lady had nothing to worry about if only money and fame could buy happiness. But at the age of 15years, though she was already rich and famous by this age yet she started with her battle of depression, anxiety and self hate.
Hers was a 3-in-1 combo. Her parents put her up for therapy and got her medications but all to no avail. Cara instead spiralled down the deep alley and went into partying and the use of hard drugs just to forget her pain for a little while.
In an exclusive interview with vogue, Cara had revealed that she was ready to end it all. She had only one option in sight and that was death and she was ready to go. She said she needed to make the decision if she still loved herself as much as she loved the idea of giving up and dying on everyone.
At this point, she remembered a song that was played at the funeral of a friend of hers who had died from drug overdose. The song sang by outcast with the title ““SpottieOttieDopaliscious” felt like a warning to her from him and it had pulled her from her misery.
Delevinge Cara is now an amazing and successful career in film and as a model having been able to overcome her battle with depression.
5. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is an amazing actor and a very good one at that. He is popular for his “chameleon” act on screen. He also is a musician and a producer. He played a role in the movie “A nightmare on elm street”.
But what most people don’t know about this actor is that he had suffered depression and anxiety attacks and this has been a major source of concern and worry of his. This state of unease of his had caused him to see different therapists at almost every time and they had always had to advise him or speak to him to ease his depression.
“This sometimes even happened on set” says the renowned actor. Although he may still be dealing with the case of anxiety, he had help dealing with depression and keeping the anxiety at bay even at most times.
6. Chris Evans
Who remembers captain America? Yes, the very famous actor who starred as Captain America also suffered depression. Are you surprised? Even I was, but then it’s not always about money and fame.
Chris suffered from a bad case of anxiety and depression. He described the overwhelming feelings he sometimes felt so much so that standing in the spotlight is so difficult for him. He likened standing on the red carpet for 30 minutes to standing in hot coals of fire for 3seconds.
He just couldn’t stand the spotlight. A man who could stand to fight in movies, couldn’t fight his own anxiety attacks and depression.
But then he has been able to overcome that at the very least.
Our dear Rap star also had to battle depression. He expressed how he went down the road of depression in his song titled “The way I am”. As a child, he didn’t have the best of circumstances and so he had to toughen up.
He eventually spiralled after his close friend who was also a member of D12 member proof was murdered. Another factor that contributed to his depression was the Rocky marriage he had with his wife and when everything turned sour, he spiralled deeper.
He recounted that there were days that were difficult for him for him to wake up or even stand up from bed. Those days were difficult for him but he had to simply pull through.
8. Lady Gaga
Our beautiful but eccentric musician, songwriter and producer Lady Gaga has also had her own fair share of woes and depression. She had long battled hard with her mental illness and she is not too shy to talk about it.
In an interview with Billboard, she admitted that she had been struggling with depression and anxiety all her life but she wasn’t ashamed of it. She is a survivor and she likes to pride herself as that. She was able to overcome her depression when she realized that her sadness has never destroyed anything great about her.
She said “You just have to discover that greatness, go back to it and discover that little glow of light that is left in you”. She was able to find that tiny glow left and she is very grateful for it.
Today, she has not only overcame her battles, but she is now an ambassador and an advocate for mental health. She even has a foundation named “Born this way”. She claims that the primary goal of this organization is to empower the youths,inspire and install bravery into them, and also to help young people who are battling depression, anxiety, and as well as bullying by providing resources for them to be able to recover fast and well.
9. Hugh Laurie
This actor who happens to be my favourite and the favourites of so many people out there also fought with depression. Does the movie titled “House” ring a bell? Well, you guessed right. He acted as Dr Gregory House.
He described himself in three words “Sad, brooding and sarcastic”. Laurie had a dark side of him that usually haunted and tortured him almost everyday. It is said that Laurie just may have inherited his depression from his mother Patricia and his started expressing itself at a very tender age. Just when he was a teenager, Laurie had started showing impeccable signs of depression.
Although while he was a teenager, he didn’t seek for help not up till he became an adult and started having serious marital conflicts and problems, that was when Laurie decided that he needed help. He sought help and started attending therapy and with the help and support from his family, he was able to find peace.
Now Laurie has a wonderful musical career, and he is also doing very well as an actor. Even though some of his fans have accused him of being ungrateful, but yet he still overcame his troubles.
10. Dolly Parton
If you are so much into country music or ever seen the movie joyful noise, then you would be familiar with this beautiful actress, songwriter and producer. But this queen beauty of country music also had her fair share of anxiety attacks and years of depression.
She recounted that she had battled depression throughout the years most especially in the 1980s and she had also attempted to end it all and take her own life. Yes, you read right. She attempted suicide.
She said that those times were really awful times for her and she had to go through the days thinking and wishing she had the guts to kill herself. She said her depression came from the time she realized that she had hit menopause but she had never given birth to children.
Lucky for her, she was able to come to the realization that she could find joy in the kids of those around her and this she took no time in doing. Her words “Maybe God didn’t want me to have kids so that I can become a mother to everyone’s kids”.
11. Brad Pitt
It is amazing to know that even Brad Pitt had suffered the same issues with depression. During the 1990s, Brad Pitt has risen to fame and fortune. He starred in great movies like “Interview with a Vampire”. One thing that people didn’t realise is that during this year’s too, Brad Pitt was fighting depression as well.
His spiralling into depression left him isolated, withdrawn, and driven to the use of marijuana. In an interview with the Hollywood reporter, Brad had admitted that his bouts of depression was always often.
More like a semester in school. He said he was always going round the same routine. “Waking up, feeling depressed through the day, get home and numb himself out again”. And so, the cycle continued.
Then he realized he had had enough when he was almost in the edge of poverty due to his depression and his addiction to marijuana. He finally had to get help while on a trip to Casablanca.
Since then, Brad had overcome his depression and had been one of the big names in the industry even up till now.
12. Channing Tatum
The handsome actor who had starred in the dance movie “step-up” in 2006 also had had his own dose of depression. When speaking in an interview with Vanity Fair, he admitted to his depression starting when he was just a child.
According to him, his depression had been as a result of the loads of drugs he had taken as a child. He claimed that drugs like Dexidrine Adderall which was given to him to help him cope with ADD and dyslexia had also helped him spiral into depression.
Instead of this drugs to help him, they later began to have the effects of “Crystal Meth” on him. He got addicted to the drugs so much that they no longer affected or helped his condition but he always wanted more and that almost wanted to cause him to kill himself. He claimed that he had to get help and also had to stop the drugs before he could get any of his sanity back.
13. Kerry Washington
Beautiful and young Kerry who is a star actress also shared her experiences about her time with depression. In an interview with Essence, Kerry had admitted to having been depressed at some point in her life. She had experienced depression in her college ways and instead of her to find help, she found solace with food and exercise.
Though it felt like it worked for a while, but then it didn’t work anymore. It was only when her dance teacher dragged her to get help, that was when she began series and years of therapy. It was during this period that her routine of “eat, pass out, exercise and then eat again” stopped finally for good.
Now she is an advocate of taking the stigma of mental health away. She recently had to work with important people such as Michelle Obama and Sarah Jessica to raise awareness about depression and call the attention of others to how depression works.
14. Michael Phelps
Shocked, are you? Well yes, the wonderful and amazing swim athlete also confessed to going through stages of depression. The most decorated and celebrated swimmers of all times admitted that he went to the 2012 London games with a depressed mindset. According to him, all his self love and self confidence felt as if they have all been washed away.
He said, one of his biggest issues was that he thought all he had and could be was a swimmer and nothing else. In his words, “I thought I was only a swimmer and there was nothing more to me”.
His own type of depression caused him to isolate himself and push every other person away from him. He recounted that he was in the world’s possible lowest place ever and he even admitted that there were times when he didn’t even want to see another day.
He turned to the use of substances just to relieve himself and that got him into trouble with the police twice who had caught him using DUIs. It was after this, he realized and decided that he needed help.
In October 2014, Michael eventually checked himself into a rehab clinic. He recalled that the first night’s were really horrible and he had to cry himself to bed most of those nights. But then he started to get better and in a few weeks, he started to feel more like himself again.
When he had eventually checked out, he checked out very clean and more composed. He said that his emotional turnaround was all because of his therapy, his wife and his handsome baby son who made him realise that he could always do better.
15. Jon Hamm
Award winning actor and producer Jonn Hamm said that he battled depression after losing his dad at the age of 20years and he had lost his mum to stomach cancer at the age of 10 years. He then decided to get help when he realized that he didn’t feel like standing up in the morning.
He admitted that antidepressants helped him to overcome his depression as well as his family, friends and colleagues at work. He said the antidepressants changed his brain chemistry and caused it to function properly. In 2015, he had checked himself again to a rehabilitation centre after noticing a relapse.
Truth is that money and fame isn’t a guarantee that you wouldn’t face depression. If you don’t believe me, most of the world famous listed up there are witnesses. But you can always talk to someone about it. Most who have overcome depression always had to talk to someone about it. It doesn’t have to always end with taking your life just to escape. Seek for help today.