11 Celebrities Who've Had Depression — And Spoken Out Bravely About It
Even though it's incredibly common, depression can be highly isolating. Particularly if nobody near and dear has experience with mental illness, it can be tough to feel supported, loved, or understood when you finally get a label for the black hole you're in. The good news? Celebrities have been gradually breaking the taboo on talking about depression, and while some of them have had high-profile battles — think of Brooke Shields' war with Tom Cruise over the benefits of Prozac — others have simply got tired of suffering in silence.
So here are 11 high-profile successful people — men and women who people might think of as having "no reason to be depressed" — who've been open about the severe lows and dangers of this particularly crippling mood disorder. They're doing their part to break the stigma, so remember: you're never alone.
“I was feeling so sad all the time, and I couldn’t shake it. I started burying my feelings, and it got to a point where I couldn’t even tell my family or my friends, ‘I’m twisted,’ or ‘I’m exhausted,’ or ‘I’m so angry.’ … I became a master of putting up the wall so that I was unreadable.”
“The thing that made me go for help, was probably my daughter. She was something that earthed me, grounded me, and I thought, this isn’t right, this can’t be right, she cannot grow up with me in this state.”
“I became very depressed at the end of 2013. I was exhausted, fighting people off. I couldn’t even feel my own heartbeat. I was angry, cynical, and had this deep sadness like an anchor dragging everywhere I go. I just didn’t feel like fighting anymore. I didn’t feel like standing up for myself one more time — to one more person who lied to me.”
“I believe God-gifted people, physicians, doctors, therapists — that’s your healing. Take advantage of it. Go see a professional so that they can assess you. It’s okay if you’re going through something. Depression is not okay, but it is okay to go get help.”
“I think Prozac and things like that are very valuable to people for short periods of time. But I believe if you’re on them for an extended period of time, you never get to the problem. You never get to see what the problem is, because everything is just kind of OK. And so, you don’t deal.”
“You can’t pay enough money to cure that feeling of being broken and confused. It’s not like every day’s been great ever since. You have good days and bad days, and depression’s something that, y’know, is always with you.”
“You’re like, ‘I am just going to sit right here and I want to wallow in this. As much as it hurts, I am going to sit right here because this is what I deserve. This is what I deserve, so I am going to sit here because I am that horrible of a person.’”
“[After a suicide attempt in 1996] My sense of worth was so low. I had to re-program myself to see the good in me. Because someone didn’t love me didn’t mean I was unlovable.”
“[After Destiny’s Child ended], I didn’t eat. I stayed in my room. I was in a really bad place in life, going through that lonely period: ‘Who am I? Who are my friends?’ My life changed.”
“As an actress you’re supposed to be sensitive and vulnerable and have this side to you. But then you’re supposed to be super sociable and ‘on’ and like nice to everybody. That’s a weird dichotomy. It’s a lot to ask of a person. It’s not a normal thing.”
“Being in the spotlight can complicate personal problems even more. You never have a chance to deal with yourself privately and work through issues on your own. Everything is on display for the world to see. My pattern has been depressingly clear: fear and uncertainty lead to feeling bad about myself. Bad feelings lead to depression, and depression leads to overeating.”