Our minds don’t immediately go to “aww, they look so sad!” whenever we look at a celebrity. Honestly, we all assume that those very rich and famous people lead glamorous, perfect existences so it tends to shock us when we realize that, like normal human beings, tend to suffer from depression. As we all now know, we can’t really tell if a person is suffering from depression because they usually find a way to hide it so very well. It could strike anyone and doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor or average or famous – no one is immune to mental illness. Some celebrities who have suffered from it in the past have now opened up about suffering from the illness in order to bring more awareness to it, while others prefer to suffer in silence either embarrassed to admit it to anyone else, or even to themselves.
16. The Rock Had Faith
No one would have EVER figured that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson suffered from this horrific mental illness: he’s been on top of the world lately and is even rumored to be considering making a presidential run in the year 2020. Sure, now he seems like a wall of self-confidence and power, but when he was in his 20s, he suffered from depression. “You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it,” Johnson said in a YouTube video. “And oftentimes – it happens – you just feel like you’re alone. You feel like it’s only you. You’re in your bubble. And I wish I had someone at the time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK. It’ll be OK.’ So, I wish I knew that. Hold onto the fundamental quality of faith. Have faith that on the other side of your pain is something good.”
15. Lady Gaga Believes In Being Stronger Together
She’s so very versatile when it comes to her work, that’s it can be difficult for her fans to actually see that Lady Gaga suffers from depression at times. Since coming out about it, Gaga has been known to embrace the illness in order to open up people’s eyes about it. “If we share our stories and stick together, we’re stronger,” she said when she opened up to Billboard magazine about suffering from depression and anxiety. “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 really felt like I was dying – my light completely out. I said to myself, ‘Whatever is left in there, even just one light molecule, you will find it and make it multiply. You have to for you. You have to for your music. You have to for your fans and your family.”
14. Kristen Bell Has Something To Offer
She’s one of the most upbeat and bubbly actresses today, so when people heard that actress Kristen Bell suffered from depression, people were baffled. “There’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness,” Bell wrote in an essay on her struggle on the website Motto. “For me, depression is not sadness. It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness. Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless like I had nothing to offer like I was a failure. Now, after seeking help, I can see that those thoughts, of course, couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s important for me to be candid about this so people in a similar situation can realize that they’re not worthless and that they do have something to offer. We all do.”
13. Cara Delevingne Had Secrets Behind The Camera
The first thing we see when we look at young model/actress Cara Delevingne is her confidence – in both her looks and herself. However, recently, the model actually opened up about her struggle with depression. She announced it in a series of tweets on Twitter and helped enlighten her fans on her condition and how she was fighting it. “I suffer from depression and was a model during a particular rough patch of self-hatred,” Cara tweeted. I am so lucky for the work I get to do but I used to work to try to escape and just ended up completely exhausting myself. I am focused on filming and trying to learn not to pick apart my every flaw. I am really good at that.” It takes a strong woman to open up to the public like that.
12. Money Can’t By Happiness For Winona Ryder
We should have known something was up when actress Winona Ryder started taking all those moody roles back in the 80s and 90s. You saw it in Heathers, Beetlejuice, and, above all Girl Interrupted where she played a woman institutionalized because she was suffering from depression. The actress admitted that she’s struggled with the mental illness for so many years and has had her ups and downs. “You can’t pay enough money to cure that feeling of being broken and confused,” Ryder explained. “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.” Ryder, unlike a lot of actresses, has learned to channel her depression and use it in her work. You can actually see her struggling and turn it into a work of art on the small screen in Netflix’s popular show Stranger Things and Stranger Things 2.
11. Demi Lovato Is 1 In 5 Adults
She’s an absolute stunner and beyond talented – but that doesn’t mean that she’s immune to mental illness. Demi actually opened up about suffering from bipolar depression, which had actually gotten so bad, it put her entire career in a choke hold. “I think it’s important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about,” the singer said at the National Council for Behavioral Health. “It’s something that’s extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic. The problem with mental illness is people don’t look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously.”
10. Lena Dunham Turned To Exercise
We all know who Lena Dunham is – she never lets us forget it. She also never lets us forget that she suffers from a lot more than depression. She quite often uses social media to express everything she’s going through when it comes to the mental illness and dealing with her anxiety. She often posts photos of herself going through spells of anxiety and depression to get the word out. “Promised myself I would not let exercise be the first thing to go by the wayside when I got busy with Girls season 5 and here is why ” she wrote in one post. “It has helped me with my anxiety in ways I’ve never dreamed possible. To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. I ain’t about the a**, it’s about the brain.”
9. J.K. Rowling Turned It Into Art
I hate to say this and even think it, but if it wasn’t for author J.K. Rowling’s depression, we probably would have never been blessed with her Harry Potter series. She was able to do what most people don’t – she was able to channel her very depression into her art, and suddenly the wildly popular series was born. “It’s so difficult to describe [depression] to someone who’s never been there because it’s not sadness,” the author told Oprah Winfrey back in 2010. “But it’s that cold absence of feeling – that really hollowed-out feeling.” Rowling has been an active member in advocating for people with depression and has been vocal about pushing people who suffer from it into throwing it into their own works of art. If it worked for her, it can certainly work for others.
8. Trevor Noah’s Monkey On His Back
Everyone was thrown off when, during an interview with The Chappelle Show writer and producer, Neal Brennan about his new comedy act, Daily Show host Trevor Noah casually, and almost nonchalantly, admitted to suffering from depression himself. You had to be quick in order to catch it since he put it so mildly when discussing Brennan’s own battle with depression. “A lot of the time, comedians don’t talk about, I guess, the dark side of comedy and in your show what really connects with me is you talk a lot about depression,” Noah said to Brennan at the start of the interview. “You know what’s funny about it [depression] is people go, if you’re depressed you can’t smile, if you’re depressed you can’t tell jokes, but as comedians that’s like the one thing most comedians share is that monkey on the back of depression.”
7. Chrissy Teigen Had A Hard Time Saying It Out Loud
We all know her and love her and her down-to-earth ways and antics. Anyone who follows her on Twitter appreciates her sharp wit, sarcasm, and feisty ways. The model is known for standing up for what she believes in, even if it means calling others out (ahem, we’re all looking at you, Donald Trump). She seems to lead the perfect family life with her husband John Legend that’s lined with an extreme amount of humor (they love being facetious with one another in a public forum). However, Chrissy Teigen actually suffered from postpartum depression shortly after the birth of her daughter. She had tried to keep it on the DL, but finally ended up opening up about it to Glamour magazine. “Postpartum does not discriminate,” the author said. “I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do… But I’m dealing.”
6. Ellen DeGeneres Kept Going
It’s hard to imagine this amazing comedian struggling with depression because we don’t often associate with her with anything sad. Ellen DeGeneres’s mirth and cheerfulness is extremely contagious, so it’s no wonder when she struggled with depression, she kept it under wraps from her fans and even her family members. But it reached a fever pitch after she came out to the world as gay. “When I walked out of the studio after five days of working so hard, knowing I had been treated so disrespectfully for no other reason than I was gay, I just went into this deep, deep depression,” the daytime talk show host said. “You have no idea where the darkest times of your life might end, so you have to just keep going.” Just keep swimming, our beloved Dory – just keep swimming.
5. Nicki Minaj Didn’t Want To Wake Up
She’s so colorful and full of life, that one would never think that rapper Nicki Minaj not only struggled with depression, but she refused to tell anyone about it or seek out help when she realized what she was going through. Finally, in 2011, Minaj opened up to the public about her struggle. “It was just one dead end after another,” the rapper told Cosmopolitan magazine. “At one point, I was, like, ‘What would happen if I just didn’t wake up?’ That’s how I felt. Like, ‘Maybe I should just take my life?” So many people struggle with the same sort of thoughts when depressed, and more often than not, it leads to the worst possible outcome, which is why it’s so important to open up to others about it and seek out help.
4. Kim Kardashian Needed A Break
We know that she suffered from body dysmorphia (which causes her to see imperfections in her figure that are all made up in her mind), but after her viscous Paris attack when she was robbed at gunpoint, Kim Kardashian fell into a deep depression that she tried to cover up by using her family and a curtain. She ended up disappearing from the public spotlight for three months following the robbery in order to collect herself. Once she slowly started stepping back into the spotlight, she had changed a great deal in her ways (especially her social media ways) and even her personality had shifted thanks to the depression she experienced after the fact. She was no stranger to depression, however. She actually suffered from it back in 2012 and almost gave up the spotlight altogether back then.
3. Jennifer Aniston Is Not America’s Carefree Sweetheart
You had to see this one coming: even though it took forever for her to outright say it, it was painfully clear that Jennifer Aniston was suffering from some major depression after being publicly humiliated by her ex-husband Brad Pitt when he had an affair with co-star Angelina Jolie after they met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It wasn’t until years later after she found happiness with new hubby actor Justin Theroux, when she finally admitted that she had suffered from extreme depression following her and Pitt’s divorce. “It’s nice to be able to look down and see a new piece of jewelry on my finger,” she said. “But it doesn’t change my brain chemistry.” She then said that she couldn’t keep pretending to be America’s “carefree sweetheart” which is why she opened up about her depression after so many years.
2. Gwyneth Paltrow Not So Perfect
We should have known that Mrs. Perfect wasn’t exactly perfect. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow actually came out and said that she suffered from postpartum depression after keeping it a secret for a long while. The depression apparently lasted five months after giving birth to Moses, her second child. “I felt like a zombie,” she told Good Housekeeping. “I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect. I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child,” she said. “But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it’s so important for women to talk about it. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure.” Luckily, she was able to pull herself out of it with help.
1. Kanye West Cancelled Tours
We all know rapper Kanye West suffered from something (you’d have to be to marry into the Kardashian family), we just didn’t know how bad until he had a public mental breakdown during the tail end of 2016. West was hospitalized last year because he was suffering from extreme depression and paranoia – both of which he blamed on wife Kim’s robbery. He was making himself sick with worry and it got so bad that he was suffering breakdowns before his shows. He was suffering from temporary psychosis and sleep deprivation and dehydration and his own personal physician had to call 911 before a show. His fellow rappers began to show support and openly talking about the stresses performers like West are constantly under. Those who showed their support for West were Chance the Rapper, DMX, and Lupe Fiasco.
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