They may be wealthy, attractive and talented. They may be envied or desired… but stardom does not prevent famous people from experiencing the effects of depression. One wrong step in the public eye can result in a media rainstorm so strong it can crash the famous into a world of pain. The famous also experience a high level of risk factors involved in depression – factors such as sporadic employment, substance abuse, travel pressures and varied sleep patterns.
Depression can happen to anyone. Here are 10 famous people you may not know have experienced depression:
1. Ellen Degeneres
After going public about her sexuality in 1997, Degeneres’ career came to a sudden halt. Initially her coming out was celebrated and then everything changed. She was publicly made fun of and fell into a bout of anger and depression. Through that time though, she did not regret her decision and instead developed an increased resilience by dropping insecurities and sensitivities. Degeneres claims that it was her role as Dory in the 2003 movie Finding Nemo that helped her move on from the difficult times.
2. Russell Brand
Brand has admitted to having experienced depression and related issues of bulimia and self-harm since he was 11. He turned to drugs and alcohol in his teens to deal with his feelings. He spent time in rehab on his agent’s suggestion to deal with his addictions and regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The comedian’s tumultuous journey including public humiliations like being fired by MTV or publicly humiliated by Sir Bob Geldolf, have evened out now he is sober. After the suicide of singer Chris Cornell, Brand came out encouraging men to seek help for depression.
3. Owen Wilson
After suffering from depression for several months in 2007, Wilson attempted suicide. His brother found him after he’d taken excess pills and slit his wrists. Wilson was transported to hospital, survived and later taken to rehab for detoxification. He asked for privacy at this time to heal. Wilson has always been known to be very likeable and his career and financial success obvious. His attempted suicide shows that depression does not discriminate.
4. Ruby Rose
Australian actor and model Ruby Rose has been very open about her battle with depression. After coming out as gay at the age of 12, she experienced physical and verbal abuse from her peers. It is reported that she was sexually abused when young, and later diagnosed with bi-polar with a propensity to depression. Rose’s successful career and increased self-awareness appears to have her in a good space at present.
5. Lady Gaga
A victim of sexual assault, Gaga has admitted to experiencing depression and anxiety. She has been very open about her experience in the hope to inspire others to seek help and to prioritise their wellbeing. Gaga says that when her career took off, she needed time out to recover emotionally. She says “I don’t remember anything at all. It’s like I’m traumatised.” In 2013, Gaga said that she’d been taking depression medication and that she wasn’t ashamed of it. Talk by celebrities about their mental health challenges can help reduce the stigma that some associate with the issue.
6. The Rock
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has publicly admitted to having gone through low times. The successful actor has spoken about it saying ‘I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone.’ The Rock first dealt with depression when he was 23. He was passed up for the NFL and cut from the Canadian Football League. Interestingly the Calgary Stampeders phoned him up just 4 weeks later and offered him a position but he turned them down. Instead he trained for the WWE, winning 7 championships and transitioning into become a movie star. Johnson is an excellent example of taking a major setback and using it as the ignition to a better future.
7. JK Rowling
Best known for the Harry Potter series, Rowling has been vocal in discussing depression. She experienced it when she was writing the first book in the series, whilst caring for her newborn and coping with divorce. She states that she had suicidal thoughts at this time. She experienced it again when adjusting to fame and fortune. Rowling says “I’ve never been ashamed of my depression” and is proud of getting through a very tough time in her life. Her willingness to discuss the challenge has been instrumental in normalising depression for others.
8. Demi Lovato
In 2011 Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar whilst in rehab for anorexia, bulimia and cutting. She says that she had experienced bouts of depression then elation since she was 10 years old. She was happy to finally have an explanation for her challenges. And has now changed her lifestyle to exclude alcohol and be more structured in her eating and exercise regime. Lovato encourages those experiencing depression to speak out and others to notice what might be happening for those around them.
Depression can touch all of our lives.
If you, or a friend or family member are suffering from depression, click on this link to speak with one of our coaches http://feelingdown.com.au/book-a-coaching-session/