Depression: Four Celebrities Who Helped Break The Stigma
There are countless forms of mental illness that present themselves to people of all shapes, sizes, social statuses, and financial rank. Mental illness doesn’t choose you based on your circumstances. Still, even with a growing number of people struggling with illnesses like depression, burnout, and anxiety, there is a stigma attached to mental illness. Celebrities have power over the masses, so to speak. A celebrity battling with depression can be the perfect tool through which to destigmatize the condition. They can do so by opening various topics for discussion and helping raise awareness about depression. The celebrities in this list are a few of the many who battle with the beast that is depression, and they are a drop in the bucket compared to the many who suffer across the globe – but they are influential.
Jolie let the world in on her struggle with depression when she was interviewed by Wall Street Journal Magazine in their 2015 November issue. Her struggle started when she was a teenager, and Jolie blames her hometown in LA for being part of it. Jolie describes how she was led to believe that fame, finances, and good looks were all the things necessary to attain happiness, but when she acquired all of that and realized she was ‘empty’, her struggle began. Her feelings of emptiness were dulled by her humanitarian work but they found a way to creep back in at full force. While she struggled with depression, she managed to raise her children properly which is an admirable feat in itself.
It only seemed convenient to mention him after his recent ex-wife, Angelina Jolie! Well, Pitt has been candid about the depression that took over him in the 90s. After he climbed out of the pit, he boiled it down to finding himself and who he is. He had an interesting perspective on the mental illness, likening it to a sort of educational course. Pitt’s depression was simple and relatable as he was hiding from the world and struggled to manage the growing unease that it caused. He ended up feeling that he was wasting his life which is a feeling many who suffer from depression related to. See, even someone like Pitt can be relatable!
Cara was a girl of 15 when she found herself being overwhelmed by waves of anxiety, depression, and bitter self-hatred. She shared her story with Vogue. Her struggle grew to the point where she was suicidal, in spite of having taken medication and seen several therapists. She also describes feeling alienated in her teen years. She also had trouble identifying with herself based on gender because she enjoyed dressing and behaving like a boy but didn’t enjoy being mistaken for one. These are confusing, contradicting, and overwhelming feelings that occur during our teenage years and can exacerbate conditions like depression. Things were so serious for Delevingne that she suffered a mental breakdown when she was just 15 and was removed from school. These days, she seems better at handling herself. She’s in a happy relationship with Ashley Benson these days.
The beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones seems to be a strong woman who won’t be beaten by anything – and she is. She has a condition labeled as bipolar II disorder, which happens to cause intense periods of depression. The condition is described by Zeta-Jones as having “amazing highs and very low lows” which aptly describes the rollercoaster ride of emotions of the bipolar disorder. There are many who are diagnosed with this condition and still more who are living undiagnosed. Zeta-Jones shared that knowing her racing feelings had a name and that there was a way forward with it helped her immensely. This is important for people who are suffering from the condition or who suspect they may be, to seek help and not to be stigmatized for it.
If you can identify with any of these celebrity stories, look them up and read about their journey through those rough patches in life and find out what it is that helped them out of it. We just want you to know that if you have feelings that are bringing you down, don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you were rich, famous or popular, it would solve your problems. Depression doesn’t know of these circumstances. Maybe you know somebody who is struggling with depression and is looking in the wrong direction for help. Use this information to help them find their way to recovery because if you beat depression once, you will beat it always!
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