30 Famous Who Battled Depression
clock_iconNovember 23, 2020 clock_icon22 min read




1. Jim Carrey


Jim Carrey easily makes the shortlist of history's most influential comedians, but in an interview for an hour, the funnyman shocked lots of individuals when he acknowledged he has spent much of his life coping with depression. After the second of his two failed marriages, Carrey sought the assistance of a psychiatrist who prescribed him Prozac. Though Carrey admits the antidepressant helped him out of an initial jam, he also realized that he couldn't be one among people who continue the drug forever. "I had to induce off [Prozac] at a particular point," said Carrey. "You must get out of bed a day and say that life is nice. That is what I did, although now and then it has been very difficult on my behalf." Carrey credits a healthy diet and natural supplements for his improved mental state.


2. Demi Lovato


For an extended time, actress and musician Demi Lovato did not have a reputation for her manic energy shifts and rapid mood swings, but after checking herself into a treatment facility in 2010 for "emotional and physical issues," Lovato went public together with her anorexia, bulimia, and manic-depressive psychosis. "Looking back it all is smart: she told People magazine. "There were times once I was so manic, I used to be writing seven songs in one night and I'd be up until 5:30 within the morning." Not only does Lovato have a brand new hit aptly titled "Confident," but the star has become a significant advocate for the psychological state by remaining very open about her affective disorder.



3. Cara Delevingne


Fame and money don’t buy happiness — just ask Cara Delevingne. By age 15, Delevingne was rich and famous, but was also hit with a massive wave of depression, anxiety, and self-hatred: An initial attempt at therapy and drugs wasn't helpful, and Delevingne turned instead to harmful behavior like partying and medicines. In an interview with Vogue, Delevingne said, "1 was packing my bags, and suddenly I just wanted to finish it. I was away, and it was right there before me. And that I was like, I want to decide whether I like myself the maximum amount as I like the concept of death." Amazingly, Delevingne credits the Outkast song "SpottieOttieDopaliscious'' with pulling her out of her dark place. The song had played at the funeral of a detailed friend who had overdosed, and hearing it "felt sort of a warning from him." Delevingne is now ready to control her depression and has continued a successful career in film and print.


4. Ellen Degeneres


In 1998 after she revealed that she was a lesbian, Ellen Degeneres's popular sitcom was axed. "Everything that I ever feared happened to me," Degeneres later recalled. "I lost my show. I have been attacked like hell. I went from making lots of cash on a sitcom to creating no money. after I walked out of the studio after five years of working so hard, knowing I had been treated so disrespectfully for no other reason than I used to be gay, I just went into this deep, deep depression." But the comedian persevered, continuing within the industry, and ultimately finding acceptance and happiness with an Emmy-winning program and an unforgettable turn as a fish with amnesia in Pixar's Finding Nemo franchise.


5. Harrison Ford


The actor famous for roles like Han Solo and Indiana Jones experienced feelings that fit the outline of depression (though he's never actually used the word) during his childhood and college years. a really shy child, Ford was repeatedly beaten up by his peers for years. Even in college, he didn't slot in, and as a result sunk into a slump that included sleeping long hours, missing classes, and struggling academically. Finally, he was expelled from school. Things didn't turn for Ford until his junior year 1, L 11 when he signed up for a drama class and commenced the journey of overcoming his shyness.


6. Jhonny Depp


Actor Johnny Depp is also a chameleon on screen, but watch him during an interview, and you may see only a person whose facial expressions, droopy posture, and mumbled words expose what was once a giant secret: Depp suffers from severe anxiety. Indeed, the actor's anxiety has been a significant source of depression and unease, most so that Depp has access to therapists in the slightest degree times, even on film sets, who help advise him on how best to cope with his anxiety and keep it from dragging him into severe depression.


7. Channing Tatum


Channing Tatum described the depression that afflicted him as a child. According to Tatum, his depression and pain stemmed from the fact he had been loaded up with drugs like Dexedrine and Adderall to help with learning disabilities like ADD and dyslexia. But instead of helping, Tatum describes feeling like a zombie: "It's like coke or crystal meth. The more you do, the less it works. For a time, it would work well. Then it worked less and my pain was more. I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I do." Tatum's emotional state improved so much when he stopped taking medication that he has passionately vowed he will never medicate his daughter, Everly.


8. Catherin Zeta-Jones


In 2011, but a year after her husband Michael Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones checked herself into a Connecticut rehab facility and revealed that she suffers from bipolar II disorder. Unlike the higher known bipolar I, bipolar II is commonly characterized by swings between depression and hypomania, often without the "up" of mania. After her release from rehab, the mother of two said, "I'm not the Typo of one that likes to shout out my issues from the rooftops, but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will understand it is controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to that, which those that do not have it in check will seek help with all that's available to treat it." .


9. Kerry Washington


Kerry Washington hasn't been shy about her past. In an interview with Essence magazine, she said "I used food as a way to cope," she said. "It was my best friend." It was only when a dance teacher intervened that Washington began what would become years of therapy, and was finally able to end her routine of "eat, pass out, exercise for hours, feel guilty." More recently, Washington has worked closely with figures like Michelle Obama and Sarah Jessica Parker to call attention to the issue of depression, especially as it affects veterans. As she told Glamour magazine, "I think it's really important to take the stigma away from mental health."


10. Michael Phelps


You may be surprised to know that swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, went into the 2012 London games with "no self-confidence, no self-love." As he once said 'I am extremely thankful that I didn’t take my life' "I was in the lowest place I have ever been. To be honest I just felt like I didn't want to see another day. I felt like it should be over." Phelps turned to substance abuse and was arrested twice for DUIs before realizing he needed help. In October 2014, Phelps checked himself into a rehab clinic. Phelps credits rehab, his fiancee, and his new baby son for helping with his emotional turnaround.


11. Michael Phelps


Maybe it isn’t surprising that actor Ryan Philippe, who admits to having dealt with depression since childhood. Though Philippe has called himself an innately sad person who wishes he can "un-feel" his feelings of depression, he also says, "I'm way funnier than people know me to be. And it's dark humor, like gallows humor. I think that's where, if you do carry any of that sadness or depression, your humor does tend to be a little darker than most people." In 2015, Philippe said he believes he has passed his depression to Ava, his 16-year old daughter with Reese Witherspoon. "I see it in my daughter," he told Elle Magazine. "She has it, and that I wish to hell she didn't."


12. Britney Spears


Britney Spears, 37, made headlines again this April, after checking into a mental health center. While the hashtag #FreeBritney circulated on social media, others were reminded that the singer has sought treatment multiple times since 2007 for her mental health. Spears had admitted to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffering from postpartum depression in the past. Drugs and alcohol often aggravate symptoms of some mental health disorders. Spears has admitted to excessive drinking, “dabbling” with drugs and being a “smoker”.


13. Gwynet Paltrow


After her daughter was born in 2004, Gwyneth Paltrow was fine, but two years later, after giving birth to her son, Paltrow felt "like a zombie." The actress didn't realize she was suffering from postpartum depression until it was suggested by her then-husband, Chris Martin of the band Coldplay. Paltrow has been open about her bout with depression, describing on her popular blog how she was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of her life. "I thought depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of taking care of a child," she said, "but there are different shades and depths of it."


14. Mattew Perry


For over 10 years, actor Matthew Perry made viewers howl with laughter as Chandler Bing on the hit show Friends. Perry, who calls his time on Friends the worst and loneliest years of his life, spent the better part of a decade in and out of rehab for depression, drinking, and opiates. It was only when his co-stars began to catch on, and the media began reporting his troubles, that Perry says he finally began his slow path to recovery. Today, Perry is clean, the star of a "The Odd Couple" reboot on NBC, and an advocate who helps other Hollywood addicts deal with their issues.


15. Dolly Parton


The queen of country music, suffered from severe depression within the 1980s, even going so far as to contemplate suicide. Parton once said, "It was a very bad time for me. Every day I thought, I wish I had the nerve to kill myself.'" Now Parton believes that most of her depression stemmed from menopause and the regret that she had never had children. Thankfully, Parton found comfort in the children of those around her, saying, "Maybe God didn't want me to have kids so that everybody else's kids could be mine."



16. Jon Hamm

Celebrated actor Jon Hamm experienced his first bout of chronic depression at age 20, shortly after losing his father (his mother had already passed from stomach cancer 10 years earlier). Though Hamm believes the structured environment of labor and college helped together with his recovery, he also credits antidepressants and therapy with "changing his brain chemistry enough to think: I want to induce up within the morning. I do not want to sleep until four within the afternoon:" Though a decade letter, Hamm would find major fame as Mad Men's Don Draper, it seems the Emmy and Golden Globe winner continues to cope with his battles. In May 2015, he checked himself into a 30-day program in Connecticut.


17. Chris Evans


As Captain America, he might not be terrified of much. But as himself, actor Chris Evans has addressed depression stemming from his debilitating anxiety. In an interview, Evans described the sentiments that overwhelm him within the spotlight: "A red carpet lasts, what 30 minutes, tops? But that to me is like a half-hour of walking on hot coals. it doesn't sort of a junket — junkets you sit in an exceeding room and that they bring a€-em in. I can do this all day and not have a meltdown. But the premiere — that's overwhelming. it is the volume of it: You're within the center of this thing. you'll be able to fight an entire army if they line up one at a time. But if they surround you, you're fed."


18. Joseph Gordon-Leviit


In 2001, after five years on the hit show 3rd Rock From the Sun, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt left the show to specialize in school. But soon, the young actor fell into a deep depression, certain that his decision would ultimately be detrimental to his career. He described to Details magazine, "I was scared and depressed for ages. Not that I had any reason to f-ing be depressed — I mean, I used to be visiting college and everything. it was not like I used to be hungry." Still, the sentiments remained, and it wasn't until Gordon-Levitt left school and returned to Hollywood that he was ready to find the emotional balance he needed.


19. Lady Gaga


Lady Gaga hasn't been shy about too many things, least of all her long battle with psychopathy. In a very candid interview with Billboard, the pop star admitted, "I've suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life. I just want these kids to understand that" But as you guess, the "Born This Way" artist has beaten her depression and has said, "I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. you simply need to return thereto greatness, find that one little light that's left. I'm lucky I found one little glimmer stored away: Today, Lady Gaga works hard as an advocate for mental state. Her Born this fashion Foundation seeks to empower youth, inspire bravery, and supply resources for teens addressing depression, severe anxiety, and even bullying.


20. Angelina Jolie 


Before she was an Oscar winner, U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, writer, director, and mother of six, Angelina Jolie-Pitt was a seriously depressed teenager. Jolie-Pitt, who has always been very open about her bouts with mental illness, has even revealed that her depression included cutting herself and hiring a successful man to kill her. Though things improved for the actress after finding Hollywood success and becoming a mother, Jolie-Pitt found herself engulfed in another depression in 2007, after losing her mother to cancer. This time, she took another route back to good health, accepting the lead role in the action flick "Wanted" to do "something physical" and get out of her head. Jolie-Pitt stated, "I felt I was going into a very dark place, and I wasn't capable of getting up in the morning, so I signed up for something that would force me to be active."


21. Brad Pitt


During the 1990s, Brad Pitt was rising to fame in films like Fight Club and Interview With a Vampire. At the identical time, he was sinking into a deep depression that left him irritated, isolated, and drawn to heavy marijuana use. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Pitt described his bout of depression as "one of the seasons or a semester." He explained: "This semester I used to major in depression. I was doing an equivalent thing nightly and numbing myself to sleep, an equivalent routine. Couldn't wait to get home and hideout. But that feeling of unease was growing and one night I just said, "This is a waste.'" The ultimate feeling of unease finally came while on a trip to Casablanca, where realizations of utmost poverty shocked him into finally seeking help. Since then, Pitt has become one of the foremost recognizable names within the world, and he has been praised by various psychological state organizations worldwide for his willingness to discuss his depression and lowest points.


22. J.K. Rowling


Living in poverty Rowling was an unemployed single mother who spent her days writing in local cafes. But at the same time, she was also suffering from severe depression and battling suicidal thoughts. Before beginning her famous series, Rowling even underwent cognitive behavior therapy in an attempt to improve her illness. Rowling is healthier and happier nowadays but immortalized her bout with severe depression in Harry Potter. Her suicidal thoughts inspired the Dementors, terrifying creatures that feed off of the happiness of humans and wizards.


23. Reese Witherspoon


Reese Witherspoon insists she is certainly not "America's Sweetheart," as she is so often labeled. Witherspoon had to battle hard to keep dark thoughts at bay during that time. She credits close friends with helping to lift her out of her depression. "They came over, stood me up, put me in the shower, put my clothes on, took my kids to school, brought me dinner." Finally, Witherspoon was eventually able to win her battle with depression."You have to take responsibility for your happiness."


24. Owen Wilson


In 2007, comedy mega-star Owen Wilson shocked even his closest friends when he attempted suicide at his California home. Though People magazine reported only 11 weeks later that Wilson had been upset about his breakup with actress Kate Hudson and had since "bounced back," the actor took the chance to come back clean about his years-long battle with depression and habituation. Wilson has since slowed his career to target his health, and credits antidepressants and his two young sons with keeping him grounded.


25. Hugh Laurie 


Like his most famous character, Dr. Gregory House, Hugh Laurie has described himself as dark, brooding, and sarcastic. Even his good friend, actress Joely Richardson, acknowledges that Laurie has a "tortured" and "dark" side. Laurie may have inherited his depression from his mother, Patricia. The actor's depression started as a teenager, though it wasn't until years later, after having an extra-marital affair, that he agreed to seek help and attend therapy. However, fans accusing him of being ungrateful have unfortunately caused him to become more hesitant to talk about his past issues and pain.


26. Emma Thompson


As Emma Thompson once said, depression is "fantastically common, and it's a very much hidden thing people don't talk about." Though she suffered her first bout after her divorce from Kenneth Branagh, she, unfortunately, did not see a therapist at the time. Only when she experienced additional despair, this time after a failed in vitro attempt for a second child, did she deal with her depression with therapy and antidepressants. Since then, Thompson has continued to work, though she takes occasional sabbaticals to cater to her lingering depression. .


27. Brooke Shields


In 2003, Brooke Shields revealed that she had experienced a deep postpartum depression after parturition to her eldest daughter, Rowan. Shields was one of each of the primary celebrities to talk openly about postpartum depression, and even documented her journey during a 2005 bestseller called Down Came the Rain. The actress and former model admitted she had felt completely disconnected from her baby, which the shame and guilt she felt led her towards suicidal thoughts. Once she realized her feelings of despair were tied to a biochemical shift in her body, Shields was ready to seek the assistance she needed and has been an advocate ever since. Says Shields, "Once we admit that postpartum may be a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable."


28. Kristen Bell


Kristen Bell's mother and grandmother both experienced the same serotonin imbalance, so the actress learned early on that there is no shame in seeking help and taking medication. In 2016, Bell stated that she has struggled with and received treatment for depression and In Bell's wise words, "You would never deny a diabetic his insulin, but for some reason when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they're immediately crazy' or something."


29. Anne Hathaway


In a 2007 interview with Tatler magazine, Hathaway revealed that within the years before her big break, she suffered from depression and anxiety. In that period, Hathaway was able to work through her anguish without assistance from medication. Thinking back to her troubled younger self, Hathaway has said, "I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It's all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self."


30. Eminem


In his memoir, The Way I Am, Eminem goes into detail about his battle with depression more than a decade ago. Though the rapper grew up through tough circumstances, in 2006 he found himself reeling after the murder of his close friend and D12 member Proof. His continuously rocky relationship with his ex-wife wasn't helping either. Eminem recalled, "I have never felt so much pain in my life. It was tough for me to even get out of bed and I had days when I couldn't walk, let alone write a rhyme."

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