11 Celebrities Open Up About Depression
6 Celebrities Who Beat Depression
They have money, fame, and a squad of stylists dedicated to making them look perfect. So what's there to be depressed about when you’re a celebrity, you might wonder.
“Celebrities aren’t immune to depression and other mental health concerns,” says Vasilis K. Pozios, MD, a Detroit psychiatrist. In fact, nearly 17 percent of Americans will suffer from major depression at some time in their life, including well-known Americans. “Fame can magnify some of life’s stressors, and coping skills that were adequate before gaining celebrity status may not be enough once you’re in the spotlight,” Dr. Pozios says.
Discover how these celebs found themselves facing depression — and how they fought back.
Hamm is best known for his work asMad Menleading lothario Don Draper, a dark character who battles many demons on the hit TV show. In his own life, Hamm suffered the loss of his mother at age 10 and his father at age 20, and he admitted toObservermagazine that he has struggled with chronic depression. To cope with the loss of his parents, Hamm dedicated himself to school and work. He pulled through his depression with the help of antidepressants and therapy sessions, as well as support from his friends and their parents.
This Oscar-winning actress opened up in an interview withGood Housekeepingmagazine about her struggles with postpartum depression. Paltrow didn’t initially recognize that her symptoms were related to depression, but her then-husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, did. Paltrow says she felt emotionally disconnected and like a “zombie” after the birth of her son. Acknowledging her depression symptoms was the first step to getting help, she says, and therapy and regular exercise helped her recover after that.
He’s one of the biggest names in Hollywood. But despite his success, Pitt has dealt with depression. Pitt told theHollywood Reporterthat toward the end of the 1990s, he slipped into a deep depression. He decided to turn his life around after a trip to Morocco and Yugoslavia, where he witnessed extreme poverty. Becoming involved in humanitarian organizations helped him overcome depression by focusing on helping those in need.
There was one role that the famous model-turned-actress truly desired in her life: mom. So when Shields finally had her daughter in 2003 after struggling to have a baby, she couldn’t understand the extreme sadness and rage that washed over her and kept her from bonding with her baby. She shared onThe Oprah Winfrey Showabout being diagnosed with severe postpartum depression and, although at first resistant, agreeing to take the antidepressants prescribed by her doctor and attending weekly therapy sessions. She wrote a book about her struggles,Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, which has been an inspiration to many.
The comedienne and talk show host may be known for getting big laughs, but she hasn’t always felt so joyful inside. She acknowledged on the daytime talkfestThe Viewthat after the Columbine High School shootings in 1999, she sank into a depression that caused her to cry constantly and be unable to get out of bed. O’Donnell credits medications for helping her tackle her depression symptoms. While she still struggles with seasonal affective disorder, she continues to manage her depression using inversion therapy, a practice that involves hanging upside down.
Today, Rowling is the well-known author of the best-sellingHarry Potterseries. But before Rowling started writing, she suffered from major depression. She told the British newspaperThe Sunday Timesthat as a newly divorced mom in her twenties with an infant daughter, she was constantly afraid that her baby would die. She also started having suicidal thoughts.
Her regular doctor was away when Rowling sought help, and the doctor she saw brushed off her concerns.
Video: Celebrities Share Thoughts on Anxiety & Depression
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