The famous lives of people around us are not always as great and glamorous as they seem. Here’s taking a look at some of the famous people with mental health issues.
When you’re depressed, everything becomes distorted.
― Winona Ryder, Actress
The great acclaimed names in Hollywood have been massively stalked and talked for their dramatic lifestyles. They put in hours and hours of work to entertain the world, to create timeless craft, and to stay true to who they are. The other aspect of their life also demands them to live a life of late-night parties, grueling schedule, fad diets, and pressurizing paparazzi. Amidst this bunkum, it takes great amount of energy and courage to brave it all and stand tall when the cloud of criticisms gets darker.
There are many ways in which they deal with it. Some of them are right, while some not suggested as right. But who are we to be judgmental? This PsycholoGenie article shares an insight and reality of some of the mental health issues suffered by our beloved celebrities.
Disclaimer: The celebrities listed below are purely based on Internet research. We do not claim responsibility for any discrepancy in the information provided below.
She fought the Zorro and became the American Beauty, winning the hearts of millions around her. But mental illnesses spare no one. They grip even the greatest of the stars. Catherine Zeta-Jones was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and soon became the face of this mental disorder, raising awareness and speaking about it publicly. That was not the role she vied for; it was something this actress was thrown into. Thankfully, it is for celebrities like these that the stigma around mental disorders is slowly dissipating.
Before he became the iconic warrior out on the battlefield to avenge the death of his wife, Mel Gibson was known for wrong reasons like his onset pranks and propensity for after-hours partying. He too has been a victim of bipolar disorder. He mentioned his extreme variation of mood swings of the first time while filming for a 2002 documentary with his classmate. Many articles have been written on the linkages between bipolar depression and artistry. However, Stanford University School of Medicine is still conducting research to understand why.
Brooke Shields talked about her postpartum depression in the book Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. This kind of a depression is seen in women after giving birth. It can range from being moderate in nature to quite extreme. In Brooke Shields’ case, she states that she initially had problems bonding with her baby and then had thoughts of killing herself. Postpartum depression lasts longer than baby blues and makes one feel completely worthless, constantly anxious, and restless. The actress dealt with her mental disorder with the help of medications and professional help.
This British actress and screenwriter suffered from clinical depression for a long time. According to her, it was her career that saved her from surrendering to the maddening whirlpools of this mental disorder. Her state of depression was due to her deteriorating condition of her relationship with Kenneth Branagh. It was only after she started working on the screenplay of Sense and Sensibility that things changed for her. In an interview with BBC Radio Four she said, “Work saved me and Greg saved me. He picked up the pieces and put them together again.”―referring to her second husband, Greg Wise.
The highly decorated Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by the time he reached grade six. This made him incapable of sitting in a classroom and focusing on studies all day long. According to his mother, Deborah Phelps, it was medication and swimming that helped her son manage his disorder. This gold medalist swimmer has risen to stardom with sheer hard work and with a spirit that could not be broken despite the odds against it.
The star Disney actress, Demi Lovato reported suffering from bipolar disorder and bulimia. She checked into a mental health facility in 2010 managing her emotional issues and getting her life back in order. Prior to this treatment, she resorted to self-injury, self-medication with drugs, and alcohol to numb her pain. She confessed that she would use several doses of cocaine through the day and smuggle it into flights too. Post her recovery, she took up the role of a contributing editor with Seventeen magazine, a column where she discussed her struggles with life and other such teen issues.
Best known for her character ‘Princess Leia Organa’ in Star Wars, Carrie Fisher confessed her long struggle with bipolar disorder many years ago. She was first diagnosed with this disorder in 1982, but it was treated only in 1997 when she experienced a psychotic break or an episode of psychosis. In her memoir Wishful Drinking, she speaks more openly and in detail about her drug addiction, her mental illnesses, and her struggle to outlast all of that.
The real master chef did not have it easy either. Paula Deen suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia in her 20s. Agoraphobia is essentially an anxiety of vast open spaces. When a sufferer perceives this as a space that can be dangerous, it can lead to panic attacks. According to Deen, these attacks started after her father passed away and continued to remain so 20 years later. This is why she turned to cooking, which was an activity that she could do from the confines of her protected home.
It is rather hard to believe that comedian Jim Carrey was a victim of depression and ADHD. To deal and manage his depression, he resorted to taking Prozac for many years. Thankfully, today he is off these medications and instead seeks his more spiritual side to battle bouts of depression.
Ashley Judd stated in her biographical that she suffered from depression due to an abusive childhood. To combat the perils of this mental illness, she checked into a mental health facility in Texas in 2006. She stated that she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired. If you are feeling sick and tired, talk to a doctor.” While she was at the center, she also coped up with issues of insomnia and codependency.
The news about him hasn’t been that popular. However, it is true that Jon Hamm, the heartthrob of the series Mad Men, suffered from depression after the death of his father. On some days, he would sleep in the bed till four in the afternoon. He later sought help and medications to help himself in dealing with the chaos of this mental illness.
The sudden death of this ‘Glee’ actor caught the world really off-guarded. But if you take a look at his past, it was quite a troubled childhood―a series of addictions and crazy stunts to feed these addictions. By the age of 16, he was heavily dependent on drug and alcohol. To finance these addictions, he resorted to petty crimes such as stealing money from friends and family. However, despite his stardom, he was never able to get over his addictions completely until he finally succumbed to it. He died of mixed drug toxicity, which contained heroin and alcohol. The final report also revealed that his blood contained codeine and morphine too.
A separation from baseball player David Justice and her husband led Halle Berry on the brink of divorce. It also drove her to a point of taking her own life. However, it was only when she enlisted for therapy did she realize that she could deal with it and come out much stronger than before.
Known for his character ‘Chandler Bing’ from the popular sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Matthew Perry suffered from serious addiction habits. He reportedly had an addiction to Vicodin, an analgesic drug, and alcohol. It was in 1997 that he entered a rehab program to deal with his sickness. During this time, his weight fluctuated drastically, when it once even dropped down to 66 kg.
It is easy to think that with fame comes a life that is easy to live. That everything from there on will be served on a silver platter, and one will wake up to glorious rainbows and butterflies. However, these celebrities have much in common with us commoners. A mental disorder, however big or small, does not distinguish between socioeconomic statuses. It is a peril that lurks close enough to us. However, what matters above its gory reality is that some surrendered to the whims of many mental illnesses, while many coped up too. It is important to see life in a much more positive light if it has to be lived with a true sense of fulfillment.