Celebrities are prone to suffer from depression like anyone else. Surprisingly, a number of familiar faces battle feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, and impaired concentration — all signs and symptoms of depression. However, a few famous people have learned how to manage their melancholy nature.
The following are five celebrities who have shown they are capable of managing depression to some degree of success.
In 2011, Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow shared with Good Housekeeping how she dealt with her postpartum depression shortly after giving birth to her second child, Moses.
“I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect.”
Gwyneth compared giving birth to both her children and how it affected her.
“It was terrible. It was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same [after Moses was born]. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.”
Paltrow described how she faced her depression.
“The hardest part for me was acknowledging the problem. I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child. But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it’s so important for women to talk about. It was a trying time. I felt like a failure.”
Paltrow also said she suffered from clinical depression shortly after her father died in 2002. Gwyneth is able to manage her depression through therapy and exercise, claiming, “Fitness is vital.”
Astronaut Dr. Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. told the New York Times he suffered from depression after his famous moon landing in 1969. The man that became famous for walking on the moon said depression runs in his family.
Dr. Aldrin’s maternal grandfather and mother were very unhappy people, suffering from depression to the point where they both committed suicide.
In fact, Buzz said his mother committed suicide a year before he landed on the moon.
Buzz also battled with depression and alcoholism, which lead to a broken marriage and ultimate divorce from his wife. Buzz Aldrin eventually found treatment for himself and in a Fox News interview, he said he became one of the board of directors of the National Association for Mental Health.
Terry Bradshaw, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, and Fox television analyst believes he had depression for years but wasn’t treated for the illness until the 90s.
In a 2003 Chicago Tribune interview, Terry said he joked around a lot, but was never happy.
“Never. Nothing ever pleased me. Nothing. I remember the outbursts of emotions, the anger. A lot of anger. I remember sitting there so many times in Pittsburgh; you know what I was wishing? I was wishing for my career to hurry up and get over with so I could get out of Dodge.”
Bradshaw added how he is trying to reduce the stigma associated with depression.
“I thought maybe I could help people with awareness, help men get the strength and courage.”
Even though Jim Carrey plays some outrageous and fun-loving characters, such as Ace Ventura and the Grinch, the comedian and actor said he has had some dark days due to bouts of depression.
In a 60 Minutes interview, Jim Carrey said he took anti-depressants for a while, and now he leads a very spiritual and clean life.
“I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything’s just OK.”
Jim added, “There are peaks, there are valleys. But they’re all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in. Where you’re not getting any answers, but you’re living OK. And you can smile at the office. You know? But it’s a low level of despair. You know?”
Carrey made a brief statement about abstaining from chemicals that might interfere with his current state of mind.
“I rarely drink coffee. I’m very serious about no alcohol, no drugs. Life is too beautiful.”
Ashley Judd shared with Glamour magazine how she felt insecure and isolated recalling a “dysfunctional” childhood. Ashley said she also felt a deep sadness after becoming an adult.
Ashley described growing up as a Judd.
“Complete and total chaos. I lived alternately with my mother, father, and grandmother and went to 13 schools in 12 years. Everything was in such a state of disarray and dysfunction that I became a hyper vigilant child, doing the best I could to raise myself under extraordinarily unpredictable and unsafe circumstances. When I was in third grade, I didn’t even know who to put on my emergency contact form. Now I can look back and say, ‘Gee, I wasn’t just alone a lot — I was really lonely. I was clinically depressed at the age of eight.”
In 2006, Ashley sought help and committed herself into a mental health facility for treatment.
Judd said, “I needed help. I was in so much pain.”
The Mayo Clinic offers the following advice for people who think they may be battling with depression.
“If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Depression often gets worse if it isn’t treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or troubles in other areas of your life. Feelings of depression can also lead to suicide. If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.”
[Feature image via Russell Boyce/Reuters]