Celebrities That Have Spoken About Their Depression
Depression can affect anyone—even those who seem to have it all.
Celebrities look like they have the perfect lives. But behind closed doors, they too have their struggles. Many stars—even the ones who seem the happiest—have dealt with depression, whether it's been bouts throughout the years or longtime struggles. If you ever feel like you're all alone in dealing with a mental health issues, make your way down this list and you'll quickly find there are a lot of familiar faces who know exactly how you feel. And for more some famous figures that you might be surprised to know have been diagnosed with another medical condition, check out Celebrities Who Are on the Autism Spectrum.
When you're dealing with depression, it seems really hard to come out on the other side. But Selena Gomez says once she got the right treatment, everything changed for the better.
"My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time," she told The Wall Street Journal earlier this year. "I found out I do suffer from mental health issues. And, honestly, that was such a relief. I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust. I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed." And for more on your mental well-being, check out This Is How You're Making Your Anxiety Worse.
After watching his movies, it's hard to believe Jim Carrey is anything but happy 24/7. But even he has dealt with depression throughout his life—something he was prescribed medication for.
"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," he said during an interview with 60 Minutes in 2004. "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?"
Demi Lovato has been very open about her mental health struggles over the years. On World Suicide Prevention Day in September, the musician tweeted about her experience with depression and suicidal thoughts.
"Since a young age I've dealt with suicidal thoughts and depression. I've been very vocal in raising the awareness of mental health because it is possible to see the light when you start the work on yourself," she said. "I'm living proof that you never have to give into those thoughts. I've had many days where I've struggled, but please let this song be an anthem to anyone who needs it right now. You can get through whatever it is you're going through." And for more stars who have been public about there health issues, check out Celebrities Who Battled Cancer and Won.
Angelina Jolie went through a really hard time during her teen years, and she attributed the depression she struggled with to her "unhealthy" hometown.
"I grew up in L.A., where focus is very inward. I didn't know why I was so destructive and miserable. I didn't appreciate or understand my life," she told The Wall Street Journal in 2015. "I was raised in a place where if you have fame and money and you're decent-looking and have the ability to work in this industry, you have everything in the world. Then you attain those things and realize you still couldn't be more empty. I didn't know where to put myself."
Postpartum depression isn't something that's often talked about in the new-mom community, but Chrissy Teigen opened up about her experience to Glamour in 2017 in order to normalize it. (It's something one in seven women deal with, after all.)
"I had everything I needed to be happy. And yet, for much of the last year, I felt unhappy. What basically everyone around me—but me—knew up until December was this: I have postpartum depression," she said. "I'm speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody and I don't want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone." And for more on women's health, check out The No. 1 Sign of Poor Health No Woman Should Ever Ignore, Experts Say.
Chrissy Teigen isn't the only star who's opened up about postpartum depression. Adele also experienced it after having her baby years ago. "I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me," she told Vanity Fair in 2016. "Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it; they thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it's not the case."
Nicki Minaj had some incredibly dark days before she became known for being one of the best rappers in the music industry. "I kept having doors slammed in my face. I felt like nothing was working. I had moved out on my own, and here I was thinking I'd have to go home," she told Cosmopolitan in 2011. "It was just one dead end after another. At one point, I was, like, 'What would happen if I just didn't wake up?' That's how I felt. Like maybe I should just take my life?'" And for more on depression and anxiety, check out This Is the No. 1 Mental Health Mistake You're Making Right Now.
Kristen Bell is a true ray of sunshine with her bubbly, uplifting personality. Unfortunately, behind the scenes, even she has her struggles. "My mom sat me down when I was probably 18 and said, 'There's a serotonin imbalance in our family line and it can often be passed from female to female," she said during a 2016 interview with The Off Camera Show. "I got on a prescription when I was really young to help with my anxiety and depression, and I still take it today, and I have no shame in that."
Taraji P. Henson
There were some initial signs that made Empire star Taraji P. Henson realize something was off with her mental health. "I noticed the mood swings, like one day I'd be up and the next day I'd be down, feeling like I don't want to go out in public. Almost agoraphobic, like, 'Ugh, too much to deal with,'" she told SELF. "Feeling really awkward in my skin, feeling out of sorts. And just down, like Debbie Downer, like a dark cloud." Since, therapy has been really important in dealing with her depression and anxiety and getting back to herself. And for more health and entertainment news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Lady Gaga has been struggling with depression for years—something her mom says started due to bullying in middle school. Because of Lady Gaga's struggles, the two launched the Born This Way Foundation in order to help other teens dealing with mental health disorders. "I've suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day," she told Billboard in 2015. "I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal."
Tennis all-star Serena Williams shared her experience with postpartum depression—something she prefers to call "postpartum emotions"—in an Instagram post in 2018.
"Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom," she wrote. "I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to three years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It's totally normal to feel like I'm not doing enough for my baby."
Sometimes you experience bouts of depression in your life, and that's something Beyoncé says happened to her after Destiny's Child split up. It was such a big part of her life, and it was hard to know how to move forward after it ended. "I didn't eat," she told CBS News. "I stayed in my room. I was in a really bad place in life, going through that lonely period: 'Who am I? Who are my friends?' My life changed."
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, wants his fans to know there's no need to try and be tough when it comes to mental illness. No one should be afraid of getting help. "We all go through the sludge, and depression never discriminates," he wrote on Twitter in 2018. "It took me a long time to realize it, but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes; we have a tendency to keep it in. You're not alone."
Actress Gabourey Sidibe opened up about her struggles with mental health disorders in her memoir, This Is Just My Face. Aside from dealing with depression, she was also battling bulimia and panic attacks.
"I found a doctor and told her everything that was wrong with me. I'd never run down the entire list before, but as I heard myself, I could sense that dealing with this on my own was definitely no longer an option," she wrote. "The doctor asked me if I wanted to kill myself. I said, 'Meh, not yet. But when I do, I know how I'll do it.' I wasn't afraid to die, and if there was a button I could've pushed to erase my existence from earth, I would have pushed it because it would have been easier and less messy than offing myself. According to the doctor, that was enough."
Wayne Brady seems like one of the happiest guys around, constantly making people laugh. But even though the comedian is a pro at making people smile, he was secretly battling depression for years.
"People are like, 'Wayne Brady's always happy!' No I'm not. Because I'm human. Having a bad day is one thing, having a bad week is another, having a bad life… You don't want to move, you can't move in the darkness. You're like, 'I am just going to sit right here and I want to wallow in this," he told Entertainment Tonight in 2014. "It took me a while to get my stuff together to go, 'You know what? If you're not happy, you have to do something about it. Just to admit that you are feeling this way is a huge step. To claim that, to say, 'Why do I feel dark? Why do I feel unhappy? Let me do something about this.'"
In a 2018 interview with In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Mad Men star Jon Hamm opened up about depression and the stigma behind it, as well as normalizing therapy and medication. "I mean, sometimes that's what you need. It's got the most interesting stigma," he said. "People think if you break your ankle, you're not expected to just walk it off. But if your brain chemistry is somehow a little tweaked, you're somehow expected to just deal with it."
The reason Bruce Springsteen has been able to get up on stage and perform his heart out all these years is from knowing how important it is to take care of his mental health—especially since mental health disorders run in his family.
"I've had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I'm on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and … just … the wheels can come off a little bit," he told Esquire in 2018. "We have to watch, in our family. I have to watch my kids, and I've been lucky there. It ran in my family going way before my dad."
Miley Cyrus opened up about depression in a 2014 interview with Elle. "People don't know how to talk about being depressed—that it's totally okay to feel sad. I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down," she said. "Every person can benefit from talking to somebody. I'm the most anti-medication person, but some people need medicine, and there was a time where I needed some too."
Ryan Reynolds shared he's had mental health issues since he was a child, and over the years he's learned the best ways to deal with them head-on in order to stay healthy and keep his mental health in check. "I tend to get pretty depressed and I have some issues with anxiety and things like that," he told Mr Porter in 2018. That's why he turns to daily exercise, like running and lifting weights. "Otherwise, I start to get a little bummed. For me, it is more psychological. Exercise is a means of expelling those demons."
Brad Pitt has dealt with depression during his life, and he opened up about his experience in a 2012 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I used to deal with depression, but I don't now, not this decade—maybe last decade. But that's also figuring out who you are," he said. "I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester. 'This semester I was majoring in depression.'"