Famous People Who Battled With Depression

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What is Depression?

Depression is a serious illness that can happen to anyone, even to people who seem to have almost everything in their lives.

Depression didn’t make an exception and being famous doesn’t mean you’re immune to it. Whether you are one of the most famous actors, singers, or athletes in the world, depression can hit you. And the struggle has and will always be the same.

20 Celebrities who battled depression, including postpartum depression and bipolar disorder.

Jon Hamm

At 20, Jon Hamm experienced chronic depression after his father’s death. When he was a college student, the structured environment of work and school helped him recover, but he also relied on therapy and antidepressants to pull him out of a downward spiral.

Ashley Judd

Life was not always so picture-perfect for Judd. She revealed that she considered suicide as a sixth-grader, and underwent 42 days in a rehab clinic for depression way back 2006. Reconciling with estranged family members and helping those less fortunate through charity work has helped Judd regain perspective and make peace with her past.

Owen Wilson

He’s known as a laid-back, fun-loving dude, but the world saw a darker side of the actor and some friends were shocked when reports surfaced that he had attempted suicide. Wilson “bounced back” from his suicide attempt by spending time with family and close friends.

Paulina Porizkova

When Porizkova was voted off ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in 2007, her feelings of rejection led to anxiety attacks. An antidepressant helped dull her anxiety but also her personality causing her to stop the medication, fighting withdrawal symptoms with exercise and willpower.

Heath Ledger

The 28 years old troubled actor accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills, painkillers, and anxiety drugs not long after revealing to the New York Times that he’d been suffering from insomnia.

Demi Lovato

Lovato revealed that she suffered from anorexia, bulimia, and bipolar disorder. She says that “looking back it makes sense. There were times when I was so manic, I was writing seven songs in one night and I’d be up until 5:30 in the morning.”

David Arquette

After Arquette and his wife announced they were going to separate ways, the actor was spotted behaving erratically at nightclubs. He told Howard Stern during a radio interview that he’d been drinking a lot and acting like a “maniac.”
Arquette soon checked himself into a rehab center to address his alcohol abuse and depression.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

In 2011 actress Zeta-Jones, 41, revealed that she has bipolar II disorder, which causes severe depression. (People with bipolar II often don’t have the extreme “up” of mania, which is a staple of bipolar I.)

Andre Waters

Former NFL player Andre Waters shocked family and friends in November, 2006 when he took his own life at age 44. Posthumous studies suggest he’d been suffering from brain
damage and depression, both related to concussions sustained during football games.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 22: Gwyneth Paltrow attends a cocktail party hosted by Michael Kors in celebration of their new Regent Street Flagship Store opening, at the Michael Kors Flagship Store, on June 22, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

Gwyneth Paltrow

“I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my emotions.” Still, she didn’t suspect postpartum depression until her husband brought up the idea. “I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child,” she said. “But there are different shades and depths of it.”

Marissa Jaret Winokur

Postpartum depression isn’t reserved for women who physically give birth to their children. After Tony-winning Broadway actress Winokur’s son was born via surrogate in 2008, she felt stressed and overwhelmed.

She visited a therapist, went back to work, and started exercising, and her depression began to lift when her son was about 10 months old.

Amanda Beard

When a growth spurt and 25-pound weight gain caused Beard’s self-esteem to take a dive, the self-proclaimed perfectionist turned to bulimia and cutting herself as an outlet for her pain and depression.

Today, she’s off medication and has a son but admits that life still isn’t perfect. “It’s not like I went to therapy and—poof!—better.”

Jeret “Speedy” Peterson

Olympic freestyle skier Peterson lost his long-time battle with depression in 2011 when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 29.

Princess Diana

William’s mother, Diana had experienced loneliness and depression in her role as a prince’s wife. She suffered from postpartum depression as well as an eating disorder.

Tipper Gore

In one article, Gore revealed that she had sought depression treatment years before, after her son had a near-fatal accident. She took medication for some time. “When you get to this point,” she said in an interview, “you just can’t will your way out of that or pray your way out of that or pull yourself up by the bootstraps out of that. You really have to go and get help, and I did.”

Andrew Koenig

The actor battled depression for most of his life. That’s what his father told reporters in February 2010, shortly after he took his own life.

Brooke Shields

Shields was one of the first and most prominent celebrities to speak openly about her struggle with postpartum depression. She wrote about it in her 2005 book, “Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.”

Paige Hemmis

Hemmis was bubbly, compassionate, and always smiling for the camera. But the carpenter and entrepreneur opened up about her ongoing struggle with depression that had caused crying fits, eating binges, and insomnia early on in the show’s run way back September 2009.

Winona Ryder

After her high-profile relationship with actor Johnny Depp ended when when she was 19, she began abusing alcohol, experiencing anxiety attacks, and spiraling into depression. After falling asleep with a lit cigarette and setting herself on fire, Ryder sought treatment, briefly, in a mental institution herself, and finally with a private therapist.

Kendra Wilkinson

Wilkinson’s life changed after she had a baby at 24. She said she felt like she had to be a different person and was doing whatever she could for the baby, but she lost herself and said it was really frustrating. Two years later, happy and healthy again, Wilkinson spoke openly about her postpartum depression, saying that it affects many women and that “it needs to be talked about.”

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