Mental illnesses, depression and anxiety have wrecked havoc in the lives of some of the most famous people. The tragic truth is that suicide in celebrities is not uncommon. The demands and pressures of the outside world often clash with inner battles, leading to a fatal outcome.
Here we talk about 5 celebrities who gave up their life due to mental illness and shocked the world…
An exuberant personality who brought smiles and laughter through his acting, American Actor and Comedian, Robin Williams shocked the world when he committed suicide in his California home in August 2014.
Many of his friends and colleagues cited that the veteran was battling depression which was probably the reason why he had decided to end his life.
His wife Schneider Williams, later on, revealed that it was due to a rare brain disease called Lewy body dementia that brought about his demise. The same was confirmed in the autopsy as well. She said,
“It was not depression that killed Robin… Depression was one of, let’s call it 50 symptoms, and it was a small one.”
Causing similar issues to Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia can bring about visual hallucinations, motor problems, inability to remember, anxiety and sleep disorders to the one suffering from it.
As per the Lewy Body Dementia Association, this disease plagues around 1.4 million Americans. Just like Robin, there are several cases of suicide among celebrities due to mental health illnesses.
Known for her seductive and vampish roles, Silk Smitha who hailed from a humble Andhra village had an illustrious career of 17 years. She acted in more than 450 films in South Indian and Hindi languages. Fans were grief-stricken when the doe-eyed beauty was found dead on 23 September 1996 in her Chennai apartment.
The unfortunate part was that the star tried to reach out to her trusted ally Kannada Actor Ravichandran and dancer friend Anuradha hours before the act. While Ravichandran couldn’t get through her, Anuradha said that she would be there later.
Though the exact cause of Smitha’s death is still unknown, many speculations run rife such as her mounting debt of producing films and disillusionment in love among other things.
All of this was believed to lead to her depression and thus alcohol abuse. The postmortem report stated that the star lost her life due to alcohol and alcohol intoxication. She is one of the celebrities with depression who lost her life.
Depression and alcohol are a deadly combination. As per statistics, around 7 percent to those who have severe alcohol use disorders land up committing suicide each year.
Kurt Cobain who was the Lead Singer, Guitarist, and Songwriter of Nirvana (the band with a cult following), was at the peak of his career when he decided to end his life on April 8, 1994, in his Seattle home.
He had shot himself in the head. The autopsy revealed a high dose of heroin coupled with little diazepam. He was among the celebrities with depression and bipolar disorder.
The drug abuse was probably not a result of a rock and roll lifestyle but more due to the internal battles that Kurt admitted to facing. He had said things like,“I hate myself and want to die”. At a young age, the rock star was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and later Bipolar Disorder.
He was depressed for the most part of his life and had bouts of lethargy and depression throughout. This combined with mania (high energy, irritability, destructibility) proved to be fatal.
Bipolar disorder is extremely difficult to handle as it causes clinical depression and mood swings. Getting professional help is of utmost importance and cannot be overlooked. Even today, the suicide rates in celebrities due to mental health problems is alarming.
A legendary actor and director, Guru Dutt had revolutionised the Indian film scene during his time. In October 1964, he was founded dead in his rented Pedder Road home.
The cause was believed to be combining alcohol with sleeping pills. Till today, some believe it to be accidental while others close to him felt it was suicide.
Noted cinematographer V K Murthy divulged in an interview,
“Guru Dutt attempted suicide thrice. Whenever there was a call from his home, some production people and I would run to his house and rush him to the hospital. The third time, he died.” He also mentioned, “During his last days, he was very tense and people would not go near him. They would stay away.”
Guru Dutt’s struggles in life are well-chronicled. He was unhappy in his marital life and his wife had distanced herself from him. The talented actor also smoked and drank in unhealthy amounts as well as kept odd hours, which lead to sleeping disorders.
In the end, the alcohol abuse, depression and lack of sleep were all intermingled and proved to be fatal.
Exceptionally talented and creative, British Fashion Designer Alexander McQueen had taken the fashion world by storm with his innovative creations and over the top ramp shows. In February 2010, the maverick was found dead in his London home. He had hung himself.
He was believed to suffer from mixed anxiety and depressive disorder. His mother’s death had a strong impact on him as he had committed suicide on the eve of her funeral. The designer had also left messages on Twitter regarding his sorrow over her demise.
Right before his death, Alexander had overdosed where the autopsy divulged a significant level of cocaine, sleeping pills, and tranquillizers.
Sadly, the designer is among one of the many people in the fashion industry who has ended their lives due to depression and disillusionment.
If you are plagued by suicidal thoughts:
In many cases, the victims of suicide have had struggle marks, where it was derived that he/she had a moment of apprehension at the end. But most of the times, it is too late to turn back from their actions.
It is very critical that the suicidal thoughts should not be ignored. If you or a loved one is tormented by them, please keep the below points in mind.
Treat depression or mental illness at the beginning
As seen before, mental illness, depression and anxiety only worsen with time when left untreated. It is crucial that the warning signs are not ignored. Treat it in the beginning before it is too late.
These days, there is the option of online counselling for those who are pressed for time or wish to seek therapy in the comfort of their own home.
Understand that what you are going through is momentary
Those who have weathered tough times will tell you how glad they are that they passed through it. And many times, when we look back, our problems do not appear to seem as severe as they did back then.
Please understand that what you are going through is momentary and there it will be a better day tomorrow.
Do not turn to substance and alcohol abuse
Mental illnesses, depression and anxiety make a person extremely vulnerable. Turning to alcohol and substance abuse as seen can prove to be a deadly combination. No good can come out of it as it only worsens the situation and leaves one helpless.
If you feel like you are heading down the road of intoxication, please resort to therapy. It is best to use positive tools like meditation, exercise and the likes than take to a negative outlet.
The world has lost many talented and beautiful souls due to mental illnesses, depression and substance abuse. Being aware is one of the ways to bring about a difference.