Mental illness, depression, anxiety and panic attacks make no distinction and hit us all. Even celebs who seem all put together with their perfect lives too have had to face the brunt of it.
Many of them have come into the limelight, confessing their struggles in the hopes of breaking the stigma and bringing awareness to the matter. Here, we talk about celebrities who have openly spoken about their mental illness.
1) Cara Delevingne
Looking at Cara Delevingne’s lively and energetic interviews, it would be hard to believe that the model, actress and writer had undergone depression once upon a time.
At 15, she had experienced a breakdown and had to take a break from school to undergo treatment. The talented star confessed to The Morning that she “had moments where I didn’t want to carry on living”.
She was also open about her battle with herself to Net-a-Porter’s The Edit magazine, “I felt alienated and alone, because I was like, what’s wrong with me? I always wanted people to love me, so I never got angry with them; I turned my anger onto myself.” “I hated myself for being depressed, I hated feeling depressed, I hated feeling.”
The good news is that Cara pulled it together and does not rely on people to make her feel content and fulfilled.
2) Michelle Obama
During her days as a First Lady, Michelle Obama strived to break the stigma attached around mental illness and shed light upon the topic. At a 2016 summit in Washington D.C where the Non-profit organization Give an Hour had launched its campaign, Change Direction, she powerfully addressed, “Our mental health seriously affects our physical health. So there should be no stigma around mental health, none at all.”
3) Demi Lovato
American Singer, Songwriter and Actress Demi Lovato dealt with years of battling with bulimia, cutting, and drug addiction. It was later found out that she suffered from bipolar disorder. The outspoken star told People Magazine, “I think it’s important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about. It’s something that’s extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic.”
Demi has not only openly spoken about her issues but was also a spokesperson of Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health which tries to shatter the negative image associated with mental illness. It encourages those suffering (along with others) to speak up and support the cause to change the way this subject is spoken about.
4) Deepika Padukone
Deepika Padukone’s battle with depression is well known. Even though the star was at her peak, she had felt something amiss. Despite being in a society that does not openly discuss this subject, the beauty took a bold step to candidly talk about depression in a groundbreaking NDTV interview with Barkha Dutt.
She confessed, “I had won all my awards and you know all the appreciation for 2013, everything had happened and it was a great time and obviously at once one gonna think like why is she depressed, she has everything going for her. But, I woke up one morning just feeling empty… like this pittish feeling in my stomach… I woke up like feeling directionless, I didn’t know where to go, I didn’t know what to do and I had these bouts of feeling so low that I would just start crying at the drop of the hat.”
5) Karan Johar
Karan Johar too openly spoke about his battle with clinical depression in a 2016 NDTV interview with Barkha Dutt.
“There was a phase in my life when I was really depressed. When I went through that phase, I thought I am getting a cardiac arrest. I felt it in the middle of a meeting two and half years ago, after which I left the meeting in between saying I have something urgent to do and rushed to the doctor. He then said I am having an anxiety attack. I went to a psychologist post that. Then I realised that I had some internal issues to deal with, which got built up to such point that it resulted in anxiety.”
He even confessed to getting treated with anti-anxiety medication for a year and a half. The celebrated director admitted that he was in a better place having dealt with all pent up issues and denials of the past.
6) JK Rowling
Successful author JK Rowling had to battle her own ups and downs to reach where she is today. She had to overcome financial setbacks, an unhappy marriage and the struggles of bringing up her daughter on her own. The talented lady found a creative outlet, but in the midst of the Harry Potter series, he mother passed away.
She later confessed to Oprah, “It’s difficult to describe to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. Sadness is not a bad thing — to cry and to feel. Depression is that really hollowed out feeling. And it was because of my daughter that I got help.”
The author had also told the Associated Press “I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”
7) Miley Cyrus
Many know Miley Cyrus for her notorious and wild antics but few try to scratch the surface and notice that she too has had her shares of issues to overcome.
She had quoted, “So many people look at [my depression] as me being ungrateful, but that is not it— I can’t help it. There’s not much that I’m closed off about, and the universe gave me all that so I could help people feel like they don’t have to be something they’re not or feel like they have to fake happy. There’s nothing worse than being fake happy.”
The singer and songwriter had told Elle Magazine about the tough time she underwent post breaking up with former fiancée Liam Hemsworth, “I went through a time where I was really depressed.” “I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down.”
8) Zayn Malik
We all are aware that anxiety attacks can come in the way of our career and performance. Singer and Songwriter Zayn Malik has been a victim of the same where he had to cancel his shows because of the overwhelming emotion. The former One Direction Star decided to get honest with what was going on and confessed his struggles in his own words to TIME.
“I was done with putting out statements that masked what was really going on. I wanted to tell the truth. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of; it affects millions of people every day.” “The thing is, I love performing. I love the buzz. I don’t want to do any other job. That’s why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain. It’s this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes.”
9) Liam Payne
Another One Direction star, Liam Payne too confessed about how things were not always as rosy as they seemed on the outside. He told The Sun about that being in the band did affect his mental well-being as he was unable to tend to his issues. He had to fake being happy.
“Going out and putting that happy smile on my face and singing the songs, honestly, sometimes it was like putting on one of those costumes, going out there and, underneath the costume, people don’t really see what’s going on.” “And unfortunately I was going through a rough time and I let it get to me a little bit too much.”
10) Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt is another famous figure who admitted to undergoing depression during the 1990s. While he appeared to live the superstar life, in reality, he was “hiding from the celebrity thing.”
He admitted to 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. I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester: ‘This semester I was majoring in depression. I was doing the same thing every night and numbing myself to sleep, the same routine. Couldn’t wait to get home and hide out. But that feeling of unease was growing and one night I just said, ‘This is a waste.'”
It was when he first hand saw dire poverty on a trip to Casablanca that he decided to snap out of it and turn his life around for the better.
As you can see suffering from any kind of mental illness, depression and anxiety should not be a lonesome load to be dealt with alone. If you are a victim of it or know somebody who is, it is extremely important that you seek professional help from an expert. You can also opt for online counselling where you can seek therapy in the comfort of your home.