Last week we published a blog about 6 celebrities who overcame depression and it was so well received by our readers that we thought we'd share some more of it with you. We sometimes feel comfort in realising that we're not alone while trying to get better from a mental health problem. We also feel it is important to make the point that in the same way being affluent and famous does not protect you from having the flu it does not protect you from depression. They are both illnesses that can affect anyone. It also helps us in realising that destigmatising the issue and speaking normally about it can help us and others to get through it.
It can also affect people who you may think have a great natural cheerful disposition. Here are some good examples, some of the jolliest people we know, and yet, they all had their share of dealing with depression.
The “Not Bovvered” English comedienne and actress suffered as well from post-natal depression in 2004 after giving birth to her first daughter and while filming the Catherine Tate show. She occasionally also has panic attacks. She overcame her depression but she reckons she’s not a cheery person and she’s more the “bottle-half-empty” kind of person. She admitted in an interview with The Guardian that if something good happened she’d be neutral and would be completely devastated if anything went bad.
The British musician was raised in Surrey by his grandparents when his mother abandoned him at a very early age, relates his biography in Rolling Stone. He started playing guitar when he was 15, playing gigs, attending clubs and meeting other people who would become famous too. In 1971 he retired briefly to his hometown due to depression and his heroin habit. In 1974 he managed to cure himself for good from his addiction, but replaced it with alcoholism that cost him a divorce from his wife Pattie in 1985. In 1986 he had a son called Connor who died just five years later when he fell 50 stories from a window at his mum’s apartment in Manhattan that a worker had left open by mistake. This caused him a deep grief once again and translated into the song “Tears in heaven” that won him a number two in the charts in 1993.
The British actress and screenwriter confessed on BBC Radio Four that she started having depression when her relationship with her first husband Kenneth Branagh deteriorated and they separated, The Guardian explained. She attributes her recovery partly to her work in the movie Sense and Sensibility, that stopped her from falling under and also open the possibility of meeting co-star Greg Wise, with whom she started a relationship."Work saved me and Greg saved me. He picked up the pieces and put them together again" she confessed.
The Mancunian singer and former front-man of The Smiths also felt the blues since an early age. He confessed in his autobiography, reviewed in The Guardian, that in his teens his athletic ability saved him from being bullied and also during this period he felt lonely and depressed. This would take him into taking prescription drugs to try and overcome the illness. During his period in The Smiths he would tell his concert audiences “It is the design of the human being to be lost, unhappy and wretched”. In an interview where he was asked if he had depression, he replied “Yes, I do. I am depressed most of the time. And when you're depressed it is so enveloping that it actually does control your life, you cannot overcome it, and you can't take advice. People trying to cheer you up become infuriating and almost insulting. It's all a part of that "pull-yourself-together" approach, isn't it? Depression is very, very powerful. You can't simply go to a nightclub and have a quick Miller draft light, or whatever you call it, and come out of it”. He reckons he won’t ever stop having depression cause it’s a strong part of his life.
Despite becoming one of the best paid TV actors, the sarcastic/comedian British actor, protagonist of award-winning series House and singer, had a very hard time while playing this role between 2004 and 2012, he told The Daily Mail. He admitted that the routine was a nightmare and had pretty dark days when he thought there was no escape and would fantasise with having an accident so he could take a couple of days off while recovering. The fact that his wife and three children lived in Britain while he was filming in Los Angeles didn’t help either. In 2006 Laurie opened up about his struggle with severe clinical depression and went into therapy, something that apparently he still does up to day. He still expects something worse to happen in his life. He describes the feeling as liberating as it relieves his anxiety.
Sir Anthony Hopkins
The Oscar winner Welsh actor Hopkins has also gone through recovery, he confessed in a very intimate interview with The Telegraph in 2011. The interviewer described him from that meeting “He’s twinkly and playful in person, and achingly vulnerable to a degree he may not suspect. He still carries something of the only-child about him – the bright, lonely, creative boy who was bullied and teased, even by his own relatives.” The actor admits he had a drinking problem in the seventies and he cleaned up from it but was never really happy until around 2001 when he met his wife Stella. He said in the interview: “She met me 10 years ago, when I was shut down. Shut down for some years. I didn’t feel shut down at the time. I felt I was quite happy. But I was dealing with slight depression. Not trusting anyone. Certainly not trusting women.” He singles out his wife’s positive nature as the key factor in helping him find contentment. “Every day, she wakes up happy. She’s very positive about everything. I learnt from her to just take life as it comes. So I live my life in non-expectation.”
isn't all this talk of celebrities a bit frivolous?
We wanted to share these stories to encourage those affected by depression that find it hard to talk to others about it to seek help. If these famous people can publicly talk about these issues, so can you. We believe these celebrities have made a great contribution by raising awareness of mental health problems and making it just a little bit easier to talk about them openly.