Depression is a mental health issue that is often misunderstood. While most people associate the condition with sadness, those who have battled depression know it to be something more complex than just feeling blue from time to time.
Individuals dealing with a diagnosis of depression know that there are several indicators taken into consideration such as loss of interest in everyday activities, lack of personal hygiene, fatigue, trouble sleeping (either too much or not enough) and a change in appetite.
Some factors like genetics might influence whether a person is more prone to depression than others, but other influences can be postnatal, environmental or circumstantial, such as the death of a loved one or loss of employment.
If you have experienced depression in the past, or are currently in treatment, know you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2012, which tallies up to about 6.9 percent of the population.
To help remove the stigma of depression, several celebrities recently opened up to reveal their own personal struggles. When you hear their stories, it will give you hope knowing that these stars are just as human as the rest of us.
1. The Rock
“I found that, with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone,” Johnson revealed on the OWN network. “You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it … I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK. It’ll be OK.”
2. Lady Gaga
“I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that’s left. I’m lucky I found one little glimmer stored away.”
3. Miley Cyrus
“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.”
4. Halle Berry
“I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me,” Berry said to Reutersof the suicide attempt. “She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do.”
5. Brad Pitt
“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.’”
6. Sheryl Crow
“When I went through a really bad bout of depression,” said Crow to Rolling Stone Magazine, “my mom would call, and my mom and I are very close, but she would call, and she would say, ‘You’re a cute girl, you’re smart, you’ve got everything in the world going for you,’ and that would just make it worse. Because then it makes you even loathe yourself more for being sick.”
7. Ellen DeGeneres
“Everything that I ever feared happened to me. I lost my show, I’ve been attacked like hell. I went from making a lot of money on a sitcom to making no money. When I walked out of the studio after five years of working so hard, knowing I had been treated so disrespectfully for no other reason than I was gay, I just went into this deep, deep depression.”
8. Jim Carrey
“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. 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.”
9. Ashley Judd
The actress candidly revealed in 2006 she entered rehab for 42 days to battle her depression. “I would have died without it.”
10. Wayne Brady
“It took me awhile to get my stuff together to go, ‘You know what? If you’re not happy, you have to do something about it,’” Wayne told Entertainment Tonight. “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.’”