Celebs who have battled depression and inspire many to do the same today
Published on July 5, 2020 at 13.19
Actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death has put the spotlight on, among other issues, mental health awareness and depression.
The actor was reportedly suffering from depression when he passed away and had been in therapy and taking treatment for the same according to certain media reports.
Sushant is among several celebrities across Bollywood, Hollywood and the music industry who have battled mental health issues. Sadly, not all of them made it through their struggles.
Here are some of the more prominent cases from the world of showbiz who have been open about their mental health and no doubt serve as an inspiration for many battling the same across the world:
The daughter of badminton champ Prakash Padukone, Deepika made her way into Bollywood via the modeling route and won hearts with her first film co-starring Shah Rukh Khan, Om Shanti Om in 2007. Even as her career took off and she became one of Bollywood’s most sought after stars, all was not well within her personal life. She revealed she was diagnosed with depression in 2014, a time when she was excelling professionally. Her mother noticed something amiss and encouraged her to seek professional help. Today she doesn’t shy away from talking about her mental health struggles and campaigns for more awareness of the issue.
The perky actress who made her debut with romantic drama Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi in 2008, went on to win popular and critical acclaim for not only her role as an actress but also a producer - most recently for the supernatural thriller Bulbbul. Married to India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli, one might think the beautiful star has it all and more. However mental struggles do not discriminate and could plague even those who seemingly are happy in every aspect of their lives. Anushka revealed her battle with anxiety in a 2015 interview with Vogue. She also said she wanted to use her stardom and her reach to create awareness and get rid of the stigma attached to mental health issues.
Known for playing light-hearted, comic and romantic roles, Varun Dhawan explored a completely different genre in 2015’s revenge-themed Badlapur. The actor opened up in 2015 about how he became depressed while shooting the film and how playing such a dark character could have acted as a trigger. He told BollySpice, “I was depressed. I was not clinically declared depressed but I was heading there. I was very sad to a certain degree. I don't want to use the term 'depression' loosely because it's a serious illness. It definitely affected my mental health. I was prescribed and did see a doctor for it as well."
One of our favorite actors, the funny and talented star of comedies like Shanghai Noon and Zoolander was reportedly suffering from depression when he attempted suicide in 2007. He released a statement requesting privacy, saying, "I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time." His good friend Ben Stiller told Playboy in 2008, “It’s impossible to understand that kind of pain – depression or anything like that – until you’re in it.” Currently filming TV mini-series Loki, Owen was recently spotted on the beach in Malibu enjoying a day out with Zoolander co-star Billy Zane, according to celebrity website Just Jared. We hope he's healthy and happy!
In a lengthy and probably his most candid Instagram post to date, Justin Bieber in September 2019 apologised for his past behaviour including drug use and bad relationships, and also opened up on depression. He wrote, “It's hard to get out of bed in the morning … when it feels like there’s trouble after trouble after trouble,” he wrote. "You start foreseeing the day through lenses of 'dread' and anticipate another bad day. A cycle of feeling disappointment after disappointment. Sometimes it can even get to the point where you don’t even want to live anymore. Where you feel like it’s never going to change." He admitted that what helped him turn his life around was his faith and support from friends and family, including wife Hailey Baldwin.
Yo Yo Honey Singh
The popular Punjabi singer known for superhits like Angrezi Beat and Dheere Dheere, admitted in 2016 that he was suffering from bipolar disorder and alcoholism, which made him take an 18-month hiatus from his career. In a Times of India interview, Honey revealed how the disorder left him barely able to interact with a few people when he had previously performed to crowds of thousands. “I have become stronger now. I never faced such problems in life but when it happened I had my family to support me and help me fight and get out of it,” Singh was quoted as saying.
The funnyman shocked many when he admitted in an interview with 60 Minutes that he had struggled with depression for most of his life. When his second marriage failed, Carrey consulted a psychiatrist who prescribed him an anti-depressant. Though Carrey admits the drug helped him, he realised the need to get away from it. "I had to get off [Prozac] at a certain point," said Carrey. "You need to get out of bed every day and say that life is good. That's what I did, although at times it was very difficult for me." He credits a healthy diet and natural supplements for his improved mental health.
The breakout star of Aamir Khan’s wrestling drama based on real life, Dangal, Zaira opened up about battling depression in 2018. In a lengthy post on social media, Zaira said her days were defined by suicidal thoughts, starvation, restlessness, medications. “I was always pushed into the bubble of denial, despite knowing the reality and I would always lie to myself and others and just shake my head in yes when they would say - It's nothing, you're too young to be depressed, I would just lie to myself and call the doctors crazy," she wrote. At the time, she announced a break from social media, work and school. Zaira went public with her decision to quit acting in July last year after starring in three critically acclaimed films.
As reel life superhero Captain America, there’s little you’d imagine Chris Evans would be scared of. But in real life, the actor has dealt with depression and anxiety. He spoke about what being in the spotlight was like. "A red carpet lasts, what, 30 minutes, tops? But that to me is like 30 minutes of walking on hot coals. It's not like a junket — junkets you sit in a room and they bring ‘em in. I can do that all day and not have a meltdown. But the premiere — that's overwhelming. It's the volume of it: You're in the center of this thing. You can fight a whole army if they line up one at a time. But if they surround you, you're f-ed."
The Princess Diaries star has always charmed us with her beauty and pleasing personality. But in a 2007 talk with Tatler, she revealed that years before becoming famous, she battled depression and anxiety. Talking about her younger self, Hathaway has said, "I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It's all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self." The actress, who is now married to producer Adam Shulman and has two kids, reportedly fought her mental health battles without the assistance of medication.