With approximately one out of every four of us in the UK suffering from a mental health problem each year, and the fact that depression is the leading cause of disability in the world, it is vital that we remove the stigma from discussing these problems.
Of course, mental health problems can strike at any time, and do not discriminate with regards to situation or status. Here are a few celebrities who have bravely admitted their struggles with mental health.
‘I was hiding out from the celebrity thing. I was smoking way too much dope. I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut, and I really got irritated with myself. I got to, “What’s the point? I know better than this.” 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. I 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.”’
‘If I had been diagnosed with any other disease, I would have run to get help. I would have worn it like a badge. I didn’t at first—but finally I did fight. I survived.’
‘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 okay. 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.’
‘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.’
‘[My fans] know that I’ve struggled with depression, and that helped them get over theirs. That gives me a big purpose – a reason to wake up in the morning that’s bigger than to put on my f** king feathers and my little outfits.’
Speaking to NBC’s Today: ‘I suffer from a mental illness; I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are. But the kindness that’s been shown to me, by doctors as well as my family and my friends, it’s really saved my life. I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself and I found that kindness is the best way. One way to help people that have trauma is to inject them with as many positive thoughts as possible. It’s priceless.’
A few years after her first whirlwind rise to fame as a fashion star, Cara Delevingne has spoken candidly about her own struggle with depression, most recently with a series of tweets to explain her time out from the modelling world. Cara previously spoke out about the issues she faced as a teenager at the 2015 Women in the World Summit. ‘I think I pushed myself so far that I got to the point where I had a mental breakdown… I was completely suicidal. I didn’t want to live any more. I thought that I was completely alone. I also realised how lucky I was, and what a wonderful family and wonderful friends I had, but that didn’t matter. I wanted the world to swallow me up, and nothing seemed better to me than death.’
My eating disorder and self harming] was a way of expressing my own shame, of myself, on my own body. I was matching the inside to the outside. There were some times where my emotions were just so built up, I didn’t know what to do. The only way that I could get instant gratification was through an immediate release on myself.’
‘I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me. She sacrificed so much for her children, and to end my life would be an incredibly selfish thing to do. My sense of worth was so low. I had to reprogram myself to see the good in me. Because someone didn’t love me didn’t mean I was unlovable. That’s what the break-up of my marriage reduced me to. It took away my self-esteem. It beat me down to the lowest of lows.’
‘Around a year ago I revealed that I have Lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways. I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of Lupus, which can present their own challenges. I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off.’