25 Celebrities and Famous People With Depression

Famous People With Depression

Talking about celebrities and famous people with depression might seem like a bit of tabloid gossip.

The truth however is that depression is so common, even personalities at the top of their game who are adored by society can struggle with the debilitating symptoms of mental health issues.

Understanding that others also experience depressive symptoms can help people feel less alone and reach out for the treatment they need.

What is Depression?

Depression is a prevalent mental health condition encompassing a period of weeks where a person sustains a majority of symptoms associated with the disorder.

These symptoms often include a depressed mood, problems sleeping, or a loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, among others.

The symptoms generally have a serious impact on a person’s emotions, physical energy, overall wellbeing, and ability to function on a day-to-basis.

An estimated 21 million adults, or about 8.4 percent of the U.S. population in 2020, experienced at least one episode of major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Typical Symptoms and Treatment

Not everyone experiences the exact same symptoms of depression and the intensity and duration of symptoms usually varies among most individuals.

Knowing the most common signs of depression is important for seeking treatment as soon as possible.

Common symptoms of depression can include:

  • Inability to experience happiness from activities, friends, or loved ones normally cherished and enjoyed
  • Feelings of worthlessness or shame
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing
  • Changes in appetite and eating, associated with sudden weight gains or losses
  • Experiencing sleep issues, such as sleeping too little or too much
  • Fatigue, exhaustion, or an overall lack of physical energy
  • A gradual or sudden spike in alcohol or drug use that can lead to a substance use disorder
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideations

Treatment for the various types of depression can involve a combination of counseling and medications. In addition to seeking professional help, anyone struggling with depression can also employ self-care strategies that often decrease the time it takes to recover.

Discovering that many celebrities and famous people with depression have learned to manage and overcome the symptoms and lead productive and happy lives can motivate others to ask for help.

Here are 9 Celebrities and Famous People with Depression

1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Arguably one of the biggest Hollywood stars of contemporary times, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been very open about his struggle with depression and that the condition runs in his family.

The actor and former pro-wrestler shared that when he was 15, he saved his mother from a suicide attempt. One UK magazine reports that when a fan told Johnson he was struggling with depression, the star wrote back saying, “I hear you. I’ve battled that beast more than once.”

2. Lady Gaga

Both an award winning musician and actress, Lady Gaga has openly shared her struggles with depression and even created the Born This Way Foundation to help others battling the disorder.

In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Gaga said, “I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my whole life.”

3. Bruce Springsteen

You know someone is an icon when his nickname is “The Boss.” Bruce Springsteen admitted on CBS Sunday Morning that in his 60s, he battled bouts of depression that lasted for a long time.

“It’s like this thing that engulfs you. I got to where I didn’t want to get out of bed,” he said, and added that the combination of his wife’s support, therapy, and medication helped him recover.

Celebrities With Depression

4. J.K. Rowling

The genius behind the Harry Potter novels, J.K. Rowling‘s writing has helped millions of people escape into a world of magic and intrigue.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the author said the creatures she called Dementors in her novels were inspired by her dark moods.

“It’s difficult to describe [depression] to someone who has never been there because it’s not just sadness. It’s the cold absence of feeling, that really hollowed out feeling,” she said.

5. Jim Carrey

One of the world’s most famous funny men, Jim Carrey has talked about how he’s struggled with depression for much of his life.

In more recent years, Carrey has taken to painting to express his emotion and inner turmoil, even narrating a short film about it called, “I Needed Color.”

“You’ve got to get out of bed every day and say that life is good,” he said in an interview on 60 Minutes. “That’s what I did, although at times it was very difficult for me.”

6. Selena Gomez

Singer, songwriter, and actress Selena Gomez has been in the spotlight since she was a child working on a Disney Channel television series.

She has talked publicly about her struggles with mental health and depression, saying in one interview, “I’ve been very vocal about [depression], but it’s not something I feel like I’ve overcome.”

Gomez also said that Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which was created to treat borderline personality disorder and is also used to treat depression, has helped her.

7. Prince Harry

Perhaps the very guidebook on being born into fame, Prince Harry suffered very public trauma when his mother, Princess Diana, died in a tragic car accident as she was being pursued by the paparazzi.

The prince was just a child at the time, but in a 2017 interview when he was 32 years old, he said he had experienced grief, panic, and rage later in life, before seeking therapy.

8. Kerry Washington

An incredibly successful actress by any measure, Kerry Washington hasn’t hid her battles with depression.

In fact, the actress has responded to people on Twitter about her struggles, in one instance tweeting, “I’m having a hard time sleeping. Lot of anxiety and stress. Thanks for asking.”

In an interview, Washington said a dance teacher in college helped her seek therapy and break the cycle of her depression.

9. Pete Davidson

Well known for his comic abilities on “Saturday Night Live,” Pete Davidson has also been in the spotlight for dating other celebrities, most recently Kim Kardashian.

The comedian, though, says he struggles with depression on a daily basis. “I have to constantly bring myself out of it. I wake up depressed, but now I know my steps,” Davidson said in a 2020 interview.

“I have to go outside and be in the sun for a little bit or go for a walk. It’s all just programming yourself to trick your brain…I hit rock bottom all the time.” Davidson has also said quitting drugs, like mushrooms and pot, has also helped him get over his symptoms of depression.

More Celebrities and Famous People with Depression

Depression impacts people of all ages, income levels, ethnicity, and geographic location.

It may seem surprising that celebrities and famous people with depression can have the same struggles with mental health as people with less exciting careers.

The truth is, professional actors, musicians, and athletes all experience the same emotional highs and lows as everyone else. Here are a few more famous people that have battled depression.

  • Jon Hamm
  • Owen Wilson
  • Katy Perry
  • Kristen Bell
  • Michael Phelps
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Brooke Shields
  • Trevor Noah
  • Eminem
  • Brooke Shields
  • Dolly Parton
  • Matthew Perry
  • Ben Affleck
  • Demi Lovato
  • Chrissy Teigen

It can be difficult for anyone to live with a mental health issue and continue to work or go to school every day.

But for celebrities with depression, it’s nearly impossible to take time off and stay home or away from other people when the symptoms arise.

They understand treatment is necessary, but more importantly, that it works. We should all be grateful for those who have shared his or her stories of depression and recovery so others will be encouraged to seek help.

Photo Credits:

  • Lady Gaga by John Robert Charlton
  • Bruce Springsteen by Bill Ebbesen
  • J.K. Rowling by Daniel Ogren
  • Selena Gomez by Glenn Francis
  • Jim Carrey by Georges Biard
  • Kerry Washington by Glyn Lowe Photoworks
  • Pete Davidson by Lauren Francesca

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