Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities.
Celebrities and famous people may seem to have a perfect life but some of them still suffers depression and might have attempted suicide because they are depressed. Below are 10 famous people that have battled depression.
1. Harrison Ford
The actor famous for roles like Han Solo and Indiana Jones experienced feelings that fit the description of depression (though he's never actually used the word) during his childhood and college years. A very shy child, Ford was repeatedly beaten up by his peers for years. Even in college he didn't fit in, and as a result sunk into a slump that included sleeping long hours, missing classes, and struggling academically. Finally, he was expelled from school. Things didn't turn around for Ford until his junior year of college, when he signed up for a drama class and began the journey of overcoming his shyness.
2. Brad Pitt
During the 1990s, Brad Pitt was rising to fame in films like Fight Club and Interview With a Vampire. At the same time, he was sinking into a deep depression that left him irritated, isolated, and drawn to heavy marijuana use. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Pitt described his bout of depression as "one of the seasons or a semester." He explained: "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.'" The ultimate feeling of unease finally came while on a trip to Casablanca, where realizations of extreme poverty shocked him into finally seeking help. Since then, Pitt has become one of the most recognizable names in the world, and he has been praised by various mental health organizations worldwide for his willingness to discuss his depression and lowest points.
3. Angelina Jolie-Pitt
Before she was an Oscar winner, U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, writer, director, and mother of six, Angelina Jolie-Pitt was a seriously depressed teenager. Jolie-Pitt, who has always been very open about her bouts with mental illness, has even revealed that her depression included cutting herself and hiring a hit man to kill her. Though things improved for the actress after finding Hollywood success and becoming a mother, Jolie-Pitt found herself engulfed in another depression in 2007, after losing her mother to cancer. This time, she took another route back to good health, accepting the lead role in the action flick "Wanted" in order to do "something physical" and get out of her own head. Jolie-Pitt stated, "I felt I was going into a very dark place, and I wasn't capable of getting up in the morning, so I signed up for something that would force me to be active."
In his memoir, The Way I Am, Eminem goes into detail about his battle with depression more than a decade ago. Though the rapper grew up through tough circumstances, in 2006 he found himself reeling after the murder of his close friend and D12 member Proof. His continuously rocky relationship with his ex-wife wasn't helping either. Eminem recalled, "I have never felt so much pain in my life. It was tough for me to even get out of bed and I had days when I couldn't walk, let alone write a rhyme."
5. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga hasn't been shy about too many things, least of all her long battle with mental illness. In a candid interview with Billboard, the pop star admitted, "I've suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life. I just want these kids to know thatâ€¦" But as you might guess, the "Born This Way" artist has beaten her depression, and has said, "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." Today, Lady Gaga works hard as an advocate for mental health. Her Born This Way Foundation seeks to empower youth, inspire bravery, and provide resources for young people dealing with depression, severe anxiety, and even bullying.
6. J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling's life before Harry Potter is well known. Living in poverty, she was an unemployed single mother who spent her days writing in local cafes. But at the same time, she was also suffering from severe depression and battling suicidal thoughts. Shortly before beginning her famous series, Rowling even underwent cognitive behavior therapy in an attempt to improve her illness. Fortunately, Rowling is healthier and happier these days, but immortalized her bout with severe depression in Harry Potter. Her suicidal thoughts inspired the Dementors, terrifying creatures that feed off of the happiness of humans and wizards.
7. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton, the queen of country music, suffered from severe depression throughout the 1980s, even going so far as to contemplate suicide. Parton has recalled, "It was an awful time for me. Every day I thought, I wish I had the nerve to kill myself.'" Looking back, Parton believes that most of her depression stemmed from menopause and the regret that she had never had children. Fortunately, Parton found comfort in the children of those around her, saying, "Maybe God didn't want me to have kids so that everybody else's kids could be mine."
8. Hugh Laurie
Like his most famous character, Dr. Gregory House, Hugh Laurie has described himself as dark, brooding, and sarcastic. Even his good friend, actress Joely Richardson, has acknowledged that Laurie definitely has a "tortured" and "dark" side. Laurie may have inherited his depression from his mother, Patricia. The British actor's depression started as a teenager, though it wasn't until years later, after having an extra-marital affair, that he agreed to seek help and attend therapy. Laurie has found peace through his supportive family and his acting and music career. However, fans accusing him of being ungrateful have unfortunately caused him to become more hesitant to talk about his past issues and pain.
9. Jon Hamm
Celebrated actor Jon Hamm experienced his first bout of chronic depression at age 20, shortly after losing his father (his mother had already passed from stomach cancer 10 years earlier). Though Hamm believes the structured environment of work and college helped with his recovery, he also credits antidepressants and therapy with "changing his brain chemistry enough to think: â€˜I want to get up in the morning. I don't want to sleep until four in the afternoon.'" Though a decade letter, Hamm would find major fame as Mad Men's Don Draper, it seems the Emmy and Golden Globe winner continues to deal with his battles. In May 2015, he checked himself into a 30-day rehabilitation program in Connecticut.
10. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
In 2001, after five years on the hit show 3rd Rock From the Sun, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt left the show to focus on school. But almost immediately, the young actor fell into a deep depression, certain that his decision would ultimately be detrimental to his career. As he described to Details magazine, "I was scared and depressed for a while. Not that I had any reason to f-ing be depressed — I mean, I was going to college and everything. It was not like I was hungry." Still, the feelings remained, and it wasn't until Gordon-Levitt left school and returned to Hollywood that he was able to find the emotional balance he needed.
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