Take a look at the picture above. What do these famous faces all have in common?
Maybe, but they have all also spoken publicly about their battles with depression and anxiety.
I’m highlighting these celebrities, not to say their experience is more important but to show that depression can and does affect people regardless of social standing, ethnicity, sex or popularity.
For years I struggled silently, ignoring and disregarding my emotions until I was so consumed by thoughts of hopelessness I was crippled by it.
I could no longer enjoy being with my daughter. I was crying all the time. Irritable. Snapping at my husband. I couldn’t sleep, and I couldn’t see any end in sight.
Worse, my thoughts ran on a continual loop of what a failure I was. I felt like I was doing everything wrong. I constantly compared myself to other mothers, other women, and always felt I lacked.
For months I was growing more miserable, exhausted and utterly horrible to be around.
I keep plodding on, caught in the grip of blackness so deep and so consuming, even the simplest tasks became overwhelming.
Nothing made me laugh. Nothing ‘snapped me’ out of it. It was day after day of feeling like I had nothing to look forward to.
I felt like there was no end in sight. I felt like things would never get better.
My lowest point came when suffering horrific insomnia for a week, I almost failed to see the flashing lights or notice the rest of the traffic had stopped and I was a hair's breath away from hitting a train.
That’s right. With my daughter in the backseat of my car, I almost didn’t see a TRAIN COMING.
Just like the warning signs of my depression, I failed to see what was right in front of me. Depression steals rational thought.
It stops you from being able to think clearly.
It's all consuming, and it gives you narrow sighted vision which when left unchecked, can be dangerous.
That horrific close call made me see what I'd refused to. By ignoring my own mental health needs, I wasn't able to see the very things I was supposed to be protecting my daughter from.
I saw my doctor the second I was able, she asked me a series of questions and immediately diagnosed me with post natal depression.
I was shocked. My daughter was nearly two. That's how long I was suffering. That's how long I pretended to have everything together when I didn't.
I was prescribed antidepressants, started seeing my therapist on a regular basis and learned how to counteract the negative thoughts and to challenge them before they could fester.
I stayed on anti-depressants for eight years before I felt emotionally stable enough to attempt to come off them.
I did, and though my life has become even more challenging, I can now recognize what I need to do before I sink too low.
It’s not easy, and it requires constantly being vigilant, being self aware, and learning what you need daily to stay in control and not get overwhelmed.
For me, writing is the single most important tool I can utilize to counteract depression. It stops me from dwelling on what could happen, and it helps me stay in the present.
So often we are presented with false images across social media that make us feel we are failures. If we only had this, or that, then we’d be able to chase away the depression that hangs like a dark cloud over everything.
As these quotes highlight, success is not the solution. Education, seeking help, and admitting we need it is the path to recovery.
"I was 25 years old. I had my own TV show. I had dogs that I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn't figure out what it was; it doesn't always make sense is my point. It's not just people who can't find a job, or can't fit in in society that struggle with depression sometimes."
"I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me," she said. "I didn't talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant...Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it."
"The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend's house, and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop."
"I openly admit to having battled depression and anxiety and I think a lot of people do. I think it's better when we all say: 'Cheers!' and 'fess up to it.'"
"The thing is, I love performing. I love the buzz. I don't want to do any other job. That's why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain. It's this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes. Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you'll enjoy it when you're doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It's a constant battle within yourself."
"I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well...I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions."
"Between ages 15 and 20, it was really intense. I was constantly anxious. I was kind of a control freak. If I didn't know how something was going to turn out, I would make myself ill, or just be locked up or inhibited in a way that was really debilitating."
"I've come out the other end not hardened but strong. I have an ability to persevere that I didn't have before. It's like when you fall on your face so hard and the next time, you're like, Yeah, so? I've fallen on my face before."
"I think I had tendencies toward depression from quite young. It became really acute when I was sort of twenty-five to twenty-eight was a dark time. It's that absence of feeling... and it's even the absence of hope that you can feel better. And it's so difficult to describe to someone who's never been there because it's not sadness. Sadness is — I know sadness — sadness is not a bad thing. You know? To cry and to feel. But it's that cold absence of feeling... that really hollowed-out feeling. That's what the Dementors are. And it was because of my daughter that I went and got help."
"I think it's important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about. It's something that's extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic."
"The problem with mental illness is people don't look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously."
I wholeheartedly applaud these celebrities for being so open about their struggles.
We need to have more discussions about depression, about anxiety and about mental health in general.
If you are suffering in silence, please know there are people willing and able to assist you.
I credit my therapist with giving me the tools I needed to actively stop depression every time it rears its ugly head.
There is no shame in seeking help, in whatever form works for you.
Depression is as unique as it’s sufferers. What works for one person may not work for another.
But the unequivocal truth is that depression can and does end.
It is NOT permanent. It feels that way when you are in it. But it will get better.
Your well being matters. You matter. Your life matters. .
And please, please, call one of these numbers if you need to talk.
We all need help sometimes, and we all need to get picked back up and put on our feet again.
International Suicide Hotlines
Austria: 142; for children and young people, 147
Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05
Brazil: 188 for the CVV National Association
Canada: 1.833.456.4566, 5147234000 (Montreal); 18662773553 (outside Montreal)
Estonia: 3726558088; in Russian 3726555688
Finland: 010 195 202
Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000
New Zealand: 0800543354
Portugal: 21 854 07 40/8 . 96 898 21 50
South Africa: 0514445691
United Kingdom: 08457909090
Veterans' Crisis Line: 1 800 273 8255/ text 838255
Blog tour information:
Jessica Burkhart – Author: http://jessicaburkhart.blogspot.com/
Robert E. Slater – Author: http://www.desertedlands.com/blog/
Raye Wagner – Author: http://www.rayewagner.com/
Eva Pohler – Author: https://www.youtube.com/user/Thepoodletoodels
Heather Hildenbrand – Author: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCROruKaWZrhmuzkuGA8MdCQ?
Jennay-Bon – Actress: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR5sSh7zU_TEEBwEkCpNn_g
Rachel – Blogger: https://hereiswhatireadblog.com/
Elizabeth Isaacs – Author: http://elizabethisaacs.com/blog/
Ely – Blogger: http://www.ofwonderland.com/
Corinne O’Flynn – Author: http://www.corinneoflynn.com/category/blog
S.A. Larsen – Author: http://writersally.blogspot.com/
Kat – Blogger: http://katsindiebookblog.blogspot.co.nz/
S.T. Bende – Author: http://www.stbende.com/
Katie M. John – Author: http://www.katiemjohn.blogspot.co.uk/
Debra Kristi – Author: https://www.debrakristi.com/
Allie Burton – Author: http://www.allieburton.com/
Kaitlin Bevis – Author: http://www.kaitlinbevis.com/blog
Christina – Instagrammer: http://www.instagram.com/sushirainbow
Sarah Churchill – Booktuber: http://www.youtube.com/clumsinessisacurse
Brenda Hiatt – Author: https://brendahiatt.com/starstruck-site/
Aimee – Blogger: http://aimeealways.com/
Amy – Blogger: https://mybooks-myworld.com/
Rose Garcia – Author: http://www.rosegarciabooks.com/roseonprose
Becca – Blogger: http://coffeebooksandjournals.wordpress.com/
Yaritza – Blogger: https://fabulousreader4ever.home.blog/
Quinn Loftis – Author: http://www.quinnloftisbooks.com/
Tawdra Kandle – Author: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmW8ONHCEmcG5hJYtBydtkg
Sarah Addison-Fox – Author: http://www.sarahaddisonfox.com/blog
Facebook Live Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/388388565311132/
Source: 30 Celebrities Who Have Opened Up About Depression, Anxiety, and Mental Health (Elle.com)