Celebrities & Depression
Depression is an illness that knows no boundaries. It is not selective and does not discriminate against anyone, whatever their age, gender, race, religion, nationality, or economic level. It affects people from all walks of life. It causes them psychic pain, loss of pleasure, inability to connect with loved ones, family and friends, poor performance at work, loss of energy and loss of hope. The sad reality is that untreated depression too often leads to suicide. The positive reality is that depression can be treated with proper professional help.
Depression is predicted to soon become the leading cause of disability worldwide. As depression statistics continue to rise, it is more important than ever that we recognize depression as a “medical” illness and continue our efforts to erase the negative stigma that still surrounds it.
In our media-oriented, celebrity-driven culture, one of the strongest ways to get this message to the general public is through the power of celebrity communication. Each time a high-profile individual publicly shares their own experience with depression, they help overcome the stigma of depression and reinforce the fact that depression is a real “medical“ illness. They speak as a celebrity; they suffer like any other human being.
For every celebrity with the courage to speak out, there are millions of people who suffer from depression in silence. Our hope is that these celebrities’ stories encourage them to seek help.
HDRF thanks actor Lorraine Bracco, author Jay McInerney, football broadcaster Terry Bradshaw, actor Linda Hamilton, actor Brooke Shields, and the late author Dominick Dunne, who have all spoken at recent HDRF events and used the positive power of their celebrity status to create awareness about depression and the need to fund new research to find answers to this insidious medical illness.
Vincent van Gogh
Francisco de Goya
Hans Christian Andersen
Edgar Allen Poe
Public and Sports Figures