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.



Halle Berry Lorraine Bracco Zach Braff Jim Carrey Richard Dreyfuss Kirsten Dunst Ellen Degeneres Carrie Fisher Linda Hamilton Anthony Hopkins
Ashley Judd Jessica Lange Heather Locklear Mandy Moore Marie Osmond Gwyneth Paltrow Winona Ryder Brooke Shields Sarah Silverman Ben Stiller


Michelangelo Edgar Degas Vincent van Gogh Paul Gauguin Francisco de Goya Henri Matisse Jackson Pollock Mark Rothko


Dick Cavett Larry King Deborah Norville Jane Pauley George Stephanopoulos Ted Turner Mike Wallace


Eric Clapton Sheryl Crow John Denver Adam Duitz Billy Joel Sting James Taylor Pete Wentz Brian Wilson


Emily Dickinson John Keats Sylvia Plath Walt Whitman


Hans Christian Andersen Patricia Cornwell Charles Dickens Dominick Dunne Jules Feiffer Ernest Hemingway Robert Munsch Edgar Allen Poe
Anne Rice William Styron Amy Tan Mark Twain Kurt Vonnegut Tennessee Williams Virginia Wolf Tom Wolfe

Public and Sports Figures

Buzz Aldrin Terry Bradshaw Barbara Bush Kitty Dukakis Greg Louganis