Depression can affect anyone: don't worry you're in good company

I came across a young person’s story online about being embarrassed to reach out for help for their depression and how they thought they were the only person on earth that felt like this.  In fact, there are many stories out there by others who are also embarrassed about their depression. I see and read these stories on a daily basis. In fact, only 1 in 4 people will actually seek help for their depression, because they are ashamed to talk about it.Stigma still surrounds depression and many people struggle on their own because they think they should be able to correct their mood on their own. They may exercise more and change their diet, try to think positive but the depression remains. This often means that a person who could benefit from other treatments is missing out due to stigma.It is ok to talk about it though, especially with people you trust in your life. Depression can get better with treatment… let someone help. Talking about your depression can really be a small step in the right direction.Many people who have depression feel alone and embarassed and like they're the only ones who struggle with it, but you are not alone. More than 20 million people have depression during any one year. Depression has no limits. It affects people from all walks of life, cultural backgrounds, young and old, rich and poor, men and women, successful and unsuccessful people alike.Below is a list of famous people who struggled with depression. Many of them were able to cope successfully with their depression with the proper support and treatment. You are not alone.For information on how to start getting help and treatment, check out the Help sectionActors / entertainers

  • Mike Wallace experienced severe depressive episodes, but has overcome them with therapy and antidepressant medication.
  • Brooke Shields suffered from post partum depression after the birth of her son.
  • Jim Carrey openly discussed his history of depression and being on Prozac to cope.
  • Ellen DeGeneres went through depression for about a year, shortly after the cancellation of her show “Ellen”.
  • Lorraine Bracco has spoken out publicly about her depression and has worked toward ending stigma around mental illness. Bracco overcame her depression through antidepressants and talk therapy. She is no longer on medication, but continues to find therapy helpful.
  • Drew Barrymore has a history of depression that includes a suicide attempt and being hospitalized.
  • Rosie O’Donnell first felt depressed as a child and experienced periods of depression as an adult.
  • Dick Clark was interviewed in the book “On the Edge of Darkness” about his experience with depression.
  • Roseanne Barr openly announced being diagnosed with depression and being treated with both psychotherapy and antidepressants.

Musicians/Singers/Songwriters/Composers

  • Sting (Gordon Sumner). while writing his journal, “Broken Music,” fell into a depression that lasted for two years.
  • Elton John battled depression, bulimia and drug addiction, which he later overcame. John went into another period of depression after the death of his two friends (Princess Diana and Gianni Versace).
  • Billy Joel experienced serious depression and admitted himself into a hospital for treatment after attempting to end his life by drinking furniture polish.
  • Sheryl Crow discussed having chronic depression since she was a child. She found that antidepressants and therapy helped.
  • Ozzy Osbourne had periods of depression early on in his life as well as during his career and after the death of Randy Rhoads, his friend and band mate.
  • Robbie Williams has struggled with reoccurring episodes of depression and has cancelled part of his tour to Asia to receive treatment, at one point.
  • Marie Osmond describes her bout with postpartum depression in her book, “Behind the Smile.”

Athletes

  • Terry Bradshaw was diagnosed with clinical depression and had panic attacks after games.
  • Monica Seles describes falling into a depression in her biography, “Monica: From Fear to Victory,”
  • Ty Cobb was hospitalized for depression during his first year with the Detroit Tigers.

Artists

  • Claude Monet, French impressionist painter, entered a depressive episode after the death of his wife, Alice Hoschede.
  • Georgia O'Keeffe became depressed and was hospitalized for a short period of time, after her husband’s affair.
  • Jackson Pollock suffered from depression and alcohol addiction.

Political/Public Figures

  • Princess Diana suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of her first son and depression throughout other periods of her life.
  • Abraham Lincoln,16th President of the United States, struggled with depression for his entire life (also suffered with anxiety attacks).

Other Celebrities

  • Buzz Aldrin's depression began shortly after returning from his expedition to the moon, resulting in hospitalization. He recovered with the help of psychotherapy and anti-depressants. Aldrin describes his depressive experience in his book, “Return to Earth.”
  • Yves Saint Laurent experienced a nervous breakdown early in his career as a fashion designer and was hospitalized.  He also became vulnerable to alcohol and drug use because of his depression.

- Originally published October, 2014