For those of us who cheer on our favorite professional athlete each week, or watch our favorite celebrity on television each week, it is hard to believe famous people could have depression.
Professional athletes and celebrities seem to have it all, perfect bodies, money, adoring fans everywhere, a lifestyle most dream about. This leads to the question: how on earth can a famous person be depressed?
Believe it or not, depression among professional athletes can be common. Professionals such as Zack Greinke, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Ricky Williams, and Picabo Street have admitted to suffering from depression. From Olympic gold medalist to rock stars on the ball fields to x games phenomes, depression does not discriminate among athletes. Even with all those endorphins being released, they are not even to help some athletes conquer depression.
Professional athletes have an enormous amount of pressure on them, even when they are members of a team. They are expected to perform as super humans. It is all about the win. When an individual or team wins, everybody wins. The athlete wins, their manager wins, the team’s owner wins, and the sponsors win. With so many people to please, the athlete can face a lot of stress.
Professional athletes are seen as a business, not a person. Every other professional involved with an athlete, other than family and friends, are involved with them to make a profit.
This is like the pressures put on actors and actresses.
Actors and Actresses
How would you like to have your worked judged by the entire world? And if even half of the world doesn’t like it, you still must hear or read about all the complaints. Not many of us could handle that type of pressure. Yes, they chose that line of work and yes, criticism goes along with the job. However, many actors and actresses just want to share in the craft of film and television acting.
Among famous actors and actresses who have admitted to having depression are Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, Winona Ryder, Halle Berry, Johnny Depp and Ashely Judd. These are just a few of the hundreds of artists who are now talking about their issues with depression.
Many celebrities are making the reduction of mental health disorders stigmas a part of their life’s goals, bringing awareness and encouraging others to get help.
Multiple Presidents have been known to have depression during their lifetimes. Abraham Lincoln, John Quincy Adams and James Madison are among the leaders who suffered from depression. They each had considerable family losses as well as the weight of a nation’s concerns.
Depression can make a person very reflective and aware of the emotions within themselves and of the emotions of others. This may be a positive quality for a President to have, allowing them to connect emotionally with all citizens.
John Adams wrote in his journals about his great distress and depression. Thomas Jefferson was known to have physical pains that lead to his depression. Franklin Pierce lost three sons which contributed to his depression.
If these men can become President and serve as a leader of our nation while at the same time suffering from depression, just imagine what you can do.
Musicians like Ray Charles, Leonard Cohen, Brian Wilson, and John Denver are a small few who have expressed they had bouts of depression at some points in their lives. There has been no major link made connecting mental illness to creativity but one thing is for sure, some of the greatest musicians funneled their emotions through their music.
There is even a younger generation of musicians bringing awareness of mental illness to the forefront. Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, and Rihanna are doing their parts in making mental health disorders recognizable and more treatable.
One study found over sixty percent of musicians report having faced a mental health disorder like depression. Bruce Springsteen is one of them. Eric Clapton is another. These are major players in the music game. Knowing this verifies that these super rock stars are real people, just like you. They are struggling with similar issues and overcoming mental illness, just like you.
Many musicians also suffer from substance abuse or dependence. This contributes to their mental illness. On the other hand, they may be trying to find a way to self-medicate their mental health disorder. Some have reported that amphetamines help them focus or marijuana eases their anxiety. However, drug use is never the best answer to cope with a mental illness.
Musicians are not the only creative types who use substances as a means of coping. Many authors were known to abuse alcohol, yet they created novels that still cannot be matched today.
Many famous writers have suffered from depression. Virginia Woolf, Earnest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Stephen King are among the list. In addition, some other famous writers include John Keats, Edgar Allen Poe, and Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain suffered from some form of depression.
Authors such as Truman Capote, Tolstoy and even Charles Schultz suffered from mental illness. It’s hard to believe that Charles Schultz could have depression while writing about Charlie Brown and Snoopy. But it’s true. Even the legends have dealt with the perils of mental health disorders.
What makes these famous authors, musicians, Presidents, actors and athletes different than you or me? How can they struggle with mental illness and go on to leave a significant legacy? The answer? Nothing. There is no difference from you and them. You can leave a positive legacy despite your mental health issues too.
Nothing. There is no difference from you and them. You can leave a positive legacy despite your mental health issues too.
There is no difference from you and them. You can leave a positive legacy despite your mental health issues too.
Get help and learn how to cope with your depression so you can funnel your creativity into something you can be proud of. Don’t let your depression rule your life. Don’t let your depression be an excuse for you to not accomplish great things. Depression is an illness, not a death sentence.