It’s World Health Day 2017 today with the aim of the campaign focusing on bringing more awareness and mobilizing action on mental health issues and more specifically depression.
According to new estimates of depression, released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people living with depression increased by over 18% between 2005 – 2015.
With this in mind we have gathered together a list of celebrities who have talked openly about their own personal struggles with mental health issues.
1. Demi Lovato
At just 16 years of age, Disney star Demi Lovato became a global superstar and teen icon following huge success in both the film and music industry.
In 2011, with a history of drug abuse and self-harm, she entered rehab, where she was diagnosed with bipolar depression. The singer has never shied away from opening up about her problems and has urged people to talk about their mental illnesses in order to normalize it.
Speaking on the matter herself Lovato has stated, “It’s very important we create conversations, we take away the stigma, and that we stand up for ourselves if we’re dealing with the symptoms of a mental illness.”
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is well know for his exploits in the ring as a WWE Superstar and on camera as an international movie star. He has since opened up about dealing with depression following his rejection from the NFL at the age of 23.
“I found that with depression one of the most important things you can realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it. You’re not going to be the last to go through it,” Johnson said when asked about his own personal journey.
3. J.K Rowling
The writer of the renowned “Harry Potter” book series, J.K Rowling has become a support system for many of her fans. When the author was in her 20’s she dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts while caring for her newborn baby and dealing with the aftermath of her divorce.
Since then she has been an advocate for increased awareness for mental health issues.
She has famously said, “I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s there to be ashamed of? I went through a really tough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”
4. Lady Gaga
The singer songwriter launched her Born This Way Foundation to help empower young people inspired by her own personal struggles with anxiety and depression following her success as a pop star. “I was angry, cynical and had this deep sadness like an anchor dragging everywhere I go. I just didn’t feel like fighting anymore.”
She has since talked about how she found a way to be true to herself again stating, “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.”
5. Adam Levine
As a teen the singer revealed how bouts of acne would leave him feeling depressed: “When I was in high school and I had acne, I spent a lot of time sulking in my room. I was depressed. I was not happy.”
The Maroon 5 front man has also been a vocal proponent of people living with adult attention deficit disorder (ADHD). He has been heavily involved with the “Own It” campaign, which is focused on motivating young adults and adults to take control of their ADHD.
“And I think now, people notice my ADHD as an adult on a daily basis. When I can’t pay attention, I really can’t pay attention.”
Depression affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries.
A better understanding of depression will help reduce the stigma associated with the illness, and lead to more people seeking help. Let’s talk.