Beloved Hollywood star Will Smith has revealed he once considered suicide due to depression, and he is not alone as several celebrities have suffered from this plague too.
Will Smith? I know! Who would have thought!?, right?
The Superstar made this known in a scene in the new trailer of his keenly anticipated documentary series, Will Smith: The Best Shape of My Life. The series, which was first mentioned earlier in the year, tells the story of the all-round entertainer’s weight loss and fitness journey.
In the scene where the disclosure was made, Will is seen sitting down with his three children Willow, Jayden, and Trey Smith, and he says: “… that was the only time in my life that I ever considered suicide.“
Details of what time he is referring to are left unclear, and we will find out when the series finally starts showing.
It isn’t the first time that a member of the Smith family will open up about mental health struggles. They have been known to be outspoken about such subjects, as Jada Pinkett-Smith and Willow have discussed individual bouts with alcohol and drug use and anxiety disorder respectively on the Red Table Talk.
We have had cause to say many times that celebrities are humans too and are not insulated from life’s struggles. In fact, for the most part, it would seem their mental health suffers more. Worse is the fact they mostly suffer in silence, trying to keep up a bold front for the public.
There is a long list of celebs who have committed suicide via several means, but that is a talk for another day. For now, let’s take a glance at 10 celebs who have battled with depression.
1. Lady Gaga
Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga needs no introduction. The singer, songwriter and actress is easily one of the most famous people of the last decade or two. She is well known for her openness about her mental health struggles and has dealt with both depression and anxiety her whole life. Gaga recently revealed that she takes medications for her depression and has charged people to open up more about these issues because it makes us all stronger together.
2. Ryan Phillippe
Hollywood actor and ex-husband of Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe, is another celebrity who has opened up about their depression. In an interview with Elle Magazine, Ryan revealed that his depression began from a very young age adding that it seemed to reduce as he grew older. While it differs for people, it appears that he has managed to keep it in check and go about his acting career.
3. Katy Perry
American singer and songwriter Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, who changed her name to avoid being confused with fellow showbiz star, Kate Hudson, has also been outspoken about her mental health challenges. During a 96-hour YouTube Livestream, Katy shared her story. Her reason for opening up makes it even all the more beautiful. According to her, she wanted her fans to see her true self. “If people can see that I’m just like them, they can dream just as big,” Katy said in an emotional session with Siri Sat Nam Singh, host of the Viceland channel’s The Therapist.
4. Michael Phelps
Renowned American ex-swimmer Michael Fred Phelps II, who amongst many other laurels is known as the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals, is not without his own troubles too. According to CNN, Phelps’ first bout of depression happened in 2004, but his worst spell happened after the 2012 Olympics. He revealed that he once sat in his room for 3 to 5 days wishing to not be alive. Phelps sought help for his condition, and according to him, things got a tad easier.
5. J.K Rowling
Imagine someone who brought so much beauty and entertainment to the lives of millions across the globe dealing with depression too. It is intriguing to know that Rowling actually suffered despair while creating the masterpiece that is Harry Potter. In fact, her darkest moods at the time birthed one of the series’ most eerie creatures, the soul-sucking Dementors. In a 2010 interview with Oprah, Rowling said: “It’s so difficult to describe [depression] to someone who’s never been there because it’s not sadness… But it’s that cold absence of feeling — that really hollowed-out feeling.”
6. Dwayne Johnson
Highly decorated WWE alumnus Dwayne Johnson is one of Hollywood’s most fascinating success stories. His graduation and transition from WWE to mainstream Hollywood and becoming one of the highest-grossing and highest-paid actors in recent history is a story for days. The Rock, as he was popularly known, opened up about his struggles to The Express in 2020. From saving his mother from a suicide attempt at the age of 15 to experiencing depression himself, Dwayne said, “Struggle and pain is real. Depression never discriminates. [sic]”
7. Gwyneth Paltrow
Over the years, some light has been shone on Postpartum depression by medical practitioners and mothers alike. Gwyneth Paltrow added her voice to the conversation after experiencing it firsthand. Academy Award-winner revealed her 5-month struggle with postpartum depression following the birth of her second child, Moses. In a 2011 interview with Good Housekeeping, the actress revealed that she felt like a zombie. “I couldn’t access my heart, I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect,” she said. Paltrow also suffered clinical depression after the loss of her dad in 2002.
8. Terry Bradshaw
Considered one of the best ever to play the sport, Terry Paxton Bradshaw is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League. The NFL Hall of Famer revealed that although he was only diagnosed and treated in the 90s, he believes he had had depression for much longer before then. He told the Chicago Tribune in 2003 that he now talks about it in hopes of helping other people.
9. Ashley Judd
Popular American actress and political activist Ashley Judd is the daughter of country music singer Naomi Judd. Ashley felt isolated and insecure as a child, and it resulted in “deep sadness” as an adult. She, however, took the bold step in 2006 and checked herself into a treatment facility. In an interview with Glamour Magazine, Ashley said she was in so much pain and had accepted that she needed help.
10. Wayne Brady
Wayne Alphonso Brady is an American television personality, comedian, actor, and singer. Being a comedian made it easy for him to shield the public from his struggle with depression. In a bid to tackle the double standard in Hollywood, Wayne opened up to Entertainment Tonight in 2014, saying: “You don’t want to move; you can’t move in the darkness.” He took issue with how more acceptable Hollywood made it for celebrities to admit to a drug problem than to clinical depression.
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