11 Celebrity Quotes About Depression That'll Change The Way You Think About Mental Health
Oct. 10 marks World Mental Health Day, an internationally recognized opportunity for people to spread information and awareness about mental health issues. Despite a large percentage of our society living with mental health disorders, we still tend to avoid communication about these illnesses, even though that's exactly what they are: clinical illnesses that should be treated with the same respect and education as any other medical ailment. For this reason in particular, celebrity quotes about depression and other mental health issues like anxiety can be incredibly helpful when it comes to breaking down these powerful stigmas.
One in five adults are living with a mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. But because it's so often frowned upon to talk openly about these issues, many people still don't really know just how prevalent this is in our society. This is why celebrities can make such a positive impact when they use their voice to spread awareness. When Demi Lovato talks about her mental health struggles, it makes a difference for millions of people. Likewise, learning that Adele and Chrissy Teigen went through postpartum depression provides a huge step toward normalizing something many people view as embarrassing or shameful, despite its widespread nature.
An open dialogue is the key to breaking down these barriers. Talking about mental health awareness and education truly is the key to saving lives. So, in honor of World Mental Health Day, here are 11 quotes from celebrities who are paving the way for an open and honest dialogue about the realities of living with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Cara Delevingne is never one to avoid an uncomfortable conversation, and we love her for it. In an interview with ITV's This Morning, she opened up about her experience with feelings of guilt she had about having depression:
It was realizing that I shouldn't be ashamed of feeling these things, and that I wasn't alone — learning that everyone goes through similar things... That being vulnerable is actually a strength not a weakness, and showing your emotion and being honest about it [is good.]'
After Destiny's Child broke up, Beyoncé said she went through a period of depression. "I didn't eat," she told CBS News. "I stayed in my room. I was in a really bad place in life, going through that lonely period: 'Who am I? Who are my friends?' My life changed."
Beyoncé used a unique strategy for herself to cope with those feelings: keeping perspective about her celebrity. She explained,
I think about the future, about what my life will be like when people are tired of my songs and movies.
I'll still want a life then, beyond the music. Maybe I'll teach or mentor at a Boys & Girls Club. I want to have a family.
She went on to explain her family history of mental illness:
My mom sat me down when I was probably 18 and she said, ‘There is a serotonin imbalance in our family line, and it can often be passed from female to female' … [she] said, ‘If you are starting to feel like you are twisting things around you and you start to feel like there’s no sunlight around you and you are paralyzed with fear, this is what it is and here’s how you can help yourself.'
I got on a prescription when I was really young to help with my depression and anxiety, and I still take it today.
Here's to hoping every mom can be as informed and supportive as Kristen Bell's.
As a woman who has been open about her journey living with bipolar disorder, Demi Lovato spoke to legislators about mental health awareness in 2015. She told People,
I think it’s important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about. It’s something that’s extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic.
The problem with mental illness is people don’t look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously.
In a conversation with Oprah, JK Rowling spoke of the depression she fell into after her mother died, in the midst of writing the Harry Potter series:
Clinical depression is a terrible place to be. Between 25 and 28 was a dark time. It’s that absence of feeling and even the hope that you can get better.
It’s difficult to describe to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. Sadness is not a bad thing — to cry and to feel. Depression is that really hollowed out feeling. And it was because of my daughter that I got help.
Adele's music cuts so deep to the core of human emotion that it's kind of unsurprising she's had her fair share of mental turmoil. "I’ve always been pretty melancholy," she told Vanity Fair. She explained,
Obviously not as much in my real life as the songs are, but I have a very dark side. I’m very available to depression. I can slip in and out of it quite easily. It started when my granddad died, when I was about 10, and while I never had a suicidal thought, I have been in therapy, lots.
The singer also was open about her experience with postpartum depression:
I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant. Then, without realizing it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient.
In addition to kicking down doors for the LGBTQ community, Miley is an outspoken advocate for the destigmatization of mental health issues.
In a conversation with Elle, she said,
It's more of an issue than people really want to talk about. Because people don't know how to talk about being depressed—that it's totally okay to feel sad.
I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down. It was a lot to do with, like, I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed.
In an essay penned for TIME, Zayn wrote about the anxiety that led to his decision to cancel his performance at the Capital Summertime Ball. He wrote,
The thing is, I love performing. I love the buzz. I don’t want to do any other job. That’s why my anxiety is so upsetting and difficult to explain. It’s this thing that swells up and blocks out your rational thought processes.
Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you’ll enjoy it when you’re doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It’s a constant battle within yourself.
The late (and unspeakably great) Carrie Fisher battled substance abuse publicly throughout her life, but the lesser known demon she faced was her manic depression. “I have two moods,” she explained in an ABC News interview:
One is Roy, rollicking Roy, the wild ride of a mood. And Pam, sediment Pam, who stands on the shore and sobs … Sometimes the tide is in, sometimes it’s out.
Chrissy Teigen is everyone's ideal celebrity friend for her unabashed perspectives on life, so it's no surprise she used her platform with Glamour to open up about her experiences with postpartum depression. She wrote,
Before the holidays I went to my GP for a physical. John sat next to me. I looked at my doctor, and my eyes welled up because I was so tired of being in pain. Of sleeping on the couch. Of waking up throughout the night. Of throwing up. Of taking things out on the wrong people. Of not enjoying life. Of not seeing my friends. Of not having the energy to take my baby for a stroll.
My doctor pulled out a book and started listing symptoms. And I was like, 'Yep, yep, yep.' I got my diagnosis: postpartum depression and anxiety.
For the last decade, Emma Stone has been slowly but surely taking Hollywood by storm. Known for being the perpetual "cool girl" who never breaks a sweat, Emma surprised some when she opened up to The Wall Street Journal about her experience living with anxiety:
The first time I had a panic attack, I was sitting in my friend's house and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mum and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just wouldn't stop.