Celebrities who battled depression

An estimated 19 million American adults are living with some type of depression. Among them are the people who seem to have it all. Depression is a serious illness and it hits celebrities as well. Here are some famous people who accomplished many things despite their struggle with the disease.

Jon Hamm








When Mad Men actor Hamm was just 20, he experienced chronic depression following his father’s death. The structured environment of work and school (he was a college student at the time) helped him recover, but he also relied on therapy and antidepressants. “You can change your brain chemistry enough to think: ‘I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon,” Hamm said in 2010.

Angelina Jolie

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Throughout her teens and early 20s, Angelina Jolie suffered bouts of depression. After the death of her mother in 2007, she began sliding into another depression and couldn’t stop dwelling on negative thoughts. When asked to star in the stunt-packed thriller Wanted, she jumped at the chance. “My mother had just passed away, and I wanted to do something physical to get it out of my head for a while,” Contact Music quotes her as saying in July 2008. “I felt I was going into a very dark place, and I wasn’t capable of getting up in the morning, so I signed up for something that would force me to be active.”

Ashley Judd

Actress Ashley Judd of the  television series "missing" takes part in a panel session at the ABC Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena







In her 2011 memoir, All That Is Bitter & Sweet she revealed that she considered suicide as a sixth-grader, and in 2006 underwent 42 days in a rehab clinic for depression. “I would have died without it,” she told People in April 2011. Reconciling with estranged family members and helping those less fortunate through charity work has helped Judd regain perspective and make peace with her past.

Zach Braff








In 2007, the Scrubs star told Parade magazine that he suffers from mild depression and resembles the depressed character he played in Garden State, the 2004 coming-of-age film that he wrote, directed and acted in. That experience, he said, helped him cope: “To have millions of people go, ‘I watched your movie and related,’ was the ultimate affirmation that I’m not a freak.”

Owen Wilson

Brazil Pirelli Calendar







His public persona is that of a laid-back, fun-loving guy, but the world saw a darker side of the actor in 2007 when reports surfaced that he had attempted suicide at his California home. Some friends were shocked, but others said that Wilson, who was 38 at the time, had “battled his share of demons, which have included drug addiction,” reported People.

Uma Thurman








Uma spent years suffering from depression. She said that no amount of professional success could compensate for the pain of two divorces — from actors Gary Oldman and Ethan Hawke — and the loneliness of being a single mother. “My professional life was soaring, but my private life was in ruins,” Contact Music quotes her as saying in 2006. “For many years, I lived in a kind of self-loathing where I never gave myself much credit for anything I accomplished.”

Catherine Zeta-Jones








Last spring, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a Connecticut mental health facility to be treated for bipolar II disorder, which is characterized by swings between depression and hypomania (a mildly manic state).

Richard Dreyfuss








Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss has struggled with mental health issues for most of his life. In the 2006 documentary “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive,” Dreyfuss revealed that he lives with bipolar disorder, which he says has led him to be known as outspoken and eccentric. But the actor turned to medication and credits it for dramatically changing his mood. Dreyfuss has said that with treatment, “I have become a person I admire … I have wept more, I have said ‘I’m sorry’ more, I have succeeded in endeavors that were impossible.”

Brooke Shields








Shields was one of the first and most prominent celebrities to speak openly about her struggle with postpartum depression. She wrote about it in her 2005 book, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.

Winona Ryder








After her high-profile relationship with actor Johnny Depp ended, Ryder, then 19, began abusing alcohol, experiencing anxiety attacks, and spiraling into depression. After falling asleep with a lit cigarette and setting herself on fire, Ryder sought treatment, briefly, in a mental institution herself, and finally with a private therapist.

Jim Carrey








Carrey fell into depression after two failed marriages. “I was on Prozac for a long time,” he said. “It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything’s just okay.”





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One response to “Celebrities who battled depression”

  1. Jannet says:

    Depression is a very dangerous state of mind! It destroys the personality step by step and can even bring to suicide. Depression shouldn’t be neglected, but treated. It is a problem if it lasts long and needs a professional care. Since we are all human beings, we are all prone to depression despite our social status and income. The world famous celebrities are not the exception!