There is a stigma in our society involving the depressed and those with mental illness. It is looked at like a lesser disease than other similar diseases, simply because people who do not suffer from it have no idea the madness it brings into someone’s world. From those who are manic depressed to those with post traumatic stress disorder, did you know that one out of every four people on this Earth has a mental disorder? That means in a room of one hundred people, 25 of those people are suffering with a disease you cannot see and might not even be aware of.
Oddly enough, though, once people start talking celebrities, other people listen. Though you may have a cousin who is depressed and has attempted suicide, it doesn’t hit home until we hear that someone like Owen Wilson has tried to kill themselves. Suddenly, everyone in the world is more aware of it and the kind of pressing epidemic it really is.
The sad reality is, based solely on percentages, someone in your extended family has tried to commit suicide or has been locked in an institution at one point in their lives. Sadly, it doesn’t feel like that stat would connect with readers the same way it would if they were to be given a list of ten celebrities who spent time in a mental institution.
In our pop culture obsessed society, nothing tops the stars, right? So with that in mind, here are ten celebrities you had no idea did time in a psychiatric institution.
10. Marilyn Monroe
It is pretty well known miss Norma Jean had some issues with anxiety, addiction, and self-esteem, though you would never have known it by looking at the blonde bombshell. What makes Monroe’s story even more messed up is the fact that she was deathly afraid of hospitals, and was essentially tricked into admitting herself into one by a shady doctor.
Though it is unclear how much time she spent there, the incident had a huge impact on her life and many close to her claim she was never the same afterwards. We all know how tragically her story ended, so that seems to confirm it… Or that could be a conspiracy?
9. Sinead O’ Connor
Though most people recall this 90s singer for that time she ripped up a picture of the Pope live on SNL, she was a very talented songstress up to that point. As a matter of fact, that act was the eye opening moment for many that this talented woman could also be harboring some demons.
This truth came to light through some blogs the singer posted talking about her battles with mental illness. She even posted a blog looking for a husband and claimed she was willing to do taboo things of a sexual nature. Things were pretty dicey for this bald headed woman for a bit, but she seems to be doing much better now.
8. James Taylor
The only reason this folk singer is down so low on this list is because of his popularity in modern day. Let’s be honest, there probably aren’t many millennials who have the strongest idea who this guy is.
To those wondering, he is a singer and songwriter who has penned many famous songs such as “Fire and Rain”. But what many do not know is in 1965, while still a young man, he had himself institutionalized for 9 months – almost an entire year. He claims the time helped him find himself and figured hugely into who he would become. The man made art from his darkness – a recurring theme you will see here.
7. Carrie Fisher
Though you may hear the name and not know who it is right away, allow us to help you with that. She is the actress who played Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies. A shocking fact many don’t know, but following her years making those movies, Fisher had some real issues with mental health. Claiming abuse and many other shocking things that may have went on when she was younger, she actually WILLINGLY gets shock therapy treatments and claims it helped save her life.
See, even badass space princesses have issues with sadness from time to time.
6. Yoko Ono
This woman, who many claimed broke up the Beatles because of her love for John Lennon, has had some battles with mental health throughout her life. Yoko Ono did some time in a mental hospital in Japan before meeting John. So could it be said that John helped save her and pull her from that life?
Well, no, that would be purely speculation. But has she done any time in a hospital since he died? No. So all we are saying is give peace a chance.
5. Britney Spears
Oh baby, baby, how were we supposed to know, that something wasn’t right here? Sorry, that was too easy. Yes, pop super starlet Britney Spears has also done some time locked down in a psychiatric institution. The year was 2008, and as many of you recall, Britney was in the middle of a mental breakdown. Shaving her head and running after photographers with madness in her eyes, Britney spent a week at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Granted, it may have been only a week, but think about it. In 2008, one of the biggest pop stars in the world at the time shaved her head and did a week locked up in a hospital. That is pretty jarring stuff.
4. Joey Ramone
One of the founding fathers of the punk rock movement also had some issues with depression and social anxiety. The word schizophrenic has also been used before in regards to Ramone, but no one really knows to what extent.
What we do know is he waved a knife at his mother and siblings and ended up in a mental institution for a month as a result. The silver lining? He ended up working that angst and madness into his music, which kept him sane and turned him into a punk icon.
3. Winona Ryder
After being dropped from The Godfather Part III, Winona Ryder fell into a deep depression that just seemed to be getting deeper and deeper for her. This culminated with her admitting herself into a place for mental help, and spending a couple of weeks there. Unlike most of the other people on the list, Ryder did not feel like the experience helped her at all.
She would later go on to make Girl, Interrupted, where she got to tap into that side of her, resulting in arguably the best performance of her career.
Believe it or not, it is illegal to try to kill yourself in this country. If you attempt suicide and fail, someone will show up at your hospital bed and essentially let you know you can be arrested when you depart from the hospital, or you can get admitted. Though you may not hear him talk about it, there are two moments in Eminem‘s life where he tried to end it all.
This means, based solely on American law, he had to have stayed in a hospital under guidance after such attempts (because he didn’t do any prison time for them). But he is another great example of an artist using that pain and turning it into gold.
1. Demi Lovato
We cannot forget the battles this singer has openly had with mental health. There have been many hospitalizations over the years – quite a bit more than your average young lady her age. Though there were rumors of a lung infection landing her at the hospital, there are others who claim she has spent some time locked down in mental facilities, and has quite a few scars to prove it.
What is amazing about Demi Lovato is, like some other examples listed, she uses her pain for art and is open about helping other people who suffer from the same issues. To her credit, she does not shy away from that aspect of herself which shows a great deal of maturity (as there are celebs twice her age that still hide their depression).
We need to stand up and recognize this issue, people. Mental health may be invisible, but it is just as important as physical ailments. The next time you feel alone in the sadness, remember you’re not alone – these ten overcame it, so you can, too.