It is never easy to admit out loud that you are struggling and in need of help. It can be an even harder thing to admit if you’re a celebrity, with this status carrying the expectation that your life must be perfect.
But as you’re going to read below, some of these celebrities’ darkest days came during their time in the spotlight, whereas in other cases, like Dwayne Johnson’s, where rock bottom came long before.
These are 15 celebrities who for a variety of reasons have suffered from depression, including in many instances (like for Halle Berry) where they actively tried to end their life.
Some of these stories may also shock you, like when Mike Tyson beat up a number of prostitutes or when Steve-O got mixed up with drugs, but they also help paint a complete picture of these celebrities who you may idolize.
At the very least, we hope it serves as a reminder that even if you feel alone in this world, that you aren’t the only person out there that feels that way and we hope you can find support to turn your life around.
15. Katy Perry – Her Very Public Divorce With Russell Brand
Katy Perry is incredibly gorgeous and many men out there may think she’d make a perfect wife, but one man who would disagree is Russell Brand. The two met in 2009 and were married in 2010, but after 14 months of marriage, the two announced they were getting a divorce; a fact that Perry got informed of over the phone. In a documentary following Katy Perry, she is shown crying uncontrollably backstage only moments prior to going on stage but is able to compose herself.
When sitting down with Jay Leno, Perry opened up more about her struggles “I wanted to handle it very delicately with the most integrity I could possibly have and show people that like ‘Look yeah I’m going through some of the same situations that half of America goes through’, and somehow I landed on my feet and you don’t have to lay down and die even if you feel like you’re going to.”
Perry went on to say, “But I think that people will relate to the movie, even more, seeing me at my lowest point and now at my highest point.”
14. Beyonce – Couldn’t Eat Or Leave The House After Destiny’s Child Broke Up
Beyonce has made such an amazing name for herself as a solo artist that it can be extra fun to go back and check out some of the work she did alongside Destiny’s Child. It was definitely still well-received, and in 2000 the group even won their first Grammy. But then the band fell apart and it marked the lowest point of Beyonce’s life.
Back in 2007, Knowles admitted that she would never leave the room and would rarely eat. Knowles also admitted that she felt attacked by the media. To make matters all the more complicated, this also all went down around the time that Knowles’ first relationship (that started when she was 13) fell apart.
We’re sure Beyonce finds there to be a lot less drama working alone!
13. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Football Career Over With $7 To His Name
Dwayne Johnson is arguably the most successful celebrity on our entire list. Not only is he a hall of fame wrestler, but he is also one of the most bankable and respected actors in the industry. Yet prior to all of this, Johnson’s aspirations were to play professional football; a path that saw him spending some time in the Canadian Football League.
But then the Calgary Stampeders cut him and Johnson’s career (and life in his eyes) was over, “The dreams I had, they’re dashed, there is no more football. My relationship was crushed. That was my absolute worst time…I looked in my pocket, and I had seven bucks. Wow. Seven bucks to my name.”
When Johnson ended up making a big enough name for himself that he was able to start his own production company, he elected to go with the name Seven Bucks Production.
12. Gwyneth Paltrow – Suffered From Post-Partum Depression With 2nd Child
This list is going to feature an appearance from the Iron Man himself, but we’ll have to get you started instead with his assistant Pepper Potts, otherwise known as the gorgeous Gwenyth Paltrow.
Paltrow has two children, a daughter Apple and then a few years later gave birth to a son Moses with her (now ex) husband Chris Martin.
But the birth of Moses set off a huge change in Paltrow that left her reeling,
“I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect. It was terrible, it was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.”
11. Halle Berry – Attempted To Take Her Life After First Divorce
Halle Berry is an absolutely gorgeous woman and you can imagine that any guy who elects to knock boots with her is probably considering themselves to be pretty lucky. Yet Berry has sadly gone through several high-profile divorces, her first coming in 1997 after she separated from professional baseball player David Justice.
The relationship ending shook her to the core, leading her to attempt suicide,
“I was going to sit in the car, asphyxiate myself. As I sat there sort of waiting for it to happen, it’s almost like I had a flash of that good angel and the bad angel on the shoulder.” Something told her: “Girl, don’t do it.”
We’re incredibly grateful that when Berry’s next marriage ended; this time because her husband cheated on her (and then went to treatment for sex addiction), that she had a stronger head on her shoulders.
10. Mike Tyson – Beat Up 7 Street Walkers While High
Mike Tyson has certainly had a life that is full of some pretty extreme highs and lows. After all, he is arguably one of the best boxers of all-time and has even made a name for himself as an actor. But Tyson has also battled addiction and in 2009, Tyson hit his lowest point while in a hotel room, morphine drip in his arm, cognac, cocaine and oh yeah, 7 prostitutes.
Tyson admitted in an interview in 2012 that he proceeded to start beating up the women, convinced they were going after his soul.
“That’s when I realized it wasn’t just demons – it was the devil himself. It was the lowest point of a very low life, but it was my own knockout punch to clean up life, get whole, get well – and I haven’t done anything in three years now,” said Tyson.
9. Ellen DeGeneres – Ellen Gets Cancelled Because She’s Gay
Ellen DeGeneres may have made a name for herself for hosting The Ellen Show, but prior to that, she was making a name for herself with the sitcom Ellen. Sadly, the show came to an end and to make matters worse, it was largely rumored that it was done as a result of Ellen coming out of the closet; a decision that was mirrored on the show and led to a drop in ratings.
Ellen talked about her depression way back in 1998, saying “Everything that I ever feared happened to me. I lost my show, I’ve been attacked like hell. I went from making a lot of money on a sitcom to making no money. When I walked out of the studio after five years of working so hard, knowing I had been treated so disrespectfully for no other reason than I was gay, I just went into this deep, deep depression and it’s not like any other networks have called.”
It took years (until 2003) until Ellen landed her own talk show. When talking about her journey, Ellen said,
“Time is a strange thing. I was at rock bottom and out of money, with no work in sight, but one step at a time, it gets better. It gets much better than better.”
8. Robert Downey Jr. – After Getting Arrested Yet Again
Robert Downey Jr. may now be known as Iron Man, but there was a time in his life in which the entire cast of the Avengers would not have been able to save him. Downey has been arrested on several occasions, including once in 2001 which was his final straw.
When talking to Oprah back in 2004, RDJ said “I said ‘You know what? I don’t think I can continue doing this.’ And I reached out for help, and I ran with it. You can reach out for help in kind of a half-assed way and you’ll get it and you won’t take advantage of it. It’s not that difficult to overcome these seemingly ghastly problems…what’s hard is to decide to do it.”
We can only imagine how different the world of movies would look if Downey wasn’t able to clean himself up.
7. Nicki Minaj – After Facing Constant Rejection At The Start
Nicki Minaj may be one of the most beautiful and accomplished musicians in the industry, but there was a time in her career when she was facing rejection on a constant basis.
“I kept having doors slammed in my face. I felt like nothing was working. I had moved out on my own, and here I was thinking I’d have to go home,” said Minaj in a past interview. She went on to say that she also felt suicidal,
“It was just one dead end after another. At one point, I was, like, ‘What would happen if I just didn’t wake up?’ That’s how I felt. Like, ‘Maybe I should just take my life?’”
6. Michelle Williams – Following The Death Of Ledger
There was no shortage of people that mourned the loss of Heath Ledger, but nobody knew him quite as intimately as his former partner Michelle Williams, who he also had a 2-year-old daughter with. The two had been together for 2 years, but separated 5 months prior to his overdosing.
Shortly after Ledger passed, Williams’ publicist issued a statement saying,
“Please respect our need to grieve privately. My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day.”
When speaking to People magazine, Williams also admitted “I didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t imagine any place in the world that was gonna feel good to me.”
Williams was pushed forward in her life by the Leonard Cohen song “Anthem” which goes,
“There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
Williams explained the significance, saying “Even if it’s not true, I needed it to be true. You need some way to justify and make sense of the brokenness, make some sort of purposefulness. There’s something to learn there. The learning might not be positive; it can be really hopeless. I’m still thinking — it’s never really over. But there’s more time in between the waves. They still break over you, but you have more time to swim and catch your breath.”
5. Bradley Cooper – Addicted To Drugs As Role Diminishes On Alias
Bradley Cooper has made a big enough name for himself that anytime he steps onto a movie set, you know everyone is going to sit up and take notice. But one of his first breaks as an actor came when he was cast to play Will Tippin in the series Alias; a role he reprised for 46 episodes.
Yet while you can imagine working alongside an established actress like Jennifer Garner would be an exciting experience, that was far from the case for Cooper who when speaking to GQ, opened up more about his experience,
“I would only work three days a week, and then for the second season, I got even more sidelined. I was like, ‘Ugh.’ And then next thing you know, I was like, ‘I want to f—ing kill myself.”
Cooper’s depression led to him asking J.J. Abrams to write him out of the show, a decision he said he did happily as Cooper was pretty sure he was going to get fired. Cooper also admitted that at the time he was battling a heavy addiction to drugs and alcohol and that had he not broken the cycle, that he feared would sabotage his whole life.
4. Winona Ryder – Fell Into Depression Following Depp Breakup
Winona Ryder may frankly be killing it lately with her appearance in the Netflix series Stranger Things, but there were some pretty unpleasant things going on in her head when she was struggling with life after her high-profile relationship with Johnny Depp came to an end in 1993 after being engaged for 3 years.
Ryder opened up more about her depression back in 2009, saying “I had just done Dracula and Edward Scissorhands. I had just had my first real breakup, the first heartbreak. And I think it was really ironic because, like, everybody else just thought I had everything in the world, you know, I had no reason to be depressed, everything was sort of at its peak, but inside I was completely lost.”
Ryder went on to say, “I remember feeling, ‘I can’t complain about anything, because I’m so lucky, I’m so lucky.’ After that I realized I needed to take time off more [regularly].”
We are sure there are plenty of celebrities out there who did not feel like they had any reason to be depressed because they succeed in so many other areas, but we give Ryder a ton of credit for vocalizing her thoughts.
3. Chrissy Teigen – Suffered Post-Partum Depression And Wouldn’t Leave The House
Chrissy Teigen is not only one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she is also married to the insanely talented John Legend. Not to mention the fact that they also have an adorable daughter, Luna, together who was born in October 2015.
Yet it was not long after the birth of Luna that Teigen admitted her life spiralled downward and stayed that way until she realized she was suffering from Post-Partum Depression, saying in an interview earlier in March,
“When I wasn’t in the studio, I never left the house. I mean, never. Not even a tiptoe outside. I’d ask people who came inside why they were wet. Was it raining? How would I know — I had every shade closed. Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed.”
Teigen went on to explain more why she took so long to open up about the situation,
“I also just didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. I have all the help I could need: John, my mother (who lives with us), a nanny. But post-partum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up.”
2. Pharell Williams – Hit His Lowest Point Before “Happy”
You can imagine that the peak of Pharell Williams‘ musical career may have come when he sat down and penned the song “Happy” which was the single most successful song in 2014, selling 13.9 million units; not to mention being used heavily in the movie Despicable Me 2.
Yet prior to writing “Happy”, you may be shocked to hear that Williams was at the lowest point of his entire career,
“It’s not because you’re that good (that you can write a song like Happy). It’s because you’re out of ideas. And that’s what happened. I hit zero. And I just hit a place of openness because I had nothing else left.” said Williams, when talking to Oprah.
1. Steve-O – Snorting Blood Mixed With Blow Off His Dealer’s Table
Steve-O has spent a large majority of his life doing nearly anything he could think of to try and garner a reaction from other people, but in order to accomplish the stunts he became famous for, Steve-O abused a ridiculous amount of drugs and required a stint in rehab.
When talking about his lowest moment in his career to GQ, you may perhaps not be shocked to hear that drugs were a factor. Steve-O’s experience includes vivid details of the former home of one of his main dealers,
“Blood encrusted all over the fucking place, too. And I struggle to believe how I got to a place where I’m in this f***ing drug dealer’s place, scraping shit off this table, which had visible fucking blood mixed in. I was scraping up blood and cocaine, and I fucking snorted it. I was snorting up dried blood.”
There isn’t a high in the world that is strong enough to make you forget the fact that you just snorted blood.