Why are our celebrities depressed?
December 9, 2016
Celebrities are untouchable. Those who frequent the red carpet are perfect. They are flawless. This is the general consensus of the average Janes and Joes who aren’t so lucky to have Beyoncé in their rolodexes.
Recently, however, this ethereal image we share of the rich and famous has become less spotless. With the growing number of reports of celebrities having mental breakdowns and depression, the Hollywood lifestyle has become less appealing. Because as another actor commits suicide and more concerts are cancelled due to the singer having a panic attack, the dark truth of fame is revealed.
What exactly does fame do to a person? Why are A-List celebrities, these legendary idols, suffering? Why are they speaking of being “absolutely broken” as Selena Gomez did in her American Music Awards acceptance speech?
In the case of Selena Gomez, her depression and anxiety come as side effects of lupus. However, her depression was heightened by her public life. She took time off of her “Revival” tour to treat her depression and anxiety.
“I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again,” Gomez told Billboard.
The expectations that the public have of celebrities can be damaging. If they do too little, they appear lazy and uncaring. If they do too much, like Demi Lovato confesses to doing, then they have to deal with the side effects of over-exhaustion, which can cause their already existent depression or anxiety to flare.
“I would take on workloads, and I would say ‘Yes, I can do this. I can do this. I can do this’ I was conquering the world, but then I would come crashing down, and I would be more depressed than ever” Lovato told ABC News‘ Robin Roberts. Lovato had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2010.
Celebrities who live such a publicized life also live with constant judgment from the media, the fans, and even other celebrities. Celebrities, such as Kanye West, who has serious emotional and mental problems, are brushed off as eccentric and crazy.
West was recently hospitalized after a breakdown caused by sleep deprivation and exhaustion and continues to be called insane and face the claim that his almost weeklong hospital stay was a publicity stunt.
Even when celebrities do express what is happening inside them, they can feel guilty about it.
“I had just had my first real break-up, the first heartbreak. And I think it was really ironic because, like, everybody else just thought that I had everything in the world. Everything was sort of at its peak, but inside I was completely lost. I remember feeling, ‘I can’t complain about anything, because I’m so lucky. I’m so lucky’” Winona Ryder said on how she was not able to fully voice her thoughts following her breakup with Johnny Depp in 1993.
The standards that celebrities have to live up to, standards that the public sets can be extremely harmful. The view that they don’t deserve to feel sad or shouldn’t be able to open up emotionally because it might hurt their reputation is incorrect.
So, why are our celebrities depressed?
At the end of the day, when the lights are all off and the cameras are gone, celebrities are people. They have feelings. They have issues. Sometimes these issues are pre-existing problems, such as Lovato’s bipolar disorder or Gomez’s lupus; however, the flashing lights of fame aggravate these problems. The assertions that repudiate their conditions are like a kick to someone who is already down.
Celebrities can think that they aren’t allowed to feel or to think for themselves. The invalidation of their mental illnesses only fuel this belief. Unless we want to lose another great actor or musician, the public should start listening to celebrities when they say that they are hurting.