In this blog post we will try to answer the question: are actors depressed? Further, we will look at a list of actors who have fought depression.
Are actors depressed?
Yes, it is seen that actors are prone to depression. Actors entertain us through movies and television shows. We watch their movies according to our emotions. Their acting makes us feel happy, sad, and other emotions.
And while it’s common for many of us to imagine these professionals in real life as being much like the characters they portray, the stark truth is that for a lot of them, it’s just not that way.
An actor on the reel is the opposite in real life. What happens behind the cameras is unknown to the outside world. One may think this is untrue. They are celebrities, so what is so hard about their lives? They have money, social life, name, fame, and everything else they need. They do not lack anything.
But on the contrary, it is this name, fame, and money that leads to various mental health disorders including depression.
What follows are five solid reasons why actors are depressed.
Constant world of judgment
When you are an actor, you live in a world where you are judged on how you look, what you sound like, and how believable you are in a given role. Imagine what it might be like to live in a world where it’s a never-ending roadshow of being judged? Now imagine being rejected more often than not by people who think you aren’t the “right fit” for a given part. You were either “too short” or “too fat” or “too old” to be successful. What must that do to your self-esteem? For some actors like Chris Evans, the pressure to look well piled on to the point that therapy was needed as a tool for coping.
Not all actors are celebrities. In truth, the vast majority of people who act aren’t even minor celebs. Instead, they are the folks we see at local theaters or in television commercials. They also do off-camera work, life voiceovers, and narrations. There is a huge section of struggling actors.
What you may not know about some of these folks is that getting a steady stream of “gigs” is extremely difficult. Most actors are lucky if they get one or two meaningful parts a year If they are lucky enough to get hired, the compensation is usually small. Is it any wonder why so many of them, such as Elaine Stritch, struggled with alcohol before they made it big?
You’re only as good as your last show
Imagine if your ability to work tomorrow was predicated on how you performed today? Now imagine having to be pretty much perfect day in and day out when you appear on stage or in front of the camera? That’s what it’s like when you are an actor.
When you look at the entirety of Dylan McDermott’s career, you soon see a person who has had more parts than you can shake a stick at. Many of these roles, however, were short-lived because of poor ratings that were beyond his control. What I admire about McDermott is that he’s been able to maintain his sobriety from alcohol through the tough times.
Nothing is private
Dont we all enjoy a time of privacy? Or a platform where no one cares what we are doing? Posting goofy pictures, posting pictures with your boyfriend. . If you are an actor, however – even someone who is considered to be “small-time” – it’s not quite that simple.
Being in the entertainment industry means being super mindful of your public image. This means being extra careful about what pictures you take, where you go, and who you are seen with. Even local actors who aspire to one day make it big are careful about this.
Well, simply because how they are portrayed today has a big impact on the work they might receive tomorrow. Paul Walker certainly knew this. Perhaps this is why he always had one foot in Hollywood and one foot out? Nothing an actor does is private and everything is scrutinized. And I’m not even going to go into the body-shaming that takes place on social media with celebs.
It’s hard to live up to expectations
Imagine the type of acting you do is related to comedy. Instantly, everyone is conditioned to think you are funny. In fact, many have expectations that you will make them laugh. After all, that’s what you do for a living, right?
Here’s the deal – many actors – particularly those involved in comedic roles – wear a mask that hides their inner sadness. I wrote about this when I explored the lives of famous comedians like Robin Williams who sadly took his own life as a result of a lifelong struggle with depression. The use of comedy by many of these folks is nothing more than a coping tool for darker, more entrenched emotions that lurk deep inside.
Actors with depression
Actress Angelina Jolie opened up about her battle with depression in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Magazine in November 2015.
In her teens, Jolie suffered from depression, which she attributes in part to her “unhealthy” hometown. “I grew up in L.A., where the focus is very inward. I didn’t know why I was so destructive and miserable. I didn’t appreciate or understand my life.” Her unhappiness was further compounded by guilt. “I was raised in a place where if you have fame and money and you’re decent-looking and have the ability to work in this industry, you have everything in the world. Then you attain those things and realize you still couldn’t be more empty. I didn’t know where to put myself.”
At just 15-years-old, model turned actress Cara Delevingne hit “a massive wave of depression, anxiety, and self-hatred.
She took numerous psychotropic medications, saw a number of therapists, and found herself contemplating suicide in her New York apartment.
She said “I was packing my bags, and suddenly I just wanted to end it. I had a way, and it was right there in front of me. And I was like, I need to decide whether I love myself as much as I love the idea of death.”
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones revealed that she has bipolar II disorder, which causes severe depression, in 2011.
She said, “Finding out that it was called something was the best thing to ever happen to me. The fact that there was a name for my emotions and that a professional could talk me through my symptoms was very liberating. There are amazing highs and very low lows. There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help.”
This reigning Bollywood beauty is one of the torchbearers of ending the stigma against depression. Back in 2015, Padukone was lauded for having an honest conversation with the media about her fight with depression. The Padmaavat actress was really candid about her struggles and the counseling she took to battle depression. The Bollywood star is one of the pathbreakers from her fraternity, who has turned her very private and painful fight with depression into an opportunity to remove the stigma attached to depression and anxiety.
She also started an NGO working for depression called ‘Live, Love, Laugh’.
Dwayne Jonson experienced depression during his early twenties when his football career stalled.
Johnson shared a hopeful message to inspire others who may be dealing with depression: “I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone,” he said. “You’re not the first one to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it. I wish ish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and say, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be okay. It’ll be okay.’
Ellen DeGeneres spoke out in December 2018 about the difficult period she went through after coming out. “It took a while to shake off that judgment and the attacks I felt,” she told USA Today. “Once that was gone, I realized I didn’t have anything to be ashamed of anymore, that no matter what, I was fully honest with myself and that gave me confidence. I think that helps with depression. Depression eats away at your confidence and you get lost in that, and forget that you’re enough just as you are.”
“Mad Men” actor John Hamm experienced chronic depression at just 20-years-old following his father’s death. He looked to therapy and antidepressants to recover, as well as the structured environment of college and work.
“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,” told John.
The pop star, whose hits include “Paparazzi” and “Poker Face,” says she’s dealt with both depression and anxiety her whole life. Gaga isn’t ashamed to admit she takes medication for depression. In an interview with Billboard magazine, she said she thinks it’s important for people to talk about their mental health. “If we share our stories and stick together, we’re stronger.”
Sushant Singh Rajput
Our own reel M.S.Dhoni, and the heart of various teen girls, died by suicide this year, by hanging himself from his balcony in Bandra. His psychologist confirms that Sushant was suffering from depression. It is understood that his depression was a result of the lack of work given to him in the industry as a result of nepotism. The actor’s suicide created huge awareness among the Indian Community about mental health and depression.
This list of actors who have fought depression is a never-ending one. It is important to notice that all these actors were successful and seemed to be happy. Depression does not choose a person neither does a person choose it. It happens irrespective of the kind of background you come from. A part of the royal family or a part of the servant working in the royal family anyone can suffer from depression.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
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In this blog post we have tried to answer the question are actors depressed? Further, we have looked at a list of actors who have fought depression.
What we recommend for Depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.
FAQs: Are actors depressed?
Do actors have mental issues?
Just like any other human, if actors have undergone any kind of trauma or tragedy in life they may have mental issues. Sometimes they are so emotionally, intellectually, and physically engaged in their roles that it can be difficult to switch off. Some report having nightmares and intrusive thoughts related to their roles.
Does fame make you depressed?
It can be seen that fame sometimes adds to depression, but it certainly cannot avoid depression. A person with money and fame on the other hand can call out for attention.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.