Recently we lost another gem of our Bollywood industry – Actor Sushant Singh Rajput. His suicide again threw the spotlight on celebrities and unboxed the conversation on mental health and depression loud on social media. He was said to be suffering from depression for the past few months and also reportedly taking medicines when he committed suicide. However, the exact reason for the depression is still unknown. But, this news makes us accept that depression is a serious medical illness and it can get worse over time.
We live in a country where depression or mental illness is still considered as a fancy term for sadness or feeling a little low. While we as a country and society have already come a long way from the time when mental illness was deemed to be crazy, there is no doubt that we still have to cover miles to change and accept the same. It may be counter-intuitive, but it’s real. Anyway, depression in normal people is still acceptable but when it comes to celebrities it’s quite surprising!!!
We cheer when we see our favorite celebrities on the big screen. We Admire them, Idolize them. They seem to have it all that would make others envious — a fit body, name, position, fame, adoring fans everywhere, and a lifestyle most dream about. It’s very hard to believe even they could have depression. After all, they have everything that a person wants. Then, what could be the reason to get depressed…
Well, Let’s Talk About Depression First!
Mental illness includes depression, anxiety and panic attack, bipolar disorder, stress, schizophrenia, dementia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuroscience (Nimhans), Depression is one of the most common Mental Disorders in India.
This depressive disorder causes people to experience low mood, low energy, disturbed sleep & appetite, the feeling of guilt, and a loss of interest in activities. People with major depression do not feel happy from inside and sometimes they experience suicidal thoughts. It can be really hard to understand them if you have not noticed it by yourself.
So, Why Do Super-Successful Celebrities Get Depressed!!!!
Believe it or not, depression and anxiety attacks are very common among the famous rich people out there. They may be actors and actresses, sportsmen, businessmen, musicians, writers, or anybody. They may look damn perfect from outside! But we never know, what are they going through inside?
A lot of famous celebrities from Deepika Padukone to Karan Johar have spoken out about their stress, depression and battling mental disorders.
Mental health disorders don’t discriminate between people. Doesn’t matter how famous, rich, and well-off you are, your status doesn’t protect you from becoming prey for depression. Here are some reasons why celebrities get depressed…
1. Insane competition
In the glamour industry, there’s extreme competition and extreme feelings of failure. Celebs often try to find worth by looking further up the ladder, or whoever seems to be more successful than they are, which is pretty consistently a self-destructive endeavor. Sometimes our obsessions possess our mind and tend to worsen over time which may turn into depression.
2. Incessant media & public scrutiny
Some celebrities are prone to bipolar disorder and depression due to incessant media and public scrutiny. When they take any step, they get noticed easily and quickly judged by people & media. Nearly every public figure has been unfairly criticized at some point of his/her career. And it’s not easy to deal with haters or handle criticism. They may not pretend to be bothered about it but at some point, it affects them. After all, they are normal human beings like us.
3. Immense pressure of performance
The pressure of working for long hours, mixed with anxiety of performance, can be just like a lethal dose for a person. Celebs may be irritated due to frequent travel, erratic hours and lack of sleep or social life or the warmth of their family, but it does not reflect in their performance. Including this, also there are pressures to look good all the time and thrive at work. And all these pressures are also strong triggers for stress & depression.
4. Lack of personal connection
The extreme level of workload, effort, success, and the extraordinary amount of time it takes to get there, can make their life feel lonely. Most of us are also doing the same, we run after money, fame, power, success and at some point, we lose our personal connection with our family & friends. We keep ourselves so busy that we have no time for them.
We forget that our true happiness lies with our family and closed ones. Those little things — sitting down for dinner with family, discussions about the same family stuff, meeting old friends, etc. — brings texture and joy in our lives and people may lose a lot of that richness when they’re occupied with work 24/7.
5. Striving to achieve perfection
Aiming for perfection is appreciable but striving for it can be impetus for many. Forcing yourself to be perfect will make you achieve less and feel more stress than a regular achiever. You can’t help but set yourself up to fail. Achieving perfection is not something that happens often.
Perfectionists expect more from themselves and measure their self worth entirely by their own accomplishments & achievements. If it didn’t meet their expectations or standards, they can be very harsh on themselves and at the end, they may end up with an anxiety attack.
There is a saying “To whom more is given, more is expected of”. And, that expectation is expected from self. Celebs with name, fame, and success, may see themselves as failure or talent-less when their career bargains to wane. They feel detached from themselves or as if they don’t know how to identify themselves anymore.
Also, depression is more common in the people who are born with extreme wealth and privilege, they may not be familiar with bootstrapping themselves through difficult times. So when they find themselves in such bumpy territory, they might not be able to respond as they never experienced it. The people who really self-made and struggled a lot to get to the top may be more resilient.
The Bottom Line
This is not about only celebrities, it’s also about us. I think we need a culture to change ourselves. We have to take care of each other. We also need to listen to our bodies and learn how to be mindful. Stop forcing yourself to do something and finally, be kind to yourself.