Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Owen Wilson isn't the only Depressed Celebrity

Here are just some of the famous people in the world who are (or have been) depressed (and many of them have contemplated suicide if not attempted):

  • Abraham Lincoln (1809- 1865) - President of the United States
  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) - Scientist, polemic, revolutionary, doctor and analyst. - "According to numerous biographers, Freud often obsessed about his sex life and money; he wrote 900 love letters to the woman of his affections; he suffered bouts of depression and despair; he frequently seethed with resentment at rivals...Freud's demons and quirks sparked his desire to learn more about human motivation and behavior."
  • Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) - Actress, model - "(Marilyn) couldn't beat chronic depression--and ultimately paid for it with her life. At the end of her short, wild career, Monroe was under the constant care of a psychiatrist, and was prone to mixing prescription drugs with alcohol."
  • Greg Louganis (1960-) - Olympic 5-time medalist in diving - "Louganis...first experienced depression at age 12 when a doctor told him that because of knee damage, he would have to give up gymnastics and his dream of competing in the Olympics...Louganis attempted suicide by downing aspirin and Ex-Lax, trying again twice before the age of 18. While counseling sessions accomplished little, Louganis found that diving - asport less grueling for the knees- was a satisfying way to express his physical talents. By 1971 he had qualified for the Junior Olympics. Fire years later, at the age of 16, Louganis won a silver medal at the Montreal Olympics in the 10-meter platform diving competition. He went on to win gold medals in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic games."
  • Alanis Morissette (1974-) - Musician, songwriter - "While on tour to promote her platinum album, Jagged Little Pill, Morissette began to feel helpless. 'Schedule-wise, my health and peace of mind weren't a priority,' she told reporters. 'there had been this dissonance in the midst of all the external success. Because on the one hand, I was expected to be overjoyed by it, and at the same time I was disillusioned by it.' To combat her depression, Morissette traveled to India and Cuba, read, competed in triathlons and reconnected with friendships that she had let lapse. Feeling better within a year, she went on to produce a second hit album."
  • Georgia O'Keefe (1887-1986) - Artist - "Georgia O'Keefe was so deathly afraid of being unoriginal that she destroyed all of her paintings shortly before her 30th birthday. In the 1920's her husband had an affair with a woman 40 years his junior and O'Keefe was briefly hospitalized for depression, but emerged feeling reborn."
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme (1960-) - Actor -"Throughout his vibrant career in film, Van Damme has used drugs, been diagnosed with cyclic manic depression and accused of spousal abuse. As a teen-ager, he took refuge in karate, ballet and in daydreams, which he calls "rosy dreams". Today he takes medication to help mitigate the effects of his illness."
  • Tipper Gore (1948-) - Advocate and wife of former Vice President, Al Gore - "Tipper Gore succumbed to depression after her son nearly died in a car accident in 1989. She was diagnosed around 1991, tried various medications and sought professional guidance from a social worker friend. She fought to raise awareness for sufferers by coordinating the first-ever White House Conference on Mental Illness."
  • Sting (1951-) - musician, artist - "Sting has spent the past few years wrestling with grand issues: dredging up painful childhood memories for the book; agonizing over global politics; and reuniting, for the first time in more than a decade, with his old band mates from the Police for one feverishly anticipated, ultimately unsatisfying performance. "I was in a depression for a year or two," he says matter-of-factly. So as he directs this session, he seems relieved to be in a situation he can control. And for Sting, qualities like control, focus and structure are essential to his ability to create his distinctive, ever evolving sounds."
  • Owen Wilson (1968-) - actor - "At 12:10 p.m. on August 26, 2007, Owen Wilson was rushed to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, by ambulance. Initial reports cited the reason as dehydration, however it has been reported that he was discovered with superficial wounds to his wrists and a near-empty bottle of pills in the bathroom of his Santa Monica home, by his younger brother Luke. Andrew called 911 at 11:59 a.m. Police subsequently confirmed that they were called to the home following reports of a suicide attempt; they resolved the call in just under five hours. Wilson was later transferred to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, where his condition was described as serious, but later upgraded to good condition. On August 27, 2007, Wilson issued a statement: "I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time."

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