When Bella Thorne tweeted, “Came to the conclusion that I struggle with depression:/ you aren’t alone,” last week, she faced a ton of backlash. While the Famous in Love actress’ intentions were good (we think), many people scolded her for diagnosing herself with a mental illness that millions of people really have and struggle with every single day. The 19-year-old quickly deleted the tweet and never mentioned it again, but it seems fans may have been in ones in the wrong.
Bella recently has a super candid interview with Harper’s Bazaar magazine where she discussed her sexuality, the drama that went down with Charlie Puth and Tyler Posey, and mental-health problems she suffered from in the past.
“I have had really dark thoughts,” she explained. “When I was younger I thought about killing myself; it’s very normal in a way that, if you’re upset with who you are and how your life is going, you could think these things. I want people to know that it’s okay to talk about it. And the more I do it, the more my fans will do it with each other, and with other people in their life.”
Bella was told to kill herself by trolls online in the past, and the fact that she once actually considered suicide makes the hate all the more horrific. What did we learn from 13 Reasons Why? Your words matter every. single. time., because you never know what someone is going through behind closed doors.
Like Bella Thorne, these stars also claim they struggle with depression:
When Miley surprised an Elle reporter after admitting that she struggles with depression, it caused the "Wrecking Ball" singer to open up about the stigma of the mental illness.
"It's more of an issue than people really want to talk about," she revealed. "Because people don't know how to talk about being depressed -- that it's totally okay to feel sad. I went through a time where I was really depressed. Like, I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down. It was a lot to do with, like, I had really bad skin, and I felt really bullied because of that. But I never was depressed because of the way someone else made me feel, I just was depressed."
The singer then continued, "and every person can benefit from talking to somebody. I'm the most anti-medication person, but some people need medicine, and there was a time where I needed some too. So many people look at [my depression] as me being ungrateful, but that is not it -- I can't help it. There's not much that I'm closed off about, and the universe gave me all that so I could help people feel like they don't have to be something they're not or feel like they have to fake happy. There's nothing worse than being fake happy."
Nicki is known for being a strong, powerful female in a male-dominated industry. But while she alludes confidence to her millions of viewers, she told Cosmo in 2011 that she found herself in a dark place a few years before her career picked up because she "kept having doors slammed in [her] face... [and] nothing was working." Even though she acknowledged the depression she once faced, the "Anaconda" rapper continued that her life is good and she's happier than ever before.
When the mega-funny Ellen came out as gay in 1997, the media was not as accepting as she hoped. About a year later, ABC cancelled her television sitcom, Ellen, as a result of a decline in ratings. It was this series of events that caused the most loved woman in Hollywood to go into a deep depression. "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," she told the Los Angeles Times magazine. Even though "everything that [she] ever feared" happened to her, she vowed that she would overcome the hardship and is now on top of the world.
2000 was the year Destiny's Child released The Writing’s On The Wall, won their first Grammy and saw Beyonce through a deep bout of depression.
"I didn't eat," she told Parade magazine. "I stayed in my room. I was in a really bad place in life, going through that lonely period: 'Who am I? Who are my friends?' My life changed."
J.K. has been open about she dealt with clinical depression as she penned the first Harry Potter novel, but, as it turns out, the most difficult time in her life came at the high point of the book's success.
"You don’t expect the kind of problems that [fame] brings with it," she told The Guardian. "I felt that I had to solve everyone’s problems. I was hit by this tsunami of demands. I felt overwhelmed. And I was really worried that I would mess up. Everything changed so rapidly, so strangely. I knew no one who’d ever been in the public eye. I didn’t know anyone -- anyone -- to whom I could turn and say, 'What do you do?' So it was incredibly disorientating."
Ms. Rowling continued that she turned to therapy, which "really helped," as it had done the first time she faced depression.
Lady Gaga's rise to fame happened in 2008 with her song "Just Dance," but her while she had it all on the outside, she was struggling severely in the years that followed. In a candid interview with Harper's Bazaar, Gaga explained her journey with depression.
I became very depressed at the end of 2013," she said. "I was exhausted fighting people off. I couldn't even feel my own heartbeat. I was angry, cynical, and had this deep sadness like an anchor dragging everywhere I go. I just didn't feel like fighting anymore. I didn't feel like standing up for myself one more time -- to one more person who lied to me. But January 1, I woke up, started crying again, and I looked in the mirror and said, 'I know you don't want to fight. I know you think you can't, but you've done this before. I know it hurts, but you won't survive this depression.' I really felt like I was dying -- my light completely out. I said to myself, 'Whatever is left in there, even just one light molecule, you will find it and make it multiply. You have to for you. You have to for your music. You have to for your fans and your family.' Depression doesn't take away your talents -- it just makes them harder to find. But I always find it. I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that's left. I'm lucky I found one little glimmer stored away."
After growing up in the spotlight, Ashley felt it was time to face her demons in February of 2006 when she checked into a 47-day program at a Texas treatment center. She told Glamour, "I needed help. I was in so much pain."
Before she became the Princess of Genovia in The Princess Diaries, the actress suffered from depression throughout her teenage years, but refused help or medication. Looking back, Anne says, "I said to Mom the other day, 'Do you remember that girl? She has now gone, gone to sleep. She has said her piece and she is gone. But then I thought, 'I so remember her, only she is no longer part of me.' I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It's all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self."
According to Angie, she had suffered from depression throughout her teens and early 20s, but it was the death of her mother in 2007 that sent her into a severely dark place.
"My mother had just passed away, and I wanted to do something physical to get it out of my head for a while," she told Contact Music in 2008. "I felt I was going into a very dark place, and I wasn't capable of getting up in the morning, so I signed up for something [the movie thriller, Wanted] that would force me to be active."
At the young age of 12, Brittany got a gig on Guiding Light. It was from that point on that she began to obsess over her weight and developed an eating disorder. She weighed only 85 pounds at her homecoming in 2000. Flash forward two years later, and Britt moved to LA, weighed 100 pounds, and began to self-harm as a result of her weight gain. She told People that she became severely depressed when she stopped hearing, 'gosh, you've lost so much weight!' and cut to cope. When she turned 19, she checked into a hospital for depression, cutting and an eating disorder. The actress credits Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel, her John Tucker Must Die co-stars for helping her stay on the path to recovery so soon after getting out of treatment.
Around the time Mandy and her then-boyfriend Zach Braff split, the Tangled star said told Jane magazine she "felt really low, really sad [and] depressed for no reason." While some people thought she was just distraught over the breakup, Mandy said it only "added to what [she] was going through" instead of causing it.