One of the many myths about depression is that depression occurs as a result of mental weakness. Some believe only emotionally troubled individuals get depressed. This myth may cause some to deny or minimize their own depression symptoms.

Depression can happen to anyone, not because of weakness, but because of a combination of behavioral, genetic and biological factors. Depression statistics show that it afflicts all kinds of people. There are even celebrities with depression.

Depression: Famous Sufferers

Depression doesnÕt discriminate. Researchers and historians have speculated that a number of famous individuals suffered from depression. Their struggles with depression did not make them any less great. They include:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Buzz Aldrin
  • Charles Darwin
  • Charles Dickens
  • Mark Twain
  • Princess Diana
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

There are many celebrities with depression who have shared their stories about how depression happens. When it comes to depression, famous sufferers include:

  • Actors: Brooke Shields, Drew Carey, Harrison Ford, Heather Locklear and Marilyn Monroe.
  • Musicians: Alanis Morissette, Billy Corgan, James Taylor, Janet Jackson, Naomi Judd and Natalie Cole.
  • Writers: Anne Rice, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Hans Christian Anderson, Herman Melville, John Keats, Kurt Vonnegut and Tennessee Williams.

Even former U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has been treated for depressive disorder.

Depression Happens: The Prevalence of Depression

According to the Center for Mental Health Services, as many as one in 33 children are clinically depressed. For teens, these depression statistics rise to one in eight. Researchers from Brown University found that about six million elderly people are depressed, although only 10 percent receive the treatment they need.

The World Health Organization states that depression is the leading cause of disability for people ages 15 to 44.

According to depression statistics provided by the Archives of General Psychiatry, depression affects about 6.7 percent of the population of the United States. ThatÕs over 14 million Americans.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has reported the following depression statistics regarding who is depressed:

  • 75 percent of people suffering from eating disorders
  • 50 percent of Parkinson’s patients
  • 25 percent of cancer patients
  • 27 percent of people recovering from strokes
  • 33 percent of heart attack survivors
  • 33 percent of HIV patients.

Depression statistics are also high for those who care for an elderly or disabled relative. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, depression happens to about 58 percent of caregivers.

As these depression statistics demonstrate, depression happens to many people across all ages. It̥s a widespread disorder affecting people of every race and social status. It̥s not a sign of mental weakness Рin fact, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that could happen to anyone.

Although the myth goes that depression shows mental weakness, knowing when to ask for help is an indicator of great inner strength.


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Staff. (2009). Statistics on depression. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance website:

Real Mental Health Staff. (2008). Celebrities with depression. Retrieved May 12, 2010, from the Real Mental Health website:

 Posted on : June 26, 2014