20 People Who Overcame Depression To Become Rich And Famous

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In a given year, more than 18 million American adults – nearly 10 per cent of the adult population – will suffer from a depressive illness.So odds are good that you, a relative, or a co-worker has or will experience depression – and the cost of depression. Consider these stats…

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in men and women.
  • Depression causes an estimated 200 million lost workdays a year – which costs employers $17 to $44 billion.
  • During the two years leading up to a diagnosis, the total excess health care costs and absence-from-work costs for people with undiagnosed depression is about $3,386 per person.
  • Suicide kills about 37,000 people a year in the U.S. – that’s more than the number of car crash deaths.
  • The cost of depression to society is an estimated $70 to $80 billion a year in the U.S.

While two-thirds of depressed people don’t seek help, 80 per cent of those who do improve their lives significantly – which is why we’re informing you today is National Depression Screening Day. So check out these free self-assessments if you or a loved one is among that two-thirds:

  • From the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health, which founded this “holiday”
  • From the Mayo Clinic

As these famous survivors of depression prove, the illness can affect anyone, comes in various forms, and has various causes – but doesn’t have to disable you.


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1. Buzz Aldrin

Opens in new window: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlighthealth/2004-01-30-bradshaw_x.htm

3. Lawton Chiles

Former U.S. senator and Florida governor Lawton Chiles -- who never lost an election -- was treated for depression with Prozac after retiring from the Senate in 1989.

4. Winston Churchill

Opens in new window: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Tormented_President.html?id=oFvMHT6hQBUC

6. Rodney Dangerfield

Comedian and actor Rodney Dangerfield suffered from depression that required regular visits to psychiatrists, according to The New York Times.

Opens in new window: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/tipper050899.htm

8. Paige Hemmis

Carpenter Paige Hemmis, best known for her work on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, has been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder that caused inexplicable crying fits, insomnia, and binge eating, according to People. She beat the depression with counseling and antidepressants and now keeps it under control with enough sleep and regular exercise.

9. Hugh Laurie

British actor Hugh Laurie, who played Dr. House on the TV drama House, first went public about his depression in 1996, according to BBC News.

10. Abraham Lincoln

Opens in new window: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1439384/pdf/jrsocmed00232-0072.pdf

Opens in new window: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/newton_isaac.shtml

13. Rosie O'Donnell

Comedian, actress, and talk show host Rosie O'Donnell has spoken openly about having suffered from depression throughout her life and taking antidepressants for it.

Opens in new window: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/celebrity-interviews/gwyneth-paltrow-interview-country-strong-4

Opens in new window: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/brad-pitt-oscar-nomination-moneyball-tree-life-angelina-jolie-284635?page=3

16. J.K. Rowling

Opens in new window: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/01/opinion/01shields.html

Opens in new window: http://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Visible-A-Memoir-Madness/dp/0679736395

Opens in new window: http://www.contactmusic.com/news/thurman-confesses-to-depression_1001726

Opens in new window: http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/wal2int-7

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