Some of us who watch our favourite celebrities – singers, actors, and comedians – on television may find it hard to understand why some of them plunge into depression despite their different roles and successes as entertainers.
According to researchers at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, depression is “a mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.”
Our favourite celebrities appear pretty and in shape, making a lot of money, and leaving legacies that affect people for generations to come.
This leads to the question: How on earth could famous people who are in the business of keeping others in high spirit be depressed?
In time past, we have seen celebrities like Teebillz, Harrysong, Tonto Dikeh just to mention a few come out to the public to admit how they’ve battled depression at some points in their lives.
Though there has been no major link connecting mental illness to creativity, but it is clear that most of these great men and women channel their emotions through their work of art.
Statistics from the World Health Organisation reveal that close to 800 000 people, including entertainers, die through suicide across the world every year.
However speaking on a radio show “fact file”, on the causes of depression and how to fight the monster in celebrities based on the statistics given, popular musician Neto-C said ”what I feel is that celebrities are trying to live a very stressful life because of the demand the society has placed on the title ‘celebrity’.
“when I started music in Nigeria there was no Instagram and social media had not really eaten into the country, so you would rarely see people smoking or drinking normally, but in this present days you get to see most of us under pressure as our fans have a high expectation on how we should live our life.
“Certain things are expected to be normal like having babymamas and smoking weed, so you get to see that if you do not compromise your popularity level will not increase.”
In the same spirit, Harrysong who has personally come out to share his depression experience said, “people go through a lot because of pressure, and they cannot speak out because of trust and how they will be seen in the face of the public.
“One of the greatest challenges we have now is social media and I am suggesting it is also a very big cause because they are people who are insensitive to human feelings, and the reality of life so it is a very big challenge.
“Most people buy things and make it public or private and you feel they are happy, but the truth is, it does not have anything to do with money because sometimes you have money, cars, houses and a lot of other things but yet you still feel that heavy weight like you are drowning.
“Pressure can cause depression most times so am encouraging everybody to find someone to talk to so you can get help.”
Harry further stated that as a successful musician, he is under more pressure than a normal citizen because he is in the eyes of millions of people who expect so much from him.
The AlterPlate Records founder took to Instagram some days ago to talk about death, giving pointers on how he should be celebrated when he passes.
He further advised that to reduce depression and suicide amongst celebrities and people in general, we need to show more love to one another, adding that he has fully recovered from his state of depression.
“We need to be sensitive and love one another, I cannot remember the last time I heard a politician talk about love or togetherness, and they all talk about their parties, positions, and money.”
Also, as one who manages the works and public affairs of artist, Efe Omorogbe (Tuface Idibia’s manager) said the reason depression is taking a toll on artists is because social media has given everyone access to everything so there is no much value given to communication.