Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Celebrity Depression, Spiritual Lessons

celebrity depression.jpeg When it comes to depression, I search everywhere for guides–people who can teach me how to live with it, or at least how to give it meaning. And when a celebrity–some Hollywood type or important politician–joins the crusade to end discrimination against the mentally ill, I take copious notes on how she has managed to stay both sane and successful. Here are some spiritual lessons I’ve gleaned from courageous celebrities that have “come out” to help other depressives, like me.


Lesson #1: Laugh Always and Upside Down

I’ve always loved Rosie O’Donnell for her wit. But now I want to post photos of her all over my desk. What’s not to love about a celebrity who hangs herself upside down for 15-to-30 minutes a day to jumpstart her neurotransmitters (along with yoga and antidepressants) using inversion therapy? Seeing Rosie demonstrate it on “The View,” reading a teleprompter from a swing, made me laugh out loud at all the ways–some quite creative–we depressives use to treat our mood disorders.

Lesson #2: The Power of Words

I’ve studied Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s diplomatic and graceful style in discussing his wife’s depression while protecting her privacy on some of the most personal details. Patrick must have memorized Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic, “The Four Agreements “–a book introducing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec, a Mexican tribe of scientists and artists–because it appears he’s got the first agreement down: “Be Impeccable with Your Word.” As Ruiz writes, “Your word is the power that you have to create. Your word is the gift that comes directly from God.”


Lesson #3: Judge Not

As a recovering alcoholic and a depressive, I was so moved by late-night comedian Craig Ferguson’s monologue declaring that he would not make fun of Britney Spears’ head-shaving meltdown. His twelve-minute spiel tugged at my heart because it was filled with absolute compassion and humility. How brave of him, as a respected comedian, to say: “Guys, lets not judge, because we don’t exactly have it together either. And there but by the grace of God, go I.”

Lesson #4: Prayer for the Ultimate Loss

Prayer is always my first response when I hear about the deaths of people who ran out of hope, because I myself knocked on death’s door so many times. To the families of comedian Richard Jeni (pictured) and “Boston” lead singer Brad Delp, who both recently committed suicide, I extend my love and support. I pray that Richard and Brad have found their peace, and I pray that you might find strength and comfort in knowing that so many of us depressives join you in your sadness, in your grief, and in your fight for this cause.


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  • Michael

    Read some books about Abraham Lincoln. He dealt with “meloncholy” as it was called then for his entire life. He was able to channel his depressive moods to help him deal with some of the most difficult issues this nation has ever faced. Winston Churchill is another good one. He called his depression the “Black Dog” and spoke of it often in his diary.

  • joe gonzalez

    i have an ongoing theory as to why the prevalence and outright increase of depression. this theory is also the fruit of introspection, since i am a depressive. medical science’s declarations as to the root cause and treatment of this illness are likewise lukewarm, since, when it gets down to the real nitty-gritty, they confess they don’t really know how the brain works. it took many years for me to learn that life is struggle. that is it’s main constituent quality. and we’re designed to hunger and look for stability and happiness. i think we get depressed when our inner programs to achieve happiness or stability get sidetracked. and sidetracked they must be, since life is struggle. out pertinacy in
    wanting paradise in this life conjures up the depression. you cannot function on a plane of reality if what guides you is an illusion or a delusion. changing our general outlook on life,i.e. – it’s struggle ; should free us up to face the challenge. but uncorresponding high expectations will only surge the depression.

  • Thomas Collins

    Thank you, thank you, Therese, for another insightful, helpful and courageous column. There is much wonderful and empathic advice here from co-sufferers. One of my goals in life is to be a better pray-er. Mental illness, and depression in particular, has deeply affected my family. This is a reminder to pray for you and others whose lives are affected. May God richly bless you.

  • monica

    thank you, joe. very insightful comment.

  • JLJ

    Thanks for bringing this forward… great stuff there.
    Hebrews 13:16
    Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
    Luke 6:38
    Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
    Believe those words and head on over to and please click on a link or two. It costs nothing. By doing this you’ll be helping a fellow brother out so he can continue helping others.
    Please spread the word to other brothers and sisters.


    This may be your greatest piece of writing I have ever seen..

  • Website terlengkap

    That was a frankly amazing piece of writing!!!

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