Celebrity sensitivity: Anne Hathaway and Mark Curry

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway recently admitted to her depression:

“Anne Hathaway says she suffered from anxiety and depression in her teens, but that she rejected medication and instead worked through her troubles.

“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,’ ” Hathaway, 24, tells Britain’s Tatler magazine. “But then I thought, ‘I so remember her, only she is no longer part of me.’ ”

She continues, ‘I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It’s all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self.'”

I suffered from depression when I was a teen. And sure, puberty – especially in women – causes all sorts of funky things to go awry. (No thanks to estrogen.) I do believe that teenage girls can suffer from severe depression caused by a “chemical imbalance.” However, I tried to “work through” my troubles and ended up in psych hospitals — twice. I’m so glad that Ms. Hathaway got over herself.

As for her last quote, “It’s all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self,” I agree with it to some extent. Anxiety and depression are a form of self-absorption. If not, then why are MDD and GAD patients (especially) sent off to therapy to “work through” their troubles? While I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s “negatively narcissistic” (bad connotation), there are psychological troubles that can be influenced by chemical fluctuations in the body. To generalize and say that people can just “work through” their troubles on their own conveys the idea that mentally ill people do not need to seek treatment. I’d like to someone in the psych community come down so hard on her that she’d need to make a statement to justify this one. But it won’t happen. It’s okay to slam mentally ill people, but don’t slam race, gays, or those with addictions. What a double-standard. (attribution to The Trouble With Spikol)

Mark CurryFor those who are old enough to remember the show, “Hanging With Mr. Cooper,” comedian Mark Curry ended up suffering from depression after an accident in April which burned just over a fitfth of his body. Curry’s background in comedy helped push him to recovery, although it wasn’t easy.

“I was depressed,” he said. ”I thought about committing suicide, but where in a hospital room is a man who’s 6’6” going to hang himself?”

Curry says that fellow comedians such as Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, and Bill Cosby helped him push through his depression and focus on his receovery.

“’That’s how I got through it, my friends calling me.’

All jokes aside, Curry said the accident is serving as a catalyst to make some changes in his life. He’s found two new causes— raising money for burn victims and bringing attention to depression, which is still a huge taboo in the African American community.”

It’s good to see an black man raising awareness on depression and the circumstances that can lead a person to depression and suicide. I’m not happy that this happened to him, but I’m glad something good can come from it.

As for Ms. Hathaway, she is just part of a long list of celebrities continuing the “fashionable” trend of suffering from depression:

“The actress is the latest celebrity to discuss depression recently, joining Mandy Moore and Zach Braff.”

Maybe I’m being too negative. Perhaps it’s good to see attention being drawn to depression, but at the same time, it lessens the grave importance of how severe depression can be. It’s one thing to be depressed for a certain period of time, but it’s another thing to suffer from depression. I wish the media would get their terminology right. It diffentiates between Beyoncé and Brooke Shields.

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