Celebrity Sensitivity: Juliana Hatfield & George Michael

Juliana HatfieldJuliana Hatfield, a singer who enjoyed great success in the 1990s, expressed frustration with the PR machine that covered up her bout with severe depression. So severe that she canceled a European tour. Her publicist spread word that she was suffering from “nervous exhaustion.” However, Hatfield reveals:

[My depression was] so unbearable that I was going to jump out of a window to get away from it . . . I needed to check myself into some kind of psychiatric-treatment facility.

I wondered why my publicist hadn’t simply told everyone the plain truth . . . instead of issuing such a vague, all-purpose ‘nervous exhaustion’ line, which . . . as far as I know isn’t even a real diagnosis.

Hatfield, who has an album due out in mid-August, appears to have sacrificed long-term mainstream success in exchange for her mental well-being. Given the choice she had to make, I’m sure she couldn’t be happier.

(Hat tip: Powerline A.D.)

On another note, George Michael (who is currently on tour) recently divulged his 20-year battle with depression on Good Morning America. He attributed his music to helping him cope with such events as the deaths of his boyfriend and his mother.



  1. Naturalgal said,

    July 31, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Hi Marissa,
    I guess I feel the opposite, I have always felt that if the professionals had just labeled me as having “nervous exhaustion” or a “nervous breakdown” my life would have taken a different course. I really like those terms better than all the mental health “disorders” we have today. Instead, I was given a label and ushered into the mental health arena.
    I feel like that’s what most of these “disorders” really are…a breakdown…AND a normal reaction to what is going on in our lives or our bodies.

  2. Marissa said,

    July 31, 2008 at 10:19 am

    That’s a pretty good assessment. Perhaps depression is so prevalent in America because we’re all stressed and run ourselves ragged. Talk about an imbalance!

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