“Depression does not equal weakness. Real strength is reaching out.”

Depression can happen to anyone. Being rich or famous does not make you immune to depression. Though it can be hard for guys to speak up, more and more male celebrities are helping to shed a light on depression by sharing their stories – using their platforms to inspire others toward recovery.

Despite appearing “to have it all”, their stories show that depression can hit anyone, and that you are not alone in fighting depression. For more inspiration, see our previous campaign on male athletes who’ve fought depression.

Take our Self Check, learn how to reach out, and how to provide support to a guy you’re concerned about.

1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Photo by Eva Rinaldi, Flickr

“I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it… I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.'”

Actor, producer and professional wrestler
“How a Bout of Depression Led to Dwayne Johnson’s Career Defining Moment” (Video)

2. Stormzy

Photo by NRK P3, Flickr

“If there’s anyone out there going through it [depression], I think for them to see that I went through it would help. Because for a long time I used to think that soldiers don’t go through that. You know? Like, strong people in life, the bravest, the most courageous people, they don’t go through that, they just get on with it. Like any person I admire or look up to hasn’t felt like this. They just pick themselves up, you know what I mean and that’s not the case…

So for me it was like this is what I’ve dealt with… I felt it’s important for me to let people know that.”

Grime artist and musician
Stormzy Interview 2017 (extended): Dealing with depression while making his new album” (Video)

3. Wil Wheaton

Photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr

“One of the primary reasons I speak out about my mental illness, is so that I can make the difference in someone’s life that I wish had been made in mine when I was young, because not only did I have no idea what Depression even was until I was in my twenties, once I was pretty sure that I had it, I suffered with it for another fifteen years, because I was ashamed, I was embarrassed, and I was afraid.”

Actor, television personality, blogger, voice actor, and writer
“My name is Wil Wheaton. I live with chronic Depression, and I am not ashamed.”

4. Trevor Noah

Photo by Sean Gallagher, Comedy Central Press

“One of the best things that helps depression is work, and socialising with other people and connecting. Because when you work you find purpose.”

Television and radio host, political commentator, and comedian
“Trevor Noah tells DJ Fresh about his battle with depression”

5. Wentworth Miller

Photo by Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

“I would say what others have said: it gets better. One day, you’ll find your tribe. You just have to trust that people are out there waiting to love you and celebrate you for who you are…In the meantime, the reality is you might have to be your own tribe. You might have to be your own best friend. That’s not something they’re going to teach you in school. So start the work of loving yourself.”

Actor and screenwriter
Attitudes Man of Year Supported by Virgin Holidays

6. Brad Pitt

Photo by DoD News Features, Flickr

“I used to deal with depression, but I don’t now, not this decade – maybe last decade. But that’s also figuring out who you are. I see it as a great education, as one of the seasons or a semester – ‘This semester I was majoring in depression’.”

Actor and producer
Brad Pitt: ‘I suffered depression’

7. Jon Hamm

Photo by RTP, Flickr

“I struggled with chronic depression. I was in bad shape. I knew I had to get back in school and back in some kind of structured environment… I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bullshit. It helps.”

Actor
Mad Men: Jon Hamm on life as Don Draper and the blessings of late fame

8. Kid Cudi

Photo by brinsknaps, Flickr

“My anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember and I never leave the house because of it. I cant make new friends because of it. I don’t trust anyone because of it and Im tired of being held back in my life. I deserve to have peace. I deserve to be happy and smiling. Why not me?… Its time I fix me. Im nervous but ima get through this.”

Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor
Facebook post on checking into rehab for depression and suicidal thoughts

9. Ryan Philippe

Photo by Josh Jensen, Flickr

“I think people fear being stigmatized or treated in a blanket fashion, which is sometimes the response to someone who says, ‘I struggle with depression’…

But really, depression could manifest in a thousand different ways depending on who it is. I don’t think there’s any reason not to talk about it. We can help each other cope and give tools that we learn along the way.”

Actor
Ryan Philippe Opens Up About Struggles with Patience and Depression: I Want to Be ‘Kinder and Better’

10. Ryan Reynolds

Photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr

”I tend to get pretty depressed and I have some issues with anxiety and things like that. [I exercise every day] otherwise, I start to get a little bummed. For me, it is more psychological. Exercise is a means of expelling those demons.”

Actor, comedian, film producer and screenwriter
“Ryan Reynolds reveals battle with depression”

11. Donald Glover

Photo by NASA HQ Photo, Flickr

“After I came off tour… I was just super depressed. I mean, I tried to kill myself. I was really fucked up after that, because I had this girl that I thought I was going to marry and we broke up. I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t living up to my standard, I was living up to other people’s standards, and I just said ‘I don’t see the point.’”

Actor, comedian, musician, writer, producer, director
Donald Glover: Fear and Trembling

12. Shane Koyczan

Photo by Jhayne, Flickr

“What really gave me confidence or what really gave me the reward was seeing how many other people could relate to what I was going through. It made me feel less alone. A large part of what I do is therapy for me — to be exposed to other people who are struggling.”

Spoken word poet and writer
Poet Shane Koyczan to perform at UVic for Mental Health Awareness Week

13. Wayne Brady

Photo by SMSpivey, Wikimedia Commons

“It’s difficult for men in general, I think, because of just the way that we’re raised… We feel any of the negative emotions or that dark cloud settle on you, and you feel like you need to cry out or speak to someone about it, and, ‘Nope, I’m not gonna do that, because I’m a man.’ …

What kind of man would I sound like if I told somebody, ‘Hey, I am so sad. I’m cripplingly sad. I can’t get out of bed. I just feel empty. Help me’… I’d be [seen as] some sissy. I’d be soft. That’s what you’re taught. That’s how you were programmed.

And that’s what kills us.”

Actor, television personality, singer, game show host, producer, comedian, presenter
Wayne Brady Speaks Out About His Depression: ‘It Ate Away at Me Daily’

14. Kendrick Lamar

Photo by Fuzheado, Wikimedia Commons

“Nothing was as vulnerable as that record. So it’s even pulling from those experiences of coming up in Compton. It’s pulling with the experience of going through change and accepting change, that’s the hardest thing for a man, accepting change.

And when I was on that tour bus, and things just happening back home in my city or in my family, that I can’t do nothing about it. It’s out of my control, I have to put in Gods hands. I couldn’t understand that and that can draw a thin line, you know between you having your sanity and you losing it. And this is how artists deteriorate if you don’t catch yourself, so when these things happen, my release therapy is writing the music.”

Rapper, songwriter, and record producer
Kendrick Lamar Talks About ‘u,’ His Depression & Suicidal Thoughts (Pt. 2) | MTV News” (Video)

15. Bruce Springsteen

Photo by Bill Ebbesen, Wikimedia Commons

“I have come close enough to [mental illness] where I know I am not completely well myself. I’ve had to deal with a lot of it over the years, and I’m on a variety of medications that keep me on an even keel; otherwise I can swing rather dramatically and . . . just . . . the wheels can come off a little bit.”

Singer-songwriter
Beneath the Surface of Bruce Springsteen

16. Olly Murs

Photo by Sven Mandel, Wikimedia Commons

“I was doing these crazy 16-hour days, seven days a week, and the reality was I couldn’t handle it but I couldn’t admit that to myself, let alone anyone else…

I was like a zombie but underneath it all I was just worrying about what was going to happen to me and I was actually depressed.”

Singer, songwriter, and television presenter
‘I was a zombie. Drinking too much, depressed, crying’: Olly Murs on the darker side of fame

17. Demar DeRozen

Photo by Keith Allison, Flickr

“It’s one of them things that no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we’re all human at the end of the day. We all got feelings . . . all of that. Sometimes . . . it gets the best of you, where times everything in the whole world’s on top of you…

It’s not nothing I’m against or ashamed of. Now, at my age, I understand how many people go through it. Even if it’s just somebody can look at it like, ‘He goes through it and he’s still out there being successful and doing this,’ I’m OK with that.”

NBA Basketball Player
Raptors’ DeRozan hopes honest talk on depression helps others

18. Dan Reynolds

Photo by IgorSaveliev, Pixabay

“I’ve finally resolved a lot of these issues in my life… This has been the first time in ten years that I can say I have no depression. Sadness? Hell yeah—it’s included some of the saddest times in my life—but no depression. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.”

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer
How Dan Reynolds From Imagine Dragons Transformed His Body and His Health

19. Kevin Love

Photo by Keith Allison, Flickr

“I know it from experience. Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to “be a man.” It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. So for 29 years of my life, I followed that playbook”

NBA Basketball Player
Everyone Is Going Through Something

20. Steve ‘Commando’ Willis

Photo by Eva Rinaldi, Flickr

“I’ve struggled as much as anybody over the years with dealing with my own head and certain things in life. A lot of it is fear. I think a lot of guys unfortunately become caught up in it and go within their four walls and won’t allow anyone else in, even their loved ones.”

Personal trainer and television personality
‘Even to this day I’m dealing with my own issues…’ Commando Steve opens up about his depression

We need your input!

Help us better understand men's attitudes and experiences related to mental health concerns.

Eligible participants (men 18+) can enter a draw to win $250 CAD after completing the survey.

Complete optional follow-up surveys at 3- and 6-month intervals, and be entered into draws for $350 and $500 CAD, respectfully.

Take Survey