Mo’Cheddah, singer, revealed via Instagram live on Saturday, June 9, 2018, that she battled with depression for four years. She said that people who have never been depressed, especially Nigerians, would be unable to understand what it feels like.
In 2017 Toyin Aimakhu, actress revealed that she experienced depression at some point during an exclusive interview with Broadway TV. She spoke about her bout with depression and drug use.
Tonto Dikeh Halima Abubakar, and Chimammadan Ngozie Adichie are few celebrities who have battled depression at different points in their careers.
Their male counterparts are not left out. Tee Billz, Yomi Casual, and recently, Samclef and Harrysong who shook his fans with an Instagram suicide note, are celebrities who know the true definition of depression, and felt its impact.
The above cases show the spate of depression among entertainers. For artistes who ensure fans are happy and entertained, and who children pick as role models to be constantly talking about attempted suicide experiences doesn’t bode well for our society and calls for collective concern. But what could be the cause of depression among celebrities in spite of the glam, grandeur and exotic lifestyle they command? While some people say fake life is a cause, others think God is the missing link, as they (celebrities) need to hold on to Him.
“Honestly, I don’t know” Oluwarotimi Martins, popular known as Alariwo of Africa, said. He further adds; “But when you have God by your side, and you believe that you don’t have to give up, depression will not set in. When you are focused there will be no depression. If you have so many things you are thinking about, depression sets in. But if you fight it, there will be no depression; it’s about confidence and comfort, and believing in yourself and believing in God.”
For Sophia Omotosho, UK based gospel artiste, who said isolation could be a possible reason, “depression is fast eating up a lot of people up”.
“If you isolate yourself from people, isolate yourself from things that used to make you happy just because you are a celebrity and you don’t want to do those things anymore, before you know it, depression will begin to creep in.
“Fame and wealth don’t give happiness, and it is God who gives happiness and fulfilment. Don’t say ‘oh she got a Bentley. I’m going to get a Bentley myself’ to show superiority. You don’t need to try to live your life to impress people,” She said.
She also affirmed her believe that fake lifestyle and societal pressure could throw a celebrity into depression, “Yes, I believe it is true, because that is why they say ‘cut your coat according to your size’. Don’t live a life that God has not given you. If He has not given you that, just be yourself. Irrespective of the fact that you are a celebrity, be yourself,” Omotosho advised.
According to Layo Awolo, executive producer, director and actor based in the UK, “I think it’s the fame that comes with that. Anxiety causes depression. They live a lonely life, and by that I mean they don’t have a life of theirs, especially when they want to go to public places, they can’t be themselves where ever they go, and they sort of go into hibernation which causes depression”.
She however blamed the media to have contributed to the depression celebrities experience.
“Also, the media doesn’t help, especially when they have a break up in their relationships, what they are wearing, who they are with, or where they are hanging out. It makes them rethink if it’s the life they want to live and they just go into that stage of depression”.
She urged them to be themselves, and “develop a thick skin to what the media is portraying you to be, especially when you are not what they say you should be.”
“They should stop living fake lives. This is trying to become what you are not and when you can’t meet up with the standard, you are depressed. They should just be real, and build themselves gradually. That’s why they are depressed, they spend more than their income, they spend more than what they receive,” said another actor in Nollywood and MC known as Sylvanus of Do Good.