In a video that has been doing rounds on the internet, Times Now journalist Navika Kumar can be seen beside a big screen, playing videos of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput from January 2020. 

Pointing at the clip, while casually looking at her phone, Navika tells her viewers that it is tough for her to believe that Sushant could have had a bipolar disorder or any other mental illness. The reason? Well, because he was full of energy just a few months ago, sitting in the sun, playing with dogs. 

Navika, a prime-time news anchor whose voice reaches millions of people across the globe, wants to suggest that if you don’t ‘look depressed’, you are probably not. I don’t even know where to begin with this and how to point out the flaw in her thinking. 

Here, however, are some celebrities who openly talked about their struggle with depression and other mental health issues. Some of them even died by suicide. I ask Times Now and Navika to tell me: Do they ‘look depressed’?

1. Sushant Singh Rajput

Sushant died by suicide on 14 June 2020.

Times of India

2. Deepika Padukone

Deepika has been very vocal about her struggle with depression and has been the leading celebrity voice in India on topics related to mental health. A report from India Today had quoted her as saying, “I didn’t, my mother saw the symptoms and the doctors diagnosed it. I didn’t know why I would feel directionless”.

World Celebrity

3. Ileana D’Cruz

Opening up on the topic of depression, Ileana had noted in 2018, “Things had got so bad that I was pushing people away”. She then sought help from professionals.

Times of India

4. Ellen DeGeneres

The popular TV host has struggled with depression, which, according to her, happened after she announced her sexuality.

NY Post

5. Robin Williams

Robin died by suicide on 11 August 2014.

Twitter/Emma Lemanski

6. The Rock

In an interview given to The Daily Express. The Rock said, “I reached a point where I didn’t want to do a thing or go anywhere. I was crying constantly”.

Maybach Media

7. Michael Phelps

The multiple Olympics gold winner couldn’t deal with the pressure of performing and said that he was thankful he did not take his own life.. 

Indian Express

8. Manisha Koirala

After her battle with cancer, Manisha came out in the open and talked about the ‘normalcy of depression and that it should not be treated like a taboo. ANI quoted her as saying, “This is the most normal thing, to feel sad, depressed but our society has made it a taboo. We separate those who share their feelings’. 

Indian Express

9. Shaheen Bhatt

Author of the book I’ve Never Been (Un) Happier, Shaheen has been struggling with depression since 12, and she is vocal about her struggles. 


10. Chester Bennington

Chester passed away due to suicide on 20 July 2017.

Indian Express

11. Adele

In 2016, Reuters quoted Adele as saying, “I have a very dark side. I’m very available to depression”.


12. Anushka Sharma

Sharing her struggle with anxiety, Anushka had once said, “I have anxiety. And I m treating my anxiety. I m on medication for my anxiety. Why am I saying this? Because it s a completely normal thing”.


13. Selena Gomez

A report by E! News, had quoted Selena as saying, “Depression was my life for five years straight”.


14. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has suffered from depression and anxiety her entire life, something she has talked about it in public. 

W Magazine

15. Jim Carrey

A better part of Jim Carrey’s career has been about making people laugh. But the star himself has struggled with depression, and this is how he describes it, “Depression is your body saying f*ck you, I don’t want to be this character anymore, I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me”.


16. JK Rowling

Describing depression, JK Rowling had once said, “It’s that cold absence of felling — that really hollowed-out feeling”.


17. Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato’s story of going through mental health issues and suicidal thoughts is known to all. In this connection, she was quoted by Refinery as saying, “[The suicidal thoughts] came back several times — when I was struggling with depression, my bipolar disorder”.


18. Karan Johar

Speaking about depression, Karan had shared these thoughts in 2016, “I have read people speaking openly about their depression. There was a phase in my life when I was really depressed. When I went through that phase, I thought I am getting a cardiac arrest”.


All these people are trying to do their best to overcome the darkness of mental health issues, while also making an attempt to help others.

But my point here is, that a person can look extremely happy and contended on the outside, especially when they are in the front of the camera. 

But that doesn’t mean they can’t be depressed. To use their pictures/videos as ‘evidence’ and dismiss their struggles is not just brutal, but also irresponsible. It needs to stop.