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Famous Faces, Shared Struggles: Celebrities and the Boundless Impact of Depression

Coco Lee: a powerful and multilingual performer who trailblazed bridging Western and Eastern culture through music, tragically passed away on July 5, 2023, after attempting suicide.

Known for her bright smile, Lee’s struggle with depression and her subsequent passing was a shock for many.

On the outside, the lives of many celebrities often appear flawless — a picture of success, beauty, and wealth. However, in many cases, picture-perfect does not equate to a flawless reality. Depression is a formidable foe that even the brightest stars cannot escape.

Like Coco Lee, other celebrities, such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the late Robin Williams, also grappled with depression. This showcases how depression can even affect people who seem to be effortlessly carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Depression does not care about fame, fortune, or social standing. Depression does not discriminate. Beneath the surface, we are all human with vulnerabilities and challenges that can impact all of us.

Depression does not care about fame, fortune, or social standing.

Depression does not discriminate.

Dwayne Johnson, in an interview with People Magazine, shared that although he first experienced depression in college, he “didn’t know what depression was”. Decades later, when Johnson experienced depression for the third time, he was more aware of what mental health was and, therefore, knew to reach out for help.

Like Dwayne Johnson, before we can overcome depression, we must first know what depression is.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability around the world. The signs include:

  • Persistent sadness

  • Lack of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities

  • Disruptions to sleep and/or appetite

  • Tiredness

  • Poor concentration

There is also a strong relationship between depression and physical health, including cardiovascular disease.

Recognizing depression is crucial, as it is the first step toward healing.

Although Coco Lee is gone now, her voice and music can continue to bridge people together — culturally and emotionally. Let us honour her memory by using our voices to raise awareness, normalize discussions, and break down the stigma regarding depression and mental health.

If you or someone you know is struggling, remember: you are not alone. Reach out for help, whether it’s through a friend, a professional, or a helpline. Together, we can rewrite the narrative surrounding mental health and create a world where the darkness of depression is met with compassion, understanding, and hope.

International Suicide Hotlines:

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