THE DARK SIDE OF STARDOM

Success is not a one-way ticket to happiness.

October 23, 2018

On average, 44,965 people take their own lives every year. Their stories go unheard and end up becoming a statistic. However, when it comes to public figures, it is not the burden of being apart of a number, but the burden of being ridiculed for doing such an act in the first place.

Celebrities like Swedish musician Avicii, American fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain took their own lives in the early half of 2018. These three notable people were known for prospering in their respective businesses, and their legacy is used to this day to question why they would take their own life when it seemed perfect.

Suicidal tendencies stem from feelings of depression, but the causes of depression are much more complex than people may realize. Generally, depression stems from a lack of self-fulfillment and, therefore, a lack of self-worth. Self-fulfillment and self-worth are important emotional needs that every human being strives to meet. On the other hand, every person has their own material desires as well, tangible items that could make them “happier.” While every person has material desires they want, like a good income or fame and influence, those do not necessarily fulfill every person’s emotional needs. Depression stems from emotional needs that are not being met, and, unfortunately, being very wealthy and famous is not enough to alleviate those emotional struggles. After all, celebrities are human, and just like how every person has a certain way to feel that they are up to par with their peers, they do too.

These kinds of conflicts between material desires and emotional needs are not celebrity-exclusive. Every person, in every field and age group, can start to feel unhappy with where they are in life. For students in high school, material desires like perfect grades, perfect beauty and popularity overwhelm their minds to a common and saddening point of dissatisfaction.

“As a student, I feel insecure when I get bad grades in my AP classes and feel unsatisfied when I study my hardest and get B’s while others may not study at all and get A’s,” sophomore Sreenidhi Nidamanur said.

These are only some of the many desires a student may have, but no matter what these desires specifically are, they come down to feeling “good enough.” People believe that celebrities have it all, but students, who are struggling to reach their peak, have the same dissatisfaction as them.

“We go to one of the best schools in the country so everyone is more competitive,” sophomore, Mark Reed* said. “The pressure is high and we all want to go to the best universities, so we want to be number one in the school.”

As much as people wish there were an easy solution, there is really no one-size-fits-all answer to depression. However, talking to others about how you feel is an extremely important first step. Some people with depression, even the celebrities that have been tragically lost, do not share their feelings because they think no one will understand. As long as someone is human, they will have the same doubts and insecurities as you, or they can connect and understand yours based on their own experiences. It is important not to shut yourself away from your peers and instead look to trusting other people and hear their advice. Talking through your feelings is essential to understanding why you may feel depressed.

photo source: The Pride

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