Access Investigates: Mental Illness In Hollywood

The shocking photos of Britney Spears, being strapped to a gurney and taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last week, showed the world that the pop star’s condition has taken a tragic turn.

Sources close to the family believe Britney is suffering from mental illness. If that is the case, then Britney is not alone among Hollywood stars.

Being a star doesn’t offer a free pass from mental disorders and humor may be a way to hide.

Funnyman Owen Wilson made headlines last year when he tried to take his own life by cutting his wrists, while another well-known comedian, Drew Carrey, attempted suicide twice before the age of 21, eventually finding solace in self-help books.

“Living in Hollywood, you can get disconnected from everybody. You can feel like you are the only one,” Drew previously told Access Hollywood.
Margot Kidder, who once played Lois Lane, gave up the Hollywood life for a quiet Montana mountain town.

“You couldn’t pay me a million bucks a day to move back there,” she said.

A lifelong manic-depressive who had struggled to hide her disease, she was exposed after a 1996 episode when she was found in disarray in a stranger’s backyard.

“It made me do my homework and do something about it as opposed to shoving it back into the closet as I’d done for so many years,” Margot once told Access.

Anne Heche’s neurosis was similarly revealed after a very public meltdown.

In 2000, shortly after her break-up with Ellen DeGeneres, Anne was found wandering the streets of Fresno, California, rambling about aliens and calling herself Celestia, an episode she blamed on childhood abuse.

But perhaps no one has spoken as honestly and as openly as former “Terminator” star Linda Hamilton, who suffers from being bi-polar. The condition is one, which many think Britney suffers from. It has also plagued “Star Wars” siren Carrie Fisher, media mogul Ted Turner and child star Patti Duke.

As for Brooke Shields, she suffered severe post-partum depression after the birth of her first child, Rowan.

“She was ruining my plans. Because of her, I couldn't do what I wanted,” Brooke explained of some of her thoughts at the time.

Through medication, therapy and exercise, Brooke overcame her depression and fell in love with her daughter. But rather than let other women face the condition alone, she chose to write a book, sharing her experience.

“It was important for me,” Brooke said.

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