Seeing the Beauty in the World: How Dakota Johnson Deals with Depression

Seeing the Beauty in the World: How Dakota Johnson Deals with Depression

In many ways, it’s never been easier to talk about mental health. People from all walks of life have been increasingly candid about their struggles with mental illness, and that, in turn, gives other people the strength they need to share their own experiences. 

However, there is still a certain amount of stigma associated with depression. Many people still (wrongly) believe that the condition is in some way a barrier to success as if those with depression will not be able to reach the same heights as those without.

Thankfully, it’s getting more difficult to maintain those misconceptions as more people speak out. That’s especially true in the case of celebrities who have climbed to the top of their respective fields, and who are able to reach a much larger audience than the average individual. For example, actress Dakota Johnson recently described her own battle with depression and credited the medical professionals who helped her develop tools to manage the condition. 

“I’ve struggled with depression since I was young—since I was 15 or 14,” Johnson said in an interview with Marie Claire. “That was when, with the help of professionals, I was like, ‘Oh, this is a thing I can fall into.’”

The fact that Johnson is so willing to acknowledge her work with mental health professionals is noteworthy because it lets other people know that it’s okay to ask for help. Doing so is not a sign of weakness, but is instead a vital process that can empower someone to accomplish things that might not have been possible otherwise. Johnson, in particular, believes that her history with depression is one of the things that gives her a unique perspective as an artist.

“I’ve learned to find it beautiful because I feel the world,” Johnson said. “I guess I have a lot of complexities, but they don’t pour out of me. I don’t make it anyone else’s problem.”

“She knows where she is and who she is and isn’t afraid to speak up,” said Tracee Ellis Ross, Johnson’s co-star in The High Note, which debuted recently. Johnson plays a character named Maggie, who works as a personal assistant to a star singer played by Ross, and explained that certain aspects of her own life are reflected in her character.

“I think, especially for women, it’s such a hustle all the time,” Johnson said. “Maggie’s vulnerable, but it never stops her from going for the thing that is the most important to her.”

The key is that Johnson was able to confront and deal with her depression instead of denying it, and she was able to draw on that past as she cultivated her career. She did not succeed in spite of her depression. Rather, she is thriving precisely because she understands that depression is something that still influences her perspective and her decisions.

Dakota Johnson demonstrates that depression does not need to be a limitation, and that can give other people the confidence they need to pursue their own success.

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