Trevor Noah is one of the celebrities who have spoken openly about mental health. Picture: AP

Mental illness is arguably one of the most stigmatised conditions and those with psychiatric disorders are often excluded and discriminated against.

People speak in hushed voices about it and those affected by mental illness may end up being prejudiced and isolated in social circles and workplaces.

The SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) estimates that one in five people will suffer from mental illness in their lives.

Statistics released in May 2019 by The World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that globally, an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression, which is one of the leading causes of disability.

Most of those suffering from depression also suffered from symptoms of anxiety, the report showed.

Some of the people with depression are diagnosed while others hide their condition because of fear of being ostracized by their community and the shame that society has attached to it.

October is mental health awareness month, a month dedicated to conversations around mental health. 

Here are some of the celebrities  who have spoken openly about mental health.

Former Yo-TV child star and presenter Sade Giliberti is one of the many celebrities who have been vocal about their mental health battles.

Giliberti has spoken of her life as a child with depression and how difficult it was to understand what was going on, to the point that she started to harm herself.

“I took a butter knife to harm my wrist. I must have been about seven or eight years old it was around that time when I first had suicidal thoughts,” she said.

Dwayne Johnson who is also one of  Hollywood’s highest paid actors, opened up about depression. “Struggle and pain is real,” said Johnson, who saved his mother from a suicide attempt when he was 15. “Depression never discriminates,” he tweeted later. “Took me a long time to realise it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.”

Comedian Trevor Noah opened up about his struggle with depression, during an interview with DJ Fresh in 2017.

“I think we have a misconception of what it is. So when they say you suffer from depression people think you’re saying you’re just sad all the time. You’re not sad. You know what depression is? Essentially, it will be a chemical thing in your brain where you perceive what is happening to you now to be happening to you forever,” he told Fresh.