Icons held in esteem, not immune

Every day, we are exposed to mentally related stressors including competition, tension at workplaces, pressures, heartbreaks and trying situations which have direct dire effects on our minds and bodies. As a result, we get exposed to mental disorders.

Global icons or celebrities are not immune to these psychological disorders. Quite a number of them face mental disorders and are battling with the condition.

Take football icon, David Beckham, for instance: he suffered from a mental health condition called, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, and accepted that he has an addiction to keeping everything perfect and clean.

Despite his efforts to break his cycle of repetitive behaviour, he was unable to stop, until he was treated medically.

Angelina Jolie, Hollywood fanatics’ favourite girl in the early 1990s, suffered from suicidal and homicidal ideation, and voluntarily sought for the help of a clinical psychologist and was later diagnosed with Presumptive Borderline Personality Disorder.

She was managed professionally and now enjoying a happy life.


As mental disorders are known as non-respecter of persons, American swimmer Michael Phelps, who won Olympic gold medals and was once regarded as the most decorated Olympian in history, did, however, experience privations at a young age.

Michael was identified as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When he was nine years old, ADHD caused him to miss class. He suffered a lot from it and was later treated with medication.

The story remains incomplete without telling what happened to a renowned Hollywood actress, Ashley Judd, who suffered from numerous depressive symptoms which came as a result of abuse during her childhood days.

In our region, as far as these mental conditions are concerned, we have venerable music icon, Okomfo Kwadee, who went into depression, but with medical intervention and family support, he is responding to treatment.


How to manage the direct effects of misfortune on the human brain is another subject for in-depth analysis and discussion.

Mental health issues have been one of the most under-discussed subjects in the country.

It is surprising how policy makers underestimate the dire effects of the challenge, the long-term negative impact on our labour force.

According to the Ghana Health Service, there were 417 suicide-related incidents in 2021, with the Ashanti Region having the most cases (61) recorded.

Imagine 417 or more people taking their lives because they experienced depressive and suicidal thoughts — that were left unaddressed or did not receive the kind of treatment they needed to survive the storm the sufferers got stuck in.

In spite of the severity of these psychological problems they have not got the maximum attention.

The time has come for all to come together and have a national conversation on how we can make mental health a topmost priority ­— and how we can help those faced with the challenge.

Good mental well-being and a sound mind, as indicated in most research findings, make people productive and mentally competent.

The writer is a PR strategist. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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