1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Nancy Schimelpfening

Heath Ledger Suffered From Depression, Insomnia, Addiction

By January 29, 2008

Follow me on:

Aussie actor Heath Ledger, star of the gay romance movie "Brokeback Mountain", suffered from depression, insomnia and addiction, according to reports from Australian newspapers The Courier-Mail and the Herald Sun.

A source interviewed by the Herald Sun said, "Heath was shattered by his split from Michelle. He became a recluse. He barely slept. He was dealing with terrible mood swings."

"He adored his daughter, Matilda", said the source, "and when Michelle called it quits he missed Matilda so much that he was thrown into a deep, dark depression."

The Courier-Mail reported that he had spent several days at a drug rehab clinic battling an addiction to heroin following his split with fiancee Michelle Williams in September.

In November he had told an interviewer that he suffered from insomnia and was regularly taking Ambien sleeping pills.

Ledger was found naked and unconscious in his Manhattan apartment on January 23. Paramedics were unable to revive him and he was later pronounced dead.

Police said his death was possibly due to either an accidental overdose or suicide. Several different prescription anti-anxiety and sleeping pills were found in the star's bedroom, however, no obvious signs of suicide, like a suicide note, were found at the scene.

Comments
January 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm
(1) Mary-Kate says:

Such a shame.

:( r.i.p. Heath Ledger

January 30, 2008 at 6:39 am
(2) MOBY says:

I feel so bad for him and the great loss to his family as we all go through this blinding mess left by depression, sleeplessness and anxiety. I live it every day with great intensity, but what can ya do? 6 years ago, i was allowed by the rental office where i live, to get a pet. I have had a cat for that long and he has given me a daily thing to get up for and he keeps me semi grounded. I hate this for us all that suffer the battle. R.I.P. HEATH.

January 30, 2008 at 6:59 pm
(3) Rosalie says:

I liked Heath as an actor. I could identify with him. He seemed to have sad eyes. Even in Happy Films there was just a hint of saddness. He withdrew the past year and I wondered about him. My heart aches at his death but He now has all the answers I long for. What does God look like? Did he see Heaven and his loved ones and I known in my heart he hears my prayers. Now He Can get Fan mail by Knee Mail.

January 31, 2008 at 9:48 pm
(4) Sandy says:

Depression is a terrible disease, but is it really a disease or is a choice? Sandy Copeland used to think that there was something wrong with him but then through a series of unpredictable events he realized that he was choosing to be this way, you can read about him at http://novelog.com

January 31, 2008 at 11:12 pm
(5) Jessie says:

I suffer from depression, and the answer to your question is that it is not a choice. I hate it!!! I don’t want to suffer from it. Depression is a chemical Imbalance that I have no control of …. I will be taking medication for it the rest of my life…
Check out the URL above

January 31, 2008 at 11:13 pm
(6) Jessie says:
February 6, 2008 at 7:28 pm
(7) Understanding says:

I too suffer from debilitating depression and anxiety. My family have disowned me and everyone I used to be friends with has given up on me. I have attempted suicide several times and never left a note. It’s really not something you think about. I really feel for Heath’s death. It strikes home again how little understanding there is of depression. The world has lost another beautiful human being to this terrible illness. RIP beautiful man.

February 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm
(8) Jennifer says:

My heart is pierced at this story, greatly because it could have easily been my own. I’ve suffered debilitating insomnia for almost three years now often to the point where I am left no choice but to swallow whatever herbs and medicines I have in hope to just rest a few hours. Heath, my best wishes to you may you rest in peace forever.

March 22, 2010 at 7:10 am
(9) blake says:

the world lost a great person that day, hopefully he has found a happy place above, the world misses you, just if you could come back R.I.P Heath

March 27, 2010 at 9:46 pm
(10) Gaylord says:

The idea that depression is a choice makes no sense at all. No one would want to feel so bad they would then want to take their own life. Depression is different from unhappiness.

June 16, 2010 at 7:46 am
(11) Jessica says:

I love Heath Ledger, he was an AMAZING actor.
R.I.P.
he did amazing in Batman too. :) <3

October 1, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(12) Brett says:

I think I loved Heath so much because I could relate to him. Every depression sufferer deals with it differently and I think I deal with mine in a very similar way to him, judging from what I know of him and have noticed about him in interviews and stuff. Every single emotion he showed in his movies I could totally identify with. It was clear he had depression. When he appeared happy he was really happy, and when he wasn’t, he really wasn’t lol. I deal with extreme mood swings as well. I believe it was suicide. I just dont think a guy as smart as him would have taken so many different pills, and I know he suffered a lot from being famous. In a way I’m glad he’s dead because he no longer has to suffer. He’s in a better place

February 11, 2011 at 6:26 am
(13) Selda says:

@ Gaylord :) Thank you ♥ I needed to see some good ol’ commonsense…
Everyone thinks I am the poster girl for “happy”. I am not. I am an adult. 36 years old and I’ve done well at hiding it. Those who are close friends know what’s going on with me and they don’t always understand but they still regard me as “happy”.
I am happy :D but I am burdened by whatever this is. I don’t like to label because it hasn’t gotten us nowhere but someone who takes their own life can be very happy and proud and thankful and … My point is, don’t tell someone to “get over it” or that it is a “choice”. :(
I choose to be happy. I do not choose clouds and rain tomorrow.
I love you all for talking about this topic and I think Heath would be grateful for those who may not understand, but tried/and still try to.
Understanding not to understand is the greatest gift of support! a hug :) those are good too.

June 17, 2011 at 2:17 am
(14) Anon says:

Depression is a mix.
Yes, many people choose to keep themselves in a downward spiral, because in the end of the day, the only one who can make you feel something, is you.

Your view is what makes you down, so instead of changing the situation, you can change your view.

Now, that being said.
Most people are not equipped with the mental-health skills, nor the knowledge of such a concept, so it is very hard to combat it.

You have more control over your feelings than you think.
Oh, and to the person talking about chemical imbalances..
You grow out of that at an age of 18 – 25+ or so(Drug usage and conditioning your own thoughts in a negative manner can prolong this).

April 19, 2012 at 11:17 am
(15) grahm says:

poor heath :(

September 26, 2013 at 12:52 am
(16) Tom says:

Have control over it ? Grow out of it ? LMAO It’s funny how the “experts” have never experienced it themselves. Let me guess “Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps”? You know all about it huh ? You proved you have never experienced it (other than run of the mill reactive depression at most) just by your words. You don’t belong here. Go away and sit on your throne where you are wanted and your opinion has value. You are just making a jackass out of yourselves here.

November 10, 2013 at 2:17 am
(17) Mr_Hotkins says:

if one doesnt sleep enough, serious health consequences can follow. They have carefully organized media the police covert criminals. they project people by various means including training their children to educate the other children indirectly as well to form an anxious state of people to further make it possible to control them make them more susceptible to media crap. on one hand there are the police movies and so to show how good police officers are. on the other hand a vast majority of reports related to non police individuals finally commiting suicide or go in a rampage killing spree. so there is the ridiculous baseless notion that the huge masses of police force are more trustable and this is conveyed through media movies of emotions usually movies with mentally sick individuals endangering lives of females mostly, while police saves them.

November 10, 2013 at 2:20 am
(18) Zoltan says:

So looking at what is written His condition would be something cureable, yet perhaps He was not looking for help of doctors, because perhaps He had pictures projected onto His brain by some device (wich is possible) or voice or etc.. in order because perhaps this police crime organization attacked Him for some reason. Thus because of a general stigma and ridicule of mentally ill, He did not want to go for help for a doctor in a serious way, or perhaps there was some cooperation between doctors or perhaps had a major surgery and thought He had gotten something implanted into the brain.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Depression

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.