Jon Hamm Has Completed Rehab for Alcoholism

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

LOS ANGELES - JAN 14:  Jon Hamm arrives at the 16th Annual "CritAMC’s hit show, Mad Men, returns next month and, as the series prepares for the end of its seven season run, one of the stars has also been working on his own personal transition.

It was just revealed that Jon Hamm privately entered a rehab program for alcohol abuse. He checked in to Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut at the end of February and completed his treatment this past week.

One of his representatives stated: “With the support of his longtime partner, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction. They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward.”

Of course, to fans of the show, this almost feels a bit like life imitating art. Hamm portrays Don Draper on Mad Men, a character known for his unhealthy relationships with women, cigarettes and alcohol. In the past, the 44-year-old actor talked about how his own life compares to Draper and, unsurprisingly, there were some parallels.

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Why the Portrayal of Bipolar Disorder on “Empire” is So Important

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

The finale of FOX’s hit new show, Empire, aired this week and it was an ending fitting of such an explosive premiere season. If you are planning to watch the show and would rather avoid spoilers, I encourage you to navigate away from this article before I go any further.LOS ANGELES - JAN 6:  Bryshere Gray, Terrence Howard, Trai Byers

The series follows a fractured (but, somehow, very connected and loving) family comprised of a rapper turned music mogul, his incredibly outspoken and talented ex-wife and their three sons, all of whom were very young when their mother began her 17-year stint in prison for selling drugs to fund the creation of their record label.

The youngest son, Hakeem, was just a baby when everything went wrong and didn’t remember his mother and clearly has some anger surrounding this issue. The middle son, Jamal, struggles to deal with being homosexual in the African-American community. The oldest son, Andre, for a long time, seems to be the only one who has it together. He has a committed wife, impressive education and good command over his role at the family business – and then we gradually begin to realize that things are not as easy as they seem.

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John Mayer: “I Would Have Rather Killed Myself Than Been Killed”

By Jeanne Croteau • 3 min read

Being just a few months younger than him, I’m a huge John Mayer fan. I love his music and I feel like his style is always evolving. What always struck me most was the honesty of his lyrics and how he was able to tap into how our generation must be feeling at a particular stage in life. LOS ANGELES - FEB 10:  John Mayer arrives to the Grammy Awards 2This fascination with him began many years ago, long before his casual dating and sometimes cavalier attitude gained him a reputation.

Good looking and successful, it was hardly surprising to most when Mayer started playing the field and spending time with some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. From Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jennifer Aniston to Katy Perry, his most recent love connection, the singer has been accused of womanizing and failing to commit. Some defended his actions but took offense after a particularly noteworthy interview was published.

Interview Gone Wrong

He spoke with Playboy magazine in 2010 and, during the discussion, he revealed a little too much about the 10 months he spent dating Jessica Simpson in 2006. He described his former flame as “a drug” and then went on to refer to their relationship as “sexual napalm.” Many felt that it was completely insensitive and demonstrative of his lack of respect for women.

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“Teen Mom” Star, Tyler Baltierra, Recounts Suicide Attempt

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

When Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra first appeared on reality television, they were preparing to give their now 5-year-old daughter, Carly, up for adoption. The young couple managed to stay together and now have a 2-month-old baby girl named Novalee.Word Cloud Illustration In Shape Of Hand Print Showing Protest.

Although, they shared, in often painstaking detail, the challenges they have faced in their young lives, one significant event didn’t make it to publication. Baltierra, who is now 23 years old, wasn’t ready to talk about his battle with depression and the devastating moment when he almost ended his life.

In a recent interview, he revealed that, when he was just 12 years old, he attempted suicide. The downward spiral began when the Michigan native was sexually abused three years earlier. He said that he went to “a dark place” after his father went back to prison.

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Michelle Duggar Opens Up About Struggle With Bulimia

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

WASHINGTON, DC FEBRUARY 2012 JIM AND MICHELLE DUGGARMichelle Duggar is usually busy talking about her expansive family on 19 Kids and Counting but the story garnering attention right now is about her own struggle with bulimia as a teenager. The surprising revelation was disclosed in Growing Up Duggar, a new book written by the family’s oldest daughters, Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger.

The collection of stories chosen include the unfortunate circumstances to led their mother to develop an eating disorder in her youth. She recounts having been envious of another girl who was controlling her weight in a way that ended up being very destructive.  Not realizing the danger, Michelle began adopting similar habits.

During her high school years, the family’s matriarch had been a gymnast and cheerleader but struggled to maintain, what she deemed, a desirable figure. At just 14 years old, she had already developed an obsession with staying thin that took over her life.

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Robin Williams’ Daughter: “Have a Conversation About Mental Health”

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been more than six months since the tragic suicide of Robin Williams. The world was left absolutely stunned when the comedian succumbed to his battle with depression, leaving behind devastated family, friends and fans. An unexpected silver lining of this extremely sad situation is that it has made people talk about mental health and that’s exactly what his daughter, Zelda, wants to see happen.

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 12: Robin Williams and Zelda Williams atFor the first time since losing her father, the young woman sat down with Entertainment Tonight for an interview. The 25-year-old was candid about how hard it has been to grieve and said: “It’s going to take a lot of work to allow myself to have the sort of fun, happy life that I had, but that’s important. Anybody who has ever lost anyone works very hard to continue that memory in a positive way.”

To honor her father in an honest and beautiful way, she got a tattoo of a hummingbird because “they’re fun and flighty and strange. It’s hard to keep them in one place and dad was a bit like that. Keeping a conversation in one moment was impossible with him.” She added that being with him was like trying to “put a bag around a storm and hoping it wouldn’t blow away.”

While his enthusiasm and spirit cannot be denied, he didn’t reserve it just for laughs. Instead, he shared his incredible voice to raise awareness about many issues including HIV/AIDS, addiction and, of course, mental health issues. Zelda explained that her father never wanted others to feel alone and said that sharing his own battles “helped him not hide. If you have things that make you sad, express them to other people.”

As we grieve, sometimes we look for someone to blame for the loss. In her own situation, Zelda believes that “there’s no point questioning it and no point blaming anyone for it… there’s no point blaming yourself or the world or whatever the case may be because it happened and you have to continue to move and you have to continue to live and manage.”  Powerful words from someone who lost someone so recently.

Recently, she accepted a Noble Award on her father’s behalf which he received in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and his work with the Challenged Athlete Foundation, an organization that provides prosthetics to disabled athletes.

It appears as though the late actor’s daughter has that same caring spirit. In her own effort to raise awareness, she tweeted: “It’s bedtime here, but before I go, please take 5 minutes today & have a conversation about mental health. End the stigma. It’s #timetotalk.”

She’s absolutely right. Have you started the conversation among your friends and family?



Jonathan Knight Says “Amazing Race” Helped His Anxiety

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

In their heyday, the New Kids on the Block were one of the biggest acts in the music industry. Recently, they have enjoyed a successful comeback complete with new albums, sold out tours and even themed cruises.

NEW YORK-MAY 31: (L-R) Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, Donnie WahlberOver the years, Jonathan Knight, a member of the super group, has revealed how difficult it was to blend in on stage and perform with the other guys (including his brother, Jordan). For decades, he has struggled with, sometimes, debilitating anxiety. In one interview with Oprah, he was so visibly upset that his entire body was trembling.

It was a surprise, therefore, that he chose to participate on The Amazing Race. Knight acknowledged this during an interview with ETOnline and said: “I think a lot of fans were surprised that I did the Race. It was totally outside the box and outside the normal of what I would do but a big part of me doing that was just to overcome some fears and to challenge myself to put myself out there and go through the audition process.”

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How Gabrielle Giffords is Using Music Therapy to Heal

By Jeanne Croteau • 1 min read

The world was stunned when House of Representatives member, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head while meeting constituents in January 2011. The democrat from Arizona was critically injured but never gave up. She has had to learn to walk and talk all over again and, while speaking was initially very difficult, she has regained an amazing talent – the ability to sing.Music

The former congresswoman posted a video on Facebook that went viral because it showed her singing gleefully along to “Maybe,” a song from the hit Broadway show, Annie. The song choice was particularly meaningful since the 44-year-old shared a photo of herself in the title role of Annie in community theater as a child.

Giffords shared the video wanted to show other brain injury patients how much they can accomplish with the help of music. During her recovery, Giffords saw a music therapist (with whom she sings in the video) at the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation and Research Hospital in Houston.

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Sia’s Hidden Face: Addiction and Social Anxiety

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

Australian singer, Sia Furler, has been around for a long time but some may struggle to recognize her. She often refuses to be photographed for interviews and uses stand-ins like 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler to represent her in music videos.LOS ANGELES - FEB 08:  Sia & Maddie arrives to the Grammy Awards

She has, of course, written songs for herself (including the smash hit, “Chandelier”) but she’s found a real niche in penning tunes for others including Rihanna (“Diamonds”), David Guetta (“Titanium”) and Flo Rida (“Wild Ones”).  Rather than trying to soak up every bit of notoriety, Sia seems content to remain in the shadows despite her immense success.

While agreeing to an often-quoted article for the New York Times last year, she declined to have her picture taken and when she graced the cover of Billboard, she wore a paper bag over her head. Some have accused the star of trying to drum up publicity but, really, the answer is much simpler – fame makes her very uncomfortable.

Although she, as a solo artist, is suddenly very popular, she had a chance to come into the public eye back in 2005 when her ballad, “Breathe Me,” was used in the final scene of HBO series, Six Feet Under. The song went viral, selling 1.2 million copies and her manager even tried to seize the opportunity to launch a tour. The only problem was that Sia didn’t want that.

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Imagine Dragons Musician Reveals Battle with Depression

By Jeanne Croteau • 2 min read

When we see people achieve fame and fortune, too often we assume that all of their problems are solved. Of course, that is not how mental illness works. We know this from watching Robin Williams lose his years-long battle with depression. It can be so disorienting and confusing when a public figure reveals a struggle but it’s so important for them to share because it raises awareness.

Imagine Dragons has topped the charts with some of the biggest songs in the past year including “Radioactive” and “Demons” but now, band member, Dan Reynolds, is opening up about his personal life.  Overall, he admits to being “depressed as hell.”

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