What makes Britney Spears shave her head and check herself into a rehab hours later? Sounds like a classic case of depression and stress. When the person is a celebrity, the action is all the more shocking and the disgrace all the greater. Well, she looks OK though she is no Sidney Sheldon. Having shaved off her locks, Britney seems to have consciously let go of the tangled mess of her life in a couldn’t-care-less manner. Her bravado hints of the great tension and pressure behind her seemingly glamorous and beautiful appearance. She looks sexy but she feels ungainly. She wears expensive clothes but she feels dirt-cheap inside. She has millions of dollars in her account, but she is poor in soul and spirit. Poor little rich girl!

Celebrities worldwide have been known to give way to the pressure of stardom and being in the limelight. Some have even taken the last resort of committing suicide. Two Korean actresses who recently killed themselves are classic examples. Talented Hong Kong star, Leslie Cheung, killed himself by jumping off a building in a move many termed shocking and beyond comprehension.

Winona Ryder has been known to steal from shops in a mind-boggling disclosure of kleptomaniac disease made all the more shocking by her enviable beauty and fame. Michael Jackson totally submitted himself to the knife to become a person who is as far removed from his old self as possible. He has truly become a shadow and ghost of himself in terms of his music and personal self. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Tyra Banks have put on excessive weight and turned themselves into fat ladies or old hags. Of course, some celebrities put on and lose weight as fast and as frequently as they change clothings – all signs of immense stress.

Royal families have their share in the hall of shame. Princess Diana was hailed as the Princess of Hearts upon her marriage to Prince Charles but subjected herself to bulimia and anorexia nervosa years later. She was involved in a road accident and died in the car with her millionaire boyfriend in tow. Disgrace trailed the British royal family in the wake of her death. All said and done, adultery is no excuse for relieving pressure, especially when you’re part of the royal family and married to the man who is second in line to the throne. Diana was lucky to escape public condemnation but unlucky not to evade death.

Crown Princess Masako of Japan suffered severe depression after marrying into the oldest monarchy in the world. A diplomat by profession before her marriage and having studied in Harvard and Oxford, Masako suffered bouts of depression which totally transformed her from a formerly optimistic and outgoing self into a sad-looking woman. She faced great pressure to bear a son to continue the chrysanthemum line but only bore a girl in 2002.

Celebrities break down when they face too much pressure than they can bear, just like ordinary people. The sexy, the beautiful and the famous have no protection against emotional breakdown. They are just as vulnerable, maybe more, due to the pressure to succeed or to be beautiful and popular. Well, get used to bald Britney, for her breakdown is a signal to the world that celebrities, too, suffer from emotional breakdown and depression.