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Tragic side of celebrity life

PUBLISHED: 09:38 25 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:31 05 July 2010

AT what point will people start to realise that there a lot of young celebrities crying out for help?

It's really no surprise when you think of the amount of paparazzi armed with their cameras when this week Heath Ledger's body was being taken out of his apartment after he died of a suspected drug overdose.

AT what point will people start to realise that there a lot of young celebrities crying out for help?

It's really no surprise when you think of the amount of paparazzi armed with their cameras when this week Heath Ledger's body was being taken out of his apartment after he died of a suspected drug overdose.

The extreme talent of this 28-year-old actor was desecrated by the hundreds of photo-hungry photographers who were anxiously waiting to take their precious snaps of the body of someone who wasn't just a world famous actor - he was an adored son, brother and father. It's a story which has echoes of River Phoenix.

When I heard of Ledger's death, I was completely shocked - what could have resulted in this gifted, well-liked and wealthy man losing his life? Surely he had everything he could ever want?

But when you start to think about it these celebrities, who constantly star in reports about their lives “going off the rails”, really aren't as lucky as we think. Their fame and fortune loses them their human right of privacy - their lives are never the same again. Every action, every thing they do, is scrutinised by the media. We may dream of fame and all the luxuries it brings with it, but at the end of the day, is it worth it if you can't walk down the street without being mobbed?

Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse are two other stars who are forever in the media spotlight - a focus which condemns them for playing up for the cameras and enjoying the attention, but do the photographers go away? Of course they don't, they simply continue to make their money and harass these stars, who if anything, just want to be left alone for a little while and sort their problematic lives out.

I can't imagine anyone would choose to be as distressed and as out-of-sync as Ms Spears or Ms Winehouse.

The family of Ledger have said that his death was a tragic accident but reports are being told of how he was having problems with sleeping, was becoming more and more withdrawn in recent times, and how playing the part of the Joker in the new Batman film may have proved too much for the young star - in a recent interview he told how the role of a “murderous psychopath” had left him “sleepless and exhausted”. He is also said to have recently suffered pneumonia. All this stress and health worries, if true, must have made his life very unhappy. Burning the candles at both ends comes to mind.

It's an interesting thought that we can lose perspective and feel depressed and alone yet still put on that "brave face" that in the end prevents people from helping us, which is all we wanted all along. Sometimes we feel like we would rather die than ask for help - and it looks like some people do.

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