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On stage, Shawn Colvin sings haunting songs, but what fans don't know is that she has lived much of the sadness she writes about in her lyrics. In 1999, Shawn walked away with two Grammys® for her hit song "Sonny Came Home." But what none of us knew was that Shawn was hiding a very painful secret—her battle with depression.

Even when she was a young child, she was plagued with dark thoughts. "I remember wishing I was dead," says Shawn. "I don't know, maybe other 4 and 5 year olds think that. It just seems pretty extreme to me." At 19, Shawn says she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder along with depression. Unlike Linda Hamilton and Maurice Benard, Shawn's depression has no manic phase, no highs to her lows.

When Shawn's feelings of despair grew out of control she says she began drinking heavily. "I drank every night," says Shawn. "I was anxious and depressed and obsessed. And when I drank, I didn't feel that way. I felt carefree. It was really the hangovers that got me. Eventually, after a few years of it, when I would wake up hung over like that, I would want to be dead. I would feel suicidal."
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FROM: Depressed, Mentally Ill and Famous
Published on November 17, 2004

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