Buzz Aldrin, overcoming depression

Buzz Lightyear was named in honor of Buzz Aldrin one of the astronaut to walk on the moon yet he suffered from depression when he returned.

Buzz Lightyear was named in honor of Buzz Aldrin the astronaut on the Apollo 11, the first spacecraft to ever land on the moon.

Buzz Aldrin returned to earth a celebrity and toured the world to share his experience. Yet he had no idea how life could offer him more then what he had experienced by walking on the moon. By the end of that same year, Buzz become clinically depressed.  He said “ There was no goal, no sense of calling, no project worth pouring myself into”.


Image: Wikipedia.org

Buzz felt a sense of hopelessness and despair and found it difficult getting out of bed. He became addicted to alcohol and his marriage fell apart.

Buzz had a family history of depression. His mother died by suicide just like his grandfather. Research has shown that more than 60% of those who die by suicide had suffered from depression.

3 years after his mental struggles started, Buzz left his job in the air-force and opened up about his struggles about alcoholism and depression. Much to his surprise, people responded with compassion and encouragement. Buzz subsequently took on the job of director at the National Association for Mental Health. However, his recovery journey smitten with multiple relapses and even more failures in personal life and relationships. Finally in 1978, after another failed marriage and after struggling almost 10 years with alcoholism, Buzz gave up drinking and began his real journey of recovery.




Before Buzz became an astronaut, he was a fighter pilot during the Korean war and was awarded many distinguished flying crosses. He later attained a Doctorate in Astronautics and joined NASA. Yet after all those magnificent achievements, Buzz Aldrin fell into depression and alcoholism.

There is no shame in having mental struggles. Mental disorder can happen to the best of people and it is not a personality weakness. Buzz Aldrin said that it takes more courage and strength to live with a mental disorder than to do all his other heroic acts. For those of us who are fighting this daily battle of our minds, know that you are a hero.

However, what we do to cope with the disease can determine how long it takes to recover. Turning to harmful substances like alcohol, smoking and self-harm can complicate the recovery process. Getting professional help early gives us a better chance of recovery.


If you are struggling with difficult negative emotions that never seem to go away, try our mood check so that you’ll know what kind of help to get. Please tell someone responsible and who can help you with your struggle.


If you are struggling with thoughts of dying and ending your life, please seek help immediately. Please choose life, there is always a way out of your problems.





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