5 celebrities that battled depression and how different methods caused them to contain it while some ultimately lost the fight
There is a strange correlation between depression and comedy. As you go through a list of famous comedians you discover that the people you watch on TV that are so good at making you laugh and forget about your worries might be the ones that are silently battling the crippling mental condition known as depression.
There are many different ways to battle depression. The reason for that is that there is yet to be a single unifying method to cure it. A therapist, medication and natural remedies have to be used, sometimes all three together. Mostly, one has to improvise and see what works. The following famous comedians opted for a career in making other people laugh as a way to battle their own inner demons.
The quintessential funny man with a dark secret that led to a tragic suicide. Robin Williams had ADHD that was channelled into his characters on screen, as well as his persona of being extremely excited and wired constantly. Robin Williams was one of the best stand-up comedians of his time and also one of the most successful and recognized comedic actors. Robin Williams was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s that some say has a link to depression.
There have been many different takes on the meaning of Robin Williams’ suicide, sparking a global debate on how depression should be viewed. Some are of the opinion that it should be perceived as a permanent deficiency of some biological component. This conclusion satisfies most, but for the person who has depression this translated into a feeling that they are inferior to others in some way. Self-esteem issues and low self-confidence go hand in hand with depression and this theory may ultimately exacerbate these conditions.
When Williams killed himself and the ugly irony of comedians hiding depression as a dark secret made itself known, many wanted to find an explanation as to why depression cannot be defined. The problem lies in the fact that the one person that could give you an answer of why they did what they did is not around to give those answers, if any exist. Depression is so complex and convoluted that it may take a life-long pursuit of experimentation to see if anything truly works for an individual.
Robin Williams had many problems and personal despair that he had to overcome. There was the threat of bankruptcy that loomed over his head from time to time, forcing him to take on roles that he would not necessarily take. He battled addictions to drugs and alcohol that resulted in the failure of two of his marriages. He was also diagnosed with Parkinsons, a disease that would definitely have left him mentally disturbed.
What were the reasons for a depression so overwhelming that it causes one to take their own life? People commit suicide for different reasons. They might be ashamed of themselves in some way and seek suicide as a method to be free of this feeling. Sometimes it may be to release someone of a burden that they think they are causing, not understanding the other effects their death might have on their loved ones. Sometimes depression and suicide stems from anger. There are a range of emotions that are involved, which makes it even more important to realise that depression does not have a single answer, neither does it require over-simplification in an attempt to provide some solace to the people that are left behind when depression takes on one of it’s many conclusions.
Jim Carrey is one the first actors that come to mind when talking about comedy and his films have earned more than 100 million dollars at the box office. Jim Carey started out by being a comedian and has toured the standup circuit in the United States extensively at the beginning of his career. Jim Carrey has suffered from depression and ADHD for most of his life, eventually being prescribed Prozac for his condition.
Jim Carrey grew up in very tough conditions. His father lost his job when he was a child and his family at one point was living out of a van. Carrey had to eventually drop out of high school to help support his family, working as a janitor to help get by. He has said in an interview that he carried a baseball bat around on his janitor cart because he was so angry all the time he just wanted to smash something up.
Jim Carrey is one of the biggest examples of this correlation between depression and people turning to comedy. Carrey has mentioned that he felt making people laugh would help him be happy as well. Experience taught him that this was not the most effective of methods and showbiz has its own downward spiral attached to it. Carrey was prescribed Prozac. He has stated that this only made his depression worse. Eventually, spirituality and an acceptance that in life there are highs and lows and one just has to overcome their demons was what finally helped him to be a much happier person. Leaving the glare of the limelight might also have helped as Carrey took a hiatus from movies, appearing in a significantly less amount that the workaholic actor once used as a distraction from the dark thoughts that led to addiction and relationship problems.
Now with a much healthier outlook towards life, Carrey seems like he has made great progress in learning to maintain a stable mood. Since depression can never be cured per se, it’s helpful to cut any substances that affect the mood to ensure there is no chance of any external factor causing one’s mood to be erratic. Jim Carrey has said in interviews that he doesn’t even drink coffee now because he feels he does not need any substance to feel good about life.
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