What’s the Deal With Comedians and Depression?

Williams spoke openly about his lifelong battle with addiction, alcoholism and depression. In 2006, he checked himself into rehab after a relapse, and then checked himself in again for undisclosed reasons last month.

He is certainly not http://comedianagency.weebly.com/ the only https://medium.com/@comedianagency comedian who has ever lived with depression and addiction. Comedian Marc Maron has spoken publicly about having severe depression. So has stand-up comedian Jim Norton. John Belushi, Chris Farley and Greg Giraldo all died of drug overdoses.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=zBWupH5rPm78.k-paKmQ1NcdU

And in 2007, Richard Jeni committed suicide by shooting himself in the face.

The reason so many comedians are at risk for mental illness is because being funny is not the same thing as being happy, said Dr. Rami Kaminski, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University School of Medicine. He said he believes many comedians mine humor as a way to escape depression and anxiety.

“It’s like someone who is afraid of heights but chooses to take up skydiving,” he said. “If they are funny all the time, maybe they will be able to feel a little bit better.”

Dr. Michael Clarke, the vice chairman for clinical affairs in the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said research shows that, in general, creativity and mental illness often go hand in hand.

“People with a more creative side do seem to have a greater rate of mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder,” he said. “We don’t know exactly why this is but it could have a biological basis in the emotional centers of the brain.”

However, Clarke said, not every comedian is mentally ill. He added that mental illness usually hampers creativity — so that. https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=zBWupH5rPm78.k-paKmQ1NcdU

when someone is in a depressed state, they are often less productive.

“Illness can inform someone’s work but when we are talking about mood disorders we are talking about disease states of the brain. Their thinking is impaired and they aren’t always capable of making good decisions,” he said.

Kaminski said Williams may have been in this impaired frame of mind when he decided to commit suicide.

“Many comedians tend to be http://www.alternion.com/users/agency/ depressed because they are trying to get out of their dark world by being funny,” he said. “But only those that are clinically depressed are at risk for committing suicide.”

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