Did you know that over 300 million people suffered from depression in 2017 globally? Depression is one of the most prevalent and well documented mental illnesses in the world.
Many celebrities, including prominent comedians, have spoken publicly about their experiences with depression. Sometimes they have had a loved one who had depression. In other cases, they are sufferers themselves but risked public stigma to talk openly about it.
Three of these are Maria Bamford, Chris Gethard, and Gary Gulman. Want to hear what they had to say about it? Read on to find out.
Stephen Colbert described Maria Bamford as his favorite comedian. Despite her comedic successes, she still struggles with depression every day. She has set the goal to use comedy to raise awareness for mental illness and combat the stigmas still attached to talking about them.
Bamford does not shy away from providing specifics regarding her own illness. In her 2009 album Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome, she discusses her mental illness diagnosis. She describes her bipolar disorder and the breakdown that left her institutionalized.
Chris Gethard is willing to go a step farther and discuss the possible source of his mental illness. While many would shy away from revealing a family history of illness, he makes it part of his routine.
In interviews, he discusses the victims of depression in his family including his grandparents. He faces the issue by expressing the damage that stigma and “sweeping it under the carpet” caused to his family.
He even opens up about his struggle with suicidal thoughts. Including an incident when he was 21 that could have led to his death.
Chris Gethard is opening up and telling the world that speaking about even critical mental illnesses is a positive step.
Stigmas are difficult to face. This is exemplified by comedian Gary Gulman, who although speaking about mental difficulties from the start of his career, would not initially use the word depression.
In time this has changed and now he discusses depression extensively. Gulman now uses his comedy as a stage to discuss not only the experience of mental illness but also the treatments available. He admits that in doing this, and in the name of education, he departs from comedy to the serious.