Tears of a Clown: on the Correlation between Comedians and Depression
In the wake of legendary actor, comedian, and philanthropist Robin Williams’ death, many are struggling to find answers for why some people are depressed and suicidal. A once taboo topic, people are now eager to discuss and attempt to comprehend the mental illness that is depression. Indeed, what was once believed to be a rare ailment that afflicted the crazed and downtrodden, is now known to be a widespread issue with no easy cures.
Keep Is Simple
In lieu of getting complex and explaining the confusing details about how depression affects the brain, I’ll keep this short and as simple as possible. There are billions of reasons why people end up feeling depressed. Sometimes it is brought on in early childhood from a series of unfortunate circumstances, other times it occurs later due to a traumatic event of chemical imbalances.
Laughter is Medicine
One of the main reasons it is so difficult to spot a person suffering from depression is that many are always laughing and joking. In fact, after such a person attempts (or commits) suicide, their closest friends and relatives are often left baffled, trying to fathom why such a happy person would take his or her own life.
Indeed, if you are so depressed, what is there to laugh about?? In short, everything! Think of it this way, depression is an illness that consists of an individual being attacked by their own brain, so to speak. When dealing with major issues (such as your own personal life and death) on a regular basis, you are likely to take laughs however you can get them. Even create your own.
Laughter brings relief as it takes your mind off of your own issues and also allows for you to bring cheer to the lives of others. Bringing cheer to others is something that oddly means a lot to many who suffer from this illness. It’s almost as if they want people to have what they feel they never can; true happiness. Comedians such as Robin Williams dedicate their lives to the feeling of communion with people that accompanies roaring laughter, but they are often left much less than thrilled once they exit the stage.
The untimely death of Robin Williams should be a wake-up call to us all. Let us leave no more cheerful clowns, to dry their own tears in private.