Chris Rock: "Comedians Can Be a Sad Bunch"

remembering robin

Comedian Chris Rock reflects on the connection between comedy and depression.

Aug 13, 2014 | 11:41 AM

As the world continues to mourn the loss of one of its most brilliant comedians, reports continue to trickle in regarding Robin Williams' cause of death—ruled as a suicide—and the longterm struggle against depression and addiction that led him to take his own life.

Fellow comedian Chris Rock shared a post on WhoSay, offering an insider's opinion about the connection between comedy and depression.

"And your job as a comedian, you know, is basically to notice everything. And the better the comedian, the more aware he or she is of the world around them. So you know, it can be not a happy place," Chris says.

Williams had always been candid about his struggles with addiction and depression, and admitted himself to rehab back in 2006, and again last month.

Chris' words resonate with the findings of clinical studies around creativity and depression. The vice chairman for clinical affairs at the department of psychiatry and behavior science of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Clarke, confirmed that there is likely a biological connection between creativity and mental illness.

“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.”

Regardless of the cause, we can only hope that the heartbreaking loss of Robin Williams brings the conversation about depression to the forefront.

Click here to learn more about the causes and symptoms of depression and where you can get help.

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