Robin Williams was one of many comedians who made people laugh while simultaneously struggling with a personal darkness. Are comics more prone to depression - and if so, why?
"It doesn't take a genius to work out that comedians are a little bit nuts." Those were the words of comedian Susan Murray earlier this year, responding to an academic study that suggested comedians had unusual psychological traits linked with psychosis.
It takes a certain type of person to stand up and make a fool of themselves in public. But there is a difference between being a bit zany and suffering mental health problems.
However, the image of comedians as tortured souls who tell jokes in an attempt to dispel their inner demons has become common over the years.
Kenneth Williams once said: "I certainly wouldn't call myself a happy human being. All the comedians I've known have been deeply depressive people, manic depressive... They kept it at bay with this facade.". Continue reading.
Originally posted on BBC News.
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