Arguably, one of the last things anyone could fathom is a depressed Wayne Brady. However, in a shocking interview, the funnyman revealed his struggles with clinical depression. Brady detailed how he, like many others, suffered in silence over the mental condition. Additionally, the Whose Line Is It Anyway star revealed how severe depression caused him to hit the lowest point in his life.
Fans of Wayne Brady know him as an effervescent and colorful comedian who has a penchant for improvisation. But when Brady sat down with Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner, he revealed a stark contrast of the persona he exhibits in his line of work. Wayne said the world saw him chock full of grins and antics on the outside. Meanwhile, he was dying on the inside, and the culprit he kept concealed from the public was clinical depression.
“People are like, ‘Wayne Brady’s always happy!’ No I’m not. Because I’m human.
“Having a bad day is one thing, having a bad week is another, having a bad life … You don’t want to move, you can’t move in the darkness. You’re like, ‘I am just going to sit right here and I want to wallow in this. As much as it hurts, I am going to sit right here because this is what I deserve. This is what I deserve, so I am going to sit here because I am that horrible of a person.'”
Brady explained how the constant pressure from his career required that he mask his pain. However, the struggles amounted to building up a resume of lies that ran aground after some time. In short, the untruths about his closeted depression became a self-fulfilling prophecy, according to ETOnline.
“It starts this cycle where you tell yourself these lies… and those lies become true to you. So, you stick to your own truth you’ve set up. ‘If I am this bad, then why should any of this matter?’ I feel at that point, you end up wanting to stop the pain.”
Wayne Brady’s struggle with depression took its toll on two fronts: he reached a low point in his life and experienced a breakdown. He was also rocked by the death of Robin Williams.
“When he was on stage [in] full-on Robin mode — and I know this from being blessed enough to work with him — you could not touch that man.”
Brady goes on to talk about how Williams was struggling with so much pain on the inside that he laughed and made others do the same as a means of therapy. In the end, according to Wayne, laughter, “accolades,” and all the money in the world were not enough to save Robin from self-destruction.
Luckily, on Brady’s 42nd birthday, he had an epiphany. Having reached what appeared as the end of the road for the comedian, he suddenly realized that life was too precious to check out. It was at this time — while having “snot” running out his nose, and being the “brother” in his dark bedroom in his underwear sulking — Wayne Brady realized that life was worth living and he was committed to living and thriving without regret.
Brady is now on the road to recovery, but wants the world to know that clinical depression is real, potentially deadly and shouldn’t be subject to stigma. Wayne credits his ex-wife of eight years, Mandie Taketa, for rescuing him from his depressed state. They divorced in 2007, but are still good friends and are co-parenting their 11-year-old daughter.
[Image via: The Grio]