Anonymous asked: Hi Nate, you're hilarious and you're a family favorite. :) If you wouldn't mind answering a question, what do you think about the staggering statistic of comedians who suffer from anxiety and depression? How about addiction? Thank you for answering.
I’ve written about this before, and I’m happy to do it again.
I think if you look at any occupation you will find that a lot of people in that occupation suffer from anxiety and depression. I don’t think anxiety and depression are unique to comedians. It’s just that we care about and talk about entertainers a lot more than we talk about teachers, office workers, garbage men, etc. It’s a sexy story to talk about the conflicted comedian who is fighting his demons while struggling to make us laugh. It’s a lot less sexy to talk about the depressed factory workers of the world. But they’re out there too, and they deserve just as much support.
In regards to why comedians might be depressed or anxious, most anxiety and depression comes from unfulfilled wants and desires. Most comedians spend their entire career chasing after a dream that they will never achieve.
Personally, I still dream of being a full-time comedian, meaning I can pay all my bills from performing/writing comedy, and not have to work a day job. I may NEVER achieve that. If I focus on that, it can be pretty depressing. Instead I choose to focus doing what I can to make as many people laugh as I can every day, and if I spend the rest of my life doing that, even if I never become a full-time comedian, that will have been a pretty good life.
Now on to addiction and substance abuse. It’s true that there was a time when comedy club owners were actually paying comedians with drugs, but that era is over…mostly.
Again, I don’t think this is unique to comedians and entertainers. I just think we focus on it because we spend so much more time scrutinizing the lives of entertainers than we do with Subway Sandwich Artists. I think if you look at any group of people with a given occupation, there’s a high percentage of drug addiction. Look at, for instance, Canadian mayors…
Thanks for your question. My ask hole is always open.