TV personality Wayne Brady opened up on his battle with depression
Robin Williams' death inspired him to come forward
He hopes that sharing his journey will help someone else
In front of the camera, Wayne Brady has won awards for making people laugh. But behind the camera, the comedic talent has been struggling with depression.
It was a battle that he kept to himself until an interview Monday with “Entertainment Tonight,” when he said that Robin Williams’ recent death made him realize how important it was to speak publicly about facing depression.
Williams, who had been dealing with severe depression, was found dead of an apparent suicide in August at the age of 63.
“I think that when you keep these secrets, and something that you learn as you read more and go into treatments and get help is, that these secrets kill,” Brady told “ET” Monday. “Nobody wants to out themselves, so to speak. Or if they out themselves, it’s in a very Hollywood way. … If someone says, ‘I’m clinically depressed,’ that sounds like someone’s making something up.”
And when you have a job like Brady’s, some assume that you wouldn’t be prone to depression to begin with.
“I just did my 1,001st show of ‘Let’s Make A Deal.’ But then I would turn it into this thing of, ‘man, I’m doing “Let’s Make A Deal” when I could be doing this sitcom,’ ” Brady said. “Folks think, ‘Wayne Brady’s always happy.’ No, I’m not always happy, because I’m human.”
Depression was a factor when Brady’s marriage ended in 2006, but it wasn’t until his 42nd birthday in June that Brady knew he needed to seek help.
“I was there by myself, in my bedroom, and had a complete breakdown,” Brady said. “When I say breakdown, go ahead and imagine for yourself. Just a brother in his underwear, in his room crying. On that birthday was the beginning of ‘OK, I’ve got to make a change.’ ”
Now, Brady says he hopes that his admission will help someone else.
“I talked about it (because) I know not everyone is lucky enough to have a support system to talk, and and you may have a wall up that stands between you and help,” Brady said. “It may be pride, cultural stigma, shame or just plain old ‘I’ve got this!’ I’ve had all the above! If me talking about my personal journey helps someone, it’s all worth it. I’m very blessed to have a great job and family. I can now appreciate all of it much more. I love being able to bring those laughs to other (people) daily and laughing for real myself.”