Brady, known for his comic antics on The Wayne Brady Show, How I Met Your Mother, Let’s Make a Deal and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, among many others, revealed that he suffered from debilitating depression and had a nervous breakdown on his 42nd birthday.
“People are like, ‘Wayne Brady’s always happy!'” he told Entertainment Tonight. “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,” he explained. “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.’
“It starts this cycle where you tell yourself these lies… and those lies become true to you,” he says. “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.”
The turning point, he said, was his 42nd birthday, which was spent being beyond miserable. “I was there by myself, in my bedroom and I had a complete breakdown… Just go ahead and imagine for yourself a brother in his underwear, in his room, you got snot… and that birthday was the beginning of, ‘OK, I’ve got to make a change.'”
Brady revealed he can absolutely relate to Robin Williams and the darkness that led the famed actor to take his own life — and that it’s a bigger problem in Hollywood than we realize because drug abuse is more accepted than depression.
“When he was onstage [in] full-on Robin mode — and I know this from being blessed enough to work with him — you could not touch that man,” he said. “He made all these people feel great. And at the same time, knowing that he had this sense of… what I make up in my mind, this low sense of self-worth, of belonging, of loneliness, of pain that all the money in the world can’t cure, all the accolades and awards, and all the love from people all over the world… all that love could still not stop that man from saying, ‘I am in so much pain.’
“Nobody wants to out themselves, so to speak, or if they out themselves, it’s in a very — I hate to say it — Hollywood way,” he says. “It’s actually cool to go into rehab for some people… But if someone says, ‘I’m clinically depressed,’ that sounds like someone’s making something up. It’s like, ‘Psst, you’re not depressed.'”