It isn’t often that we associate a comedy actor with an existential sage, but the way The Mask actor, Jim Carey framed his understanding of this particular aspect of mental health was pretty insightful.
Speaking in a video interview on Absolute TV, Carey, who has been very open about his own struggle with anxiety and depression, believes it is all about ego. His take is that we need to let go of the desire to be important – to be someone, to matter.
“I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me.”
“People talk about depression all the time. The difference between depression and sadness is just from happenstance—whatever happened or didn’t happen for you, or grief, or whatever it is. Depression is your body saying f*ck you, I don’t want to be this character anymore, I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me.”
The Ace Ventura: Pet Detective actor underwent a well-publicised time of personal stress in recent years after the death of his late ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White. He was accused of supplying the prescription drugs she took before committing suicide in 2015.
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In a post shared by tens of thousands including singer Ariana Grande, who herself has been very vocal about her struggles with depression, Carey explained that “you should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.”
Carey pointed out that he finally came to this startling realisation after years of fame: That it is completely pointless to spend our whole lives creating some specific identity for ourselves.
Describing himself as ‘sometimes happy’, the 57-year-old says it is an awakening that has helped him overcome some of his deeper issues.
“I have no depression in my life whatsoever—literally none. I have sadness, and joy, and elation, and satisfaction, and gratitude beyond belief. But all of it is weather, and it just spins around the planet. It doesn’t sit on me long enough to kill me. It’s just ideas.”
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