WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Many local comedians have shared empathy in the passing of Robin Williams, as they find themselves struggling with their own careers.
CBS2’s Lisa Sigell spoke with Ildiko L. Tabori, resident house therapist at the Laugh Factory, about her experience in treating comedians in crisis.
KNX 1070’s Thom Tran shares his struggles on coming to terms with Williams’ apparent suicide.
For the past three years, Tabori has treated many comedians who have suffered from depression and bipolar disorder.
“From what I understand, there had been a suicide at least once a year in this population,” said Tabori. “It’s a very lonely career.”
Changes in appetite, sleep patterns and personality changes can all be symptoms of depression.
“The applause when you’re on the stage is very very addictive, but it gets very quiet when you get off the stage,” Tabori said.
However, Tabori said, Williams was not alone in his struggles, as many comedians feel deep sadness behind their smiles and laughter.
Fellow comedian Dom Irrera was friends with Williams for more than 30 years but was still surprised by the news of his friend.
“In my heart, I believe it was a chemical breakdown,” Irrera said. “He was such a good actor, maybe he was acting his way through it to not hurt anybody else.”
Experts stress the importance of changing the stigma of these diseases so people can get the help they need.