Posted by: Jim Laurie | November 11, 2010

Jim Carrey and his struggles with depression

Jim Carrey and his struggles with depression

James Eugene Carrey.

January 17, 1962, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.

Carrey’s family was Catholic, with French Canadian roots. His parents are Percy and Kathleen Carrey. He has three older siblings, John, Patricia and Rita.

Carrey has been married twice, first to Melissa Womer, with whom he had a daughter, Jane, then to actress Lauren Holly. They divorced after one year.

Carrey attended high school at Agincourt Collegiate Institute, but dropped out at the age of 16.

After leaving school, Carrey worked in comedy clubs. At 17 he moved to LA and began working at The Comedy Club, where he was discovered by Rodney Dangerfield and signed to open his shows.

He made his film debut in the aptly titled “Rubberface” in 1981, but didn’t experience box office success until a decade later with “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective”. Although panned by critics, it was a commercial success. He made headlines with “The Cable Guy”, receiving a record 20 million dollar paycheck.

Best known for his lively physical comedy and almost rubber like facial expressions, Jim Carrey revealed in a 2004 60 Minutes interview that the inspiration for his funniness was “desperation”.

Carrey said of his youth, “I had a sick mom, man. I wanted to make her feel better. Basically, I think she laid in bed and took a lot of pain pills. And I wanted to make her feel better. And I used to go in there and do impressions of praying mantises, and weird things, and whatever. I’d bounce off the walls and throw myself down the stairs to make her feel better.”

At the age of 16 he went through even more difficult times. “My family kinda hit the skids. We were experiencing poverty at that point. We all got a job, where the whole family had to work as security guards and janitors. And I just got angry,” says Carrey. “I was angry at the world for doing that to my father. I wanted to bash somebody’s head in, basically.”

Even though Carrey worked hard and achieved great success in his career, he still suffered from depression. In the 60 Minutes interview he explained, “There are peaks, there are valleys. But they’re all kind of carved and smoothed out, and it feels like a low level of despair you live in. Where you’re not getting any answers, but you’re living OK. And you can smile at the office. You know? But it’s a low level of despair.” Carrey further revealed, “I was on Prozac for a long time. It may have helped me out of a jam for a little bit, but people stay on it forever. I had to get off at a certain point because I realized that, you know, everything’s just OK.”

He no longer takes Prozac or an other drug, but instead copes through spirituality. “I rarely drink coffee. I’m very serious about no alcohol, no drugs. Life is too beautiful.”



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