08-13 The power of humor: How comedy writing soothes the soul

Posted in Humor, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Therapy

The power of humor: How comedy writing soothes the soul

Laughter is one of the mind’s greatest medicines. Using humor is a great escape and can prove to be a temporary treatment for some woes and burdens. Comedians are not exempt from using their work as a coping mechanism as some using their own mental illnesses to create material, according to humorist and published author Mike Sacks (Peters, 2014).

In his ventures of interviewing comedians for his books, Sacks has found obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) especially common among his subjects. He also noted many of these people harness mental disorders into a focus on comedic writing rather than feeling discomfort or fixating on some other habit.

OCD is a potentially serious condition characterized by repeated and unwanted thoughts or images of various ideas including any number of perturbing concepts. Repeated and near uncontrollable habits are also common for OCD patients and can require mental health intervention to break them (National Institute of Mental Health).

The only drawback of using misery for comedy, according to Sacks, is the potentially unending thirst for treatment through positive audience reaction rather than resolving core issues.

While not every funny man or woman has a mental illness, those who do struggle with mental health disorders explain why comedy works to fight the despair in their worlds.

“The worst thing about living in this world, in general, is that things get overwhelming and things cause a tremendous amount of despair and anxiety,” said Marc Maron, a comedian and television show host. He finds saying a few lines and creating humor about these dark demons goes a long way toward slaying them (Evens, 2012).

Kevin Hart is another comedian who seeks refuge in humor. He thinks it’s critical for people to stand up and say, “This is who I am,” addressing their personal difficulties before they grow too overwhelming. He didn’t want to discuss his mother dying, his father’s addiction to drugs or the topic of divorce, but Hart needed the refuge of humor and honesty. He also felt a growing respect from his audience when tackling these issues.

Processes of depression, OCD, grief and more are quite involved and can require treatments from mental health professionals for a complete analysis and assistance.

The Depression Treatment Centers of California is a strong resource for patients needing more than humor to treat what ails them. Intelligent and compassionate mental health professionals are available to unpack the symptoms of various mental disorders, including depression. To find a depression treatment center nearby, please call us day or night for a quick referral.


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