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Seth Meyers: More Celebrities Should Speak Out About Depression

By David Konow 06/19/18

"We’d be better off if more successful people were honest and shared the fact that depression is something that chases you no matter what your status is."

Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers recently appeared on The Van Jones Show where he talked about the difficulties he faced when he debuted on Saturday Night Live and why he feels more celebrities should speak out about their mental health issues.

When Meyers joined SNL, he said he struggled with impostor syndrome, a psychological phenomenon where an individual doubts their talent or skill and are struck with a fear that they may be exposed.

“Ultimately it worked out for me by the time I got behind the [Weekend Update] desk,” Meyers says. “But in the beginning, the things that made Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader so great at that show were not skills that I had. It was hard because you get hired at SNL and you think, if they hired me, they know what they’re doing, I’m going to be great at this. Then you realize, maybe they’re having doubts as well that they screwed this up.”

The SNL environment can be an especially frightening pressure cooker for comedians. Meyers' former cast mate Bill Hader has also spoken out about the anxiety he felt when doing the show. Hader recently said in a Rolling Stone interview that during his SNL stint, stage fright gave him massive migraines that “were off the charts. I was so nervous all the time and I was smoking like a chimney... I’ve stopped smoking, and I don’t get them so often anymore.”

Appearing on Van Jones in the wake of the high-profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, Meyers also spoke out about depression, and why he feels more celebrities should come forward and be open about it.

“I think one of the problems for people who are successful, is they think the last thing anyone wants to hear is them talk about is how they’re depressed,” Meyers says. “Because from the outside people are like, ‘What do you have to be depressed about? You have everything anyone could want.’ I think we’d be better off if more successful people were honest and shared the fact that depression is something that chases you no matter what your status is. It’s a very real thing, and the more you talk about it, the better off you’re going to be.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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