Comedian Wayne Brady may have a reputation as the goofy, happy-go-lucky guy who made us laugh on shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and How I Met Your Mother, but the actor publicly acknowledged for the first time that he suffered from debilitating depression.
In an interview set to air Monday, Brady revealed to Entertainment Tonight that he's long kept his depression a secret: "People are like, 'Wayne Brady's always happy!' No I'm not. Because I'm human."
After describing how paralyzing his depression could be, Brady recalled his turning point on his 42nd birthday: "I was there by myself, in my bedroom and I had a complete breakdown … Just go ahead and imagine for yourself a brother in his underwear, in his room, you got snot … and that birthday was the beginning of, 'OK, I've got to make a change.'"
Fortunately, he's now on the path to recovery, a direction he says his ex-wife Mandie Taketa pushed him in. The suicide of his friend Robin Williams was another wake up call.
"It took me a while to get my stuff together to go, 'You know what? If you're not happy, you have to do something about it,'" he said. "Just to admit that you are feeling this way is a huge step. To claim that, to say, 'Why do I feel dark? Why do I feel unhappy? Let me do something about this.'"
While high-energy people such as Brady are the last people we expect to be depressed, it's important to remember how different people can be in their public and private lives. We're glad Brady had the courage to open up about his condition — which still carries a stigma — and we hope his actions inspire others to seek treatment.
You can watch the preview of ET's interview with Brady below: