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One of the great sources of joy in this world is watching a comedy unfold. Comedy, be it of any kind or variety, is a great stress buster. People lead hectic lives from which they need a break from every now and then and comic reliefs can be a great outlet in overcoming stress.
The best part about being a comedian in today’s world is that it doesn’t cater to the standard gender bias. Female comedians are thriving in the field and there have been some path-breaking women who have taken the comic tag and made it their own. Lynne Parker, founder of “Funny Women,” a leading comedy club of U.K., founded the company to provide a platform to budding female artists who could share their funny side with the public. 14 years ago, the idea might have sounded bizarre to people but these days, comedy has become a popular genre, both on and off stage.
However, there is a dark side to every good thing. Female comedians, just like men, can suffer from poor mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse as indicated by a study.
Creative people tend to display psychotic personality traits
Researchers from the University of Oxford and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust floated out an online questionnaire to around 523 comedians (119 women and 404 men) from the U.S., U.K. and Australia. The purpose of floating this questionnaire was to analyze the psychotic traits in healthy people.
As a control group, 364 actors and 831 non-creative people were also asked to complete the questionnaire. The results proved that comedians displayed a pattern of behavior that swung between the extremes, from an extrovert to a recluse. They also scored higher on four psychotic personality traits that the researchers had considered for the study. The researchers also noticed that men were quicker to respond to the survey and baring their souls than women.
Although the “the actors’ responses in the ‘control’ group almost equaled the comedians’ but were, again, unsurprisingly less introverted”, as Lynn pointed out. Comedy may not be always funny for the doer and can be very demanding in terms of frequent fluctuations in mood and expressions. Also, a comedian is under a constant divide between the real world and a dream land which can result in split personality disorders. Eventually, “losing their mental ability to create can drive them into a spiral of drink, drugs and obsessional despair.”
Being a comedian does not amount to madness
Comedy is an act of self-medication. Even though the comedians may suffer from manic thinking, this doesn’t imply that they are mad. Reflecting a personality other than one’s own is an extremely difficult task and can take a toll on one’s mental health. But the study in no way attempts to stereotype comedians as madmen or madwomen.
As the study points out that women are more hesitant in admitting to possibilities of a psychotic condition, it becomes even more important to have more groundbreaking studies to explore how comedy can help heal oneself and others or if comedy is just a mechanism to escape from day-to-day hardships just as drugs or alcohol are.
Seeking recovery from a mental illness
Mental illness of any kind requires professional help from counselors and therapists who understand the situation well and have a vast experience in providing accurate treatment. If you or your loved one is suffering from any sort of mental disorder, the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline can suggest some good mental health centers to seek the desired treatment. You may call our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 for further assistance or chat online with our experts to know the ideal mental health services near you.