December 1, 2017

Jim Carrey explains Depression in the Best Way I’ve ever Heard.

Jim Carrey talks about his battle with depression. He explains just how tough suffering from depression can be, and how finding freedom from depression is tied to separating from the ego.

When I think of a great Buddhist teacher, Jim Carrey isn’t the first to come to mind. But wow. The now heavily-bearded actor, who recently created quite a buzz when he made an interviewer super uncomfortable on the red carpet, has some pretty profound things to say about this complicated, fun, difficult, and beautiful thing we call the human experience:

Carrey shares the startling realization he came to after years of fame: it’s totally pointless to spend our whole lives creating and curating some specific identity for ourselves.

This is all ego: desiring to be important, to be someone, to matter. In reality, this grasping at a singular identity brings us only pain and suffering, for three main reasons. One, it introduces a separation between us and all other beings that dishonors our inherent, interconnected nature. Two, it deludes us into thinking that things are not supposed to change—that we are not supposed to change. Three, it leads us away from resting in our own basic goodness, as it makes us feel that we aren’t enough just as we are, right now.

The antidote to this suffering is to let go of this desire to be “someone.” As Carrey beautifully puts it, “The feeling of wholeness is a different feeling than me-ness.” To feel whole, we must let go of trying to maintain an image of “me.”

See also: Depression: 6 Ways to Battle Back

Drawing from his own experience, Carrey then connects this truth to the condition of depression:

“People talk about depression all the time. The difference between depression and sadness is sadness is just from happenstance—whatever happened or didn’t happen for you, or grief, or whatever it is. Depression is your body saying f*ck you, I don’t want to be this character anymore, I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me.

You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.”

That might be the best assessment of depression I’ve ever heard.

Let’s give ourselves (what is “self,” anyway?) a break and let go of whatever identities we’ve worked so hard to create. Let’s instead live with an open heart and a sense of humor about ourselves and our world—since, in the words of Jim Carrey, none of it matters anyway.

And that’s a comforting thought.

“I have no depression in my life whatsoever—literally none. I have sadness, and joy, and elation, and satisfaction, and gratitude beyond belief. But all of it is weather, and it just spins around the planet. It doesn’t sit on me long enough to kill me. It’s just ideas.” ~ Jim Carrey


author: Callie Rushton

Image: YouTube

Relephant Bonus:

10 Basic Salves for Burn-Out & Everyday Depression.

What to do if (when) you feel Sad & even Depressed.

5 Mindful Things to do First Thing in the Morning.

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Jeff Brown Jul 15, 2019 2:03pm

Jim is no expert on healing depression. The blaming of the ego is fundamental to most patriarchal spiritualities, as is blaming the mind, the self, the stories, the body, the feelings. He is spending too much time listening to Tolle, when he would be better served working with a body-centered psychotherapist. Because there is no “monkey mind”- there is only the “monkey heart.” His perspective fails to recognize that one couldn’t function without a healthy ego, and one cannot heal without thawing out the grief and anger. He must get below his mask, to the emotional material that fueled his hunger for stardom. Denying the self altogether, won’t help at all. Yes, the unhealthy aspects of the ego contribute to our malaise, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Depression is frozen feeling. It’s unresolved emotional material that has frozen deep within, and no ego-bashing mind-centric technique is going to excavate it and resolve it. It may provide temporary relief, but it won’t provide sustainable transformation. To heal it, you have to feel it. You have to go deep within the body caverns, and raise the unthawed feelings from their burial ground. This is what I was writing about in ‘Grounded Spirituality’. The only way to it, is through it. You can’t transcend what you carry. It lives in your cells.

josie.stamper Jun 3, 2019 8:39am

I have to read it again and again as it’s pretty deep for me….but I love what he says and believe it. Very profound and true.

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Callie Rushton

Callie Rushton lives by her favorite quote by E.B. White, which reads: I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. Formerly a full-time activist, Callie now spends her days editing for elephant journal. When she’s not working, you can find her climbing, knitting, reading The New Yorker, watching Netflix, or exploring the great outdoors. You can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.