Bill Burr and his battle with depression

This article will focus on the comedian Bill Burr and how he has struggled with depression. The article will explain how he felt, and what impact his mental health struggles had on him. Aside from that, the article will explain who Bill Burr is.

Bill Burr and his battle with depression

Bill Burr the famous comedian has had a tortuous life, and depression has been a part of it. His comedy, which is often based on angry ideas, has made the world think of him as an angry person. 

And there may be some truth to that. In an open and honest interview given to The Hollywood Reporter, the comedian talked about his life, his trauma, and how he dealt with depression.

Although he came from a common suburban family, he lived with a father that was constantly emotionally abusing him. That led him to change the way he acted at home, and around people in the coming years. In the interview, he said that, years later, he discovered why he became a comedian. He said:

“I thought I became a comedian because I loved comedy and I liked making people laugh. But I became a comedian because, by the time I was 23, I was so walled-off and fucked-up that doing stand-up was the easiest way to go into a room full of strangers and make them like me so that no one would hurt me. I was onstage with the mindset of a 6-year-old from 23 to about 37.”

Showing how he may have used humor as a coping mechanism to deal with the hardship of his life since going through emotional abuse can scar a person. But even though he was using humor, it doesn’t mean that the path of comedy was all easy. 

Little by little, he was discovering that he needed to push himself harder and harder to do well. About this period, he said:

“But each time I could be better than the last. And what you find is you have more in the tank than you think you do if you push yourself. That’s why you should never judge somebody because you have no idea what they have. Not only that, they don’t have any idea what they have until they push themselves.”

But with time, he was feeling frustrated with the lack of progress in his career. Even though he had some sort of recognition, by the time he was 37, he was sleeping on a futon and was feeling depressed. When talking about that depressing period of his life, he said:

“I had no manager and no booking agent. I got unincorporated because I wasn’t making enough money. I was back to living in a walk-through in New York. The phone wasn’t ringing.”

And by then, the only thing that was keeping him afloat from depression was the possibility of being on a stage. And with time, this depression he felt turned into anger. And that anger began to show in his work, and in reality, became a source of it.

And even though it seems he never developed a more serious case of depression, it can be that his anger and irritability were a sign of it. And as he became more and more known, and was praised for his work, much of what he desired was achieved in life. 

Nowadays he is married and has a kid. And with time, he even understood that therapy was an important thing to him. And because of his family, he went back to it. During The Hollywood Reporter interview, he openly talks about how therapy has been helping him deal with his anger. To that he said:

“I’m not going to lie. Somebody pisses me off, I’ll carry it for like three days. But now I squash shit rather than carry it [longer]. Otherwise, I’ll find myself driving down the street, having an argument with somebody from three decades ago.”

By now, he is ripping the fruits of all his hard work and has a new sense of appreciation for life. He seems more aware of himself, and wants to live a fuller and happier life, even if sometimes it seems, through his work, he is just this angry bald guy. To that, he said:

“I like how I’m seeing the world now and I feel like I’m doing less of this (points at an imaginary person) and more of this (points at himself). I’ve made every mistake you can make, pretty much. I’ve hurt people and I’ve helped people. At the end of the day, you want to have more good stuff on that side of the ledger than bad stuff.”

Who is Bill Burr?

Bill Burr, born William Frederick Burr, was born in Massachusetts, in 1968. He became a known face in stand-up comedy in the United States. One of his most known works is Why Do I Do This? from 2008. He began to stand up when he was 23, in the year of 1992.

He signed with Netflix and has done many works with them. Aside from that, since 2007 he has had a weekly podcast in which he talks about themes that are in his mind during this time. 

He sold out many stand-up events, in Los Angeles, and even London, making him a known and loved comedian, even though he is not constantly in the spotlight or big celebrity events.

Bill Burr and his battle with depression

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is Bill Burr depressed? 

What are the most common causes of depression? 

Depression can be caused by a few factors. It can be related to generics, which means that if you have a family history of depression, you have a higher chance of going through it. 

Aside from that, depression may be connected to a chemical imbalance in the person’s brain, which means that when they have a higher level of some hormones and neurotransmitters, and a lower level of others, they can become depressed.

Finally, depression may be related to external conditions, such as a reaction to a traumatic experience. For example, if the person is going through the loss of a loved one, has ended a relationship, or is even going through financial problems, they can easily become depressed.

Does depression have a cure? 

No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Rather than that, mental health professionals will prefer to say that depression will go into remission. That is because there is a genetic factor to depression, which can not be changed even through treatment.

Aside from that, it is known that when a person has been depressed already they have a higher chance of becoming depressed again. But this shouldn’t discourage you. 

Once you are in remission it means you will be able to experience joy once again. You will also regain control over your emotions, and feel, once again, interested in things. But what you should keep in mind is that, even though in remission, you should keep caring for your mental health as a way to prevent from getting depressed again.

What are antidepressants? 

Antidepressants are medications that will be prescribed to people that are going through a depressive episode, or they may even be prescribed as a joint treatment to people that are struggling with other forms of mental health issues.

There are many types of antidepressants. The one that is prescribed more often nowadays is called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) because they usually have fewer side effects, such as Citalopram.

Another type of antidepressant that was designed to be more effective than SSRIs is the Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), of which an example is a venlafaxine.

Noradrenaline and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs) are recommended for people that can’t take SSRIs but are prescribed with care since they may have stronger side effects. An example of it is mirtazapine.

There are older forms of antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), they can be recommended to people with major depression that are resistant to other medications. An example of it is amitriptyline. 

Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) are a form of antidepressants that is also prescribed when other forms haven’t worked. An example of it is trazodone. 

There are Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that are an older type of antidepressant. It has a lot of serious side effects. The most known example of it is tranylcypromine.

What are the common symptoms of depression? 

Depression will cause you to feel intense sadness. But not only that, it can make you lose interest in things, even the ones you used to love. It can make you feel hopeless and helpless, less energetic, and more fatigued. It will also make it harder for you to focus, and your memory can get worse.

The condition will also make you feel empty, guilty, become more irritable, and isolated. Your sleeping and eating patterns will change, and your self-esteem and sense of self-worth will go down. You can experience crying spells, and experience more headaches, and pains.

To some people, depression will lead to self-harm, but not only that. It can also cause people to have thoughts about death and even suicidal thoughts.

What are the forms of depression?

Depression can happen in four forms. It can be mild, moderate, major, and persistent. The first one, as the name says, causes the person to experience mild symptoms, which will go on for a short period. And this makes it harder to diagnose mild depression. But fortunately, it can often be treated with some lifestyle changes.

Moderate depression is the one that will begin to affect the person’s life since the symptoms will be more intense and go on for longer. Moderate depression is often treated through therapy, but in some cases, medication can also be necessary.

Major depression, which is also known as clinical depression, will be the most intense form of depression and can make it impossible, sometimes, for the person to do the simplest things such as getting out of bed. 

Aside from the common symptoms of depression, major depression can make the person have hallucinations, or even become delusional.

To treat major depression people will often need a joint treatment of medication, and therapy. The same is true for persistent depression, which causes the person to have a long-term depression that can go on for as long as 5 years. During this time, the person will swing between mild and major depressive episodes.


This article showed that the comedian Bill Burr has struggled with depression. It highlighted how depression affected his life, and also explained who Bill Burr is.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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