It’s not often that researchers take the world of stand up comedy especially seriously. Which makes one recent study all the more remarkable: Researchers in the British Journal of Psychiatry have discovered that comics score significantly higher than control groups for so-called psychotic personality traits. Some of this study is perhaps self-evident. The findings that comics tend to be somewhat disorganized, and that they chafe at conformist pressure, qualify as something close to conventional wisdom. But of the four traits associated with psychosis, one in particular stood out to us: “‘introvertive anhedonia’ – reduced ability to feel social and physical pleasure.”
This is yet more confirmation of the deep link between depression and comedy, a phenomenon which has been described in many places over many years. Theories abound about what lies behind this association – is the comedy simply a coping mechanism to leaven the misery, or do both qualities spring from a similar emotional place? Whatever the explanation, it seems likely that no two people ever arrive at a humorous worldview in precisely the same way.
Depression therapy can be a great relief to people whose talents are undermined by periods of deep despair. If you’d like to find a therapist in New York who can help unpack your own feelings of “introvertive anhedonia,” please contact the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center here today.