It is ironic that some comedians should commit suicide. There must be a dark side to being sunny and funny. We have a recent example in Robin Williams who made the whole world laugh for many years and then succumbed to his demons.
Here is the proposed theory on how it starts. Say there is a kid who feels a bit different for whatever reason (wearing glasses, being overweight, foreign or just plain different) over which he has no control. At some point he makes a joke or has a fall or some such thing that gets a laugh from the room. A positive reaction that he can control, a buffer that keeps anyone from getting too close, a barrier that helps him keep the part of himself that he does not ‘like’ hidden away or use his insecurities and fears as fuel for his jokes.
Soon he could get so good at comedy that a false persona is created which represents him and people can never get past it to see the ‘real’ him. The jokes keep the crowds happy and everyone at a safe distance.
Have you ever had that funny friend, the class-clown type, who one day just stopped being funny around you? Did it make you think they were depressed? It’s quite possible that for the first time they were comfortable enough around you to drop the act, in which case, the ones who kill themselves are funny right up to the end.
What about the ones who stop being funny because they are actually depressed? How do we tell the difference? They stop being funny and we hardly have time to understand them before they are gone.