The comedians who've been to the brink – and back

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The Independent Online

Ruby Wax

"Depressions happen once every five years – like the pox."

Spike Milligan

"My marriage ended because I'd had two, three, four, five nervous breakdowns. 'The Goon Show' did it. That's why they were so good."

Jack Dee

"Depression has always figured in my life, but now I'm dealing with it." (2006)

Caroline Aherne

"I remember buying champagne and the next thing I woke up in hospital [the Priory]."

Tony Slattery

"I was just in a pool of despair and mania."

Paul Merton

"It wasn't about depression. I couldn't stop having ideas. It was just pouring out of me."

Emma Thompson

"It doesn't make you want to kill yourself – you just don't want to be."

Stephen Fry

"There's no doubt that I have extremes of mood."

Hugh Laurie

"It was certainly more than feeling a bit sad."

Lenny Henry

"That's where depression hits you most – your home life." (1996)