Drew Carey Opens Up on Mental Health: Credits Therapy, Friendships for Wellbeing

Drew Carey's Remarkable Path from Military to Comedy Stardom

by Zain ul Abedin
Drew Carey Opens Up on Mental Health: Credits Therapy, Friendships for Wellbeing
© Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Drew Carey, the celebrated host of "The Price Is Right," recently shared an in-depth look into his journey toward mental wellness in an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE. At 65, Carey reflects on the challenges and breakthroughs he has encountered over the years, highlighting the pivotal role therapy and a solid network of friends have played in his life.

"Therapy has been a significant turning point for me," he disclosed in the magazine's latest issue. Carey emphasized the importance of having not just one, but multiple therapists he trusts implicitly, alongside a tight-knit group of friends who are always ready to provide support during tough times.

"Whenever someone is going through a rough patch, we're there to lift each other up," he explained. Carey's battle with mental health began in his teenage years, marked by periods of deep depression that led to suicide attempts at 18 and again at 23.

He described his emotional state during those times as a rollercoaster of extreme highs and lows, particularly accentuated during his college years at Kent State University. "I was either ecstatic when with friends or plummeting into despair," Carey recounted, acknowledging his struggle with alcohol during this uncertain period of his life.

Marine to Comedian Journey

Despite the obstacles, Carey never ceased to search for his calling. His service in the Marine Corps. Reserve as a field radio operator instilled a deep sense of pride and laid the groundwork for his future in comedy.

"Serving as a Marine was a profound honor," he stated. His venture into stand-up comedy ultimately paved the way for his television career. Carey's debut on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1991 marked a defining moment, propelling him into a series of successful endeavours, including his sitcom, "The Drew Carey Show," and later, taking the helm of "The Price Is Right" in 2007.

Under his guidance, the iconic game show saw a refreshing update, introducing a new set, logo, and theme music. Today, Carey approaches life with a newfound appreciation for his self-worth, equipped with the tools and support system to navigate the darker moments.

He candidly shares his ongoing struggle with occasional suicidal thoughts, stressing the importance of seeking professional help and the transformative power of self-compassion. "I've learned to stop judging myself harshly," Carey revealed, emphasizing the importance of acceptance and understanding in the healing process.