Depression Advice: Dick Cavett Explains What Not To Do (VIDEO)

07/03/2011 10:48am ET | Updated December 6, 2017

In an interview with BigThink.com, Dick Cavett, a long-time talk show host and current blogger for The New York Times, offered simple advice to people suffering from depression or who have loved ones who may be battling the illness.

"Get help, immediately," he urged. "Get medication if that's right for you, or talk therapy, or something."

The 74-year-old television star suffered from depression for many years, beginning when he was a freshman at Yale and continuing through his years as one of the most well-known figures on television. At his worst, he even contemplated suicide.

"The very simple reason that you don't want to fool with [depression] is people with depression commit suicide," he told BigThink.

Cavett has long been vocal about his past struggles with depression, and he regards the fact that his candor has helped others as the payoff for going through something so awful. He recalls people saying to him things like, "You saved my dad's life. He thought if this could happen to you, it's all right for it to happen to him," calling this "one of the uses of celebrity, perhaps."

He also explained what not to say to a depressed person.