Comedian Chris Rock has revealed he's in weekly therapy after being diagnosed with a nonverbal learning disorder, which prevents him from picking up the subtle ques of social interactions.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the 55-year-old said taking things too literally has been great for his career, though not for so much for his personal life.
Rock split from his wife, Malaak Compton-Rock in 2014 and the pair finalized their divorce in 2016. In March this year, Rock split from actress Megalyn Echikunwoke after four years.
"By the way, all of those things are really great for writing jokes — they’re just not great for one-on-one relationships," he said.
"All those things" of nonverbal learning disorder, Rock says, is that in communication that is 80 per cent nonverbal, all he understands are the words. That means he takes those words too literally and suffers from an all-or-nothing way of thinking.
The diagnosis came after a friend's suggestion he had Asperger's, leading to nine-hours of cognitive tests that found his difficulty with non-verbal signals.
"I’d always just chalked it up to being famous. Any time someone would respond to me in a negative way, I’d think, 'Whatever, they’re responding to something that has to do with who they think I am.' Now, I’m realizing it was me. A lot of it was me," he said.
Rock's acknowledgement of the learning disability came in a wide-ranging interview with the Hollywood trade publication to promote his role in the Emmy-winning series, Fargo.
He said he's been seeking help with therapy, for seven hours a week, to work on his childhood trauma, which was a feature of his sitcom Everybody Hates Chris in the mid-2000s.
"I thought I was actually dealing with it, and the reality is I never dealt with it," he said. "The reality was the pain and the fear that that brought me, I was experiencing it every day."