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Chris Rock reveals his diagnosis with nonverbal learning disorder

The actor is receiving seven hours of therapy per week.

Chris Rock Getty Images

Chris Rock is opening up about the personal issues he has been dealing with since his childhood. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Rock shared that he was diagnosed with nonverbal learning disorder and said that he is receiving therapy for seven hours a week to learn how to cope with it.

After a friend suggested that the Good Hair actor may have Asperger’s Syndrome, he underwent nine hours of cognitive tests before he was finally diagnosed. According to health.com, nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD) is characterized by verbal strengths. Rock has difficulty understanding nonverbal signs. “And all I understand are the words,” he told the outlet.

His way of thinking has helped with his career, but not in his personal life. “By the way, all of those things are really great for writing jokes — they’re just not great for one-on-one relationships,” he added. “And 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.

With the help of two therapists, he is now dealing with the issues that used to place a strain on his life. “I thought I was actually dealing with it, and the reality is I never dealt with it,” the I Think I Love My Wife actor said. “The reality was the pain and the fear that that brought me, I was experiencing it every day.”

Rock also revealed to THR that he recently learned how to swim. “Do you know how fucking hard it is for a grown-up to learn how to swim? You’ve got to not be scared to die,” he said. “The other day, this guy says to me, ‘OK, you’re going to dive into the deep end and swim to the other side,’ and I’m like, ‘Are you fucking crazy?’ But then I dove into the deep end and I swam to the other side, and it’s a metaphor for what I’ve been trying to do during this time.”

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