Comedy star Chris Rock has revealed he was recently diagnosed with nonverbal learning disorder, which causes difficulty in interpreting nonverbal cues.
Rock, 55, told The Hollywood Reporter that after a friend had suggested the comic might have Asperger's syndrome, part of the autism spectrum, doctors conducted a nine-hour series of tests that indicated Rock had NVLD. "And all I understand are the words," the four-time Emmy Award winner told the magazine.
While persons with this neurological condition are often highly verbal and intelligent, they might be unable to read subtle intuitive cues such as facial expressions and body language. The comedian said that he can often take things too literally and suffer from all-or-nothing thinking, a common symptom of his condition. "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,' " Rock said. "Now, I'm realizing it was me. A lot of it was me."
The star of season 4 of the FX series "Fargo," which debuts Sunday at 9 p.m., has committed himself to seven hours a week of therapy with two specialists, he told the magazine. The treatment, Rock said, is to work on himself, his relationships and to address past trauma he suffered as a child.
"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."