09/26/2007 AT 09:30 AM EDT
The affable Drew Carey can relate to actor Owen Wilson
's recent ordeal – he tried taking his own life twice.
The funnyman and ex-sitcom star says he attempted suicide by swallowing pills when he was 18 and again when he was in his twenties.
Carey spoke to Access Hollywood
on Tuesday about his reaction to Wilson's hospitalization
"It's going to sound cold, but I wasn't reading the paper going ‘Oh poor guy.' I was thinking I hope he's learning what he is supposed to be learning from this whole experience and not wasting the opportunity to learn," Carey said.
Wilson, 38, landed at L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after what cops officially called an attempted suicide
"I was depressed for a long time," Carey, 49, said. "I learned how to believe in myself. Learned how to set goals, you know, self help books man. I just read every single one I can get a hold of and I still do. I read that stuff all the time still. I am always coming
out bigger, better, stronger and happier."
When host Nancy O'Dell pointed out that it seems like a lot of funny people face dark times, Carey said, "There is a reason we want attention all the time."
Carey added, "Living in Hollywood, you can get disconnected from everybody. You can feel like you are the only one. So you feel it, you hold it in, and you don't let it go and you don't try to find help because you think 'Oh man if I tell anybody, I'm going to seem like I'm weak. I won't get a movie deal. I won't get invited to ...' whatever goes through your head."
Who's turning 40? Which celebs are high school dropouts? What's hot and definitely not in fall fashion?
Check out PEOPLE's new digital magazine now!