Recently, Sarah Silverman opened up about her battle with depression over at Glamour. Her candid essay reflects poignantly about her ups and downs, various experiences with therapy, success, and the topic of kids.
She explained how her depression didn’t creep up gradually, but actually happened quite fast after a camping experience at age 13:
“I was, sadly, a bed wetter, and I had Pampers hidden in my sleeping bag—a gigantic and shameful secret to carry. My mom was there to pick me up, and she was taking pictures like a paparazzo. Seeing her made the stress of the last few days hit home, and something shifted inside me. It happened as fast as the sun going behind a cloud. You know how you can be fine one moment, and the next it’s, “Oh my God, I f—king have the flu!”? It was like that. Only this flu lasted for three years. My whole perspective changed.”
What stood out the most from her essay, though, is how she’s learned to deal with depression over the years, having different experiences with medication and treatments. This idea alone is a hugely important issue to isolate–the idea that various methods work at different times. And of course, everyone experiences depression uniquely, and responds to treatment in their own ways.
As a comedian, she says these ups and downs have influenced her work, and that it’s important for her to feel the highs and lows of life:
“Since then I’ve lived with depression and learned to control it, or at least to ride the waves as best I can. I’m on a small dose of Zoloft, which, combined with therapy, keeps me healthy but still lets me feel highs and lows. The dark years and those ups and downs—chemical and otherwise—have always informed my work; I believe being a comedian is about exposing yourself, warts and all.”
For women, especially, Silverman talks about the giant elephant in the room: whether or not to have kids with depression. For women who aren’t sure if they want kids, her honesty is a rare, comforting gem:
“A part of me is baby crazy. A part of me goes, Why not? And every day I add “Freeze eggs?” to the end of my to-do list. Then it keeps getting passed on to the next day’s list.”
Most of all, we love how raw this essay is–it’s exactly the kind of honest awareness the world needs when it comes to depression.