Much of Sarah Silverman's life has been no laughing matter.
In the past, the actress and comedian has mentioned briefly that she has been depressed at one time or another in her life. However, in her owns words, she is now telling Glamour just how bad her mental health was. Sometimes temporary depression still creeps into her state of mind.
"I first experienced depression when I was 13. I was walking off a bus from a school camping trip. The trip had been miserable: I was, sadly, a bed wetter, and I had Pampers hidden in my sleeping bag—a gigantic and shameful secret to carry," she wrote. "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."
Sarah said her whole perspective changed and she began having legitimate panic attacks where every breath felt like death.
"I went from being the class clown to not being able to see life in that casual way anymore," she said. "I couldn't deal with being with my friends, I didn't go to school for months."
She was eventually given Xanax, and a lot of it, (16 pills a day!) before finding a psychiatrist who weened her off it during high school.
For years, she felt like herself. At 22 years old, though, she experienced depression again. Thankfully for her, a friend took charge and got her help. She was given the drug Klonopin, which blocks panic attacks. To this day, she carries seven pills with her, but never touches them.
"Just knowing that they're there is all I need," she said.
She continued, "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."
She still has "downward spiral" days, she said, but knows that they will pass.
"I wouldn't wish depression on anyone. But if you ever experience it, or are experiencing it right now, just know that on the other side, the little joys in life will be that much sweeter," she said. "The tough times, the days when you're just a ball on the floor—they'll pass. You're playing the long game, and life is totally worth it."