In the candid interview, the 44-year-old said she was just 13 when she first experienced the symptoms:
“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├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥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.”
This moment is one that sticks with the comedian to this day.
Jimmy Kimmel‘s ex shared an intimate look at how after that moment she went from class clown to having serious panic attacks:
“I couldn’t deal with being with my friends, I didn’t go to school for months, and I started having panic attacks. People use “panic attack” very casually out here in Los Angeles, but I don’t think most of them really know what it is. Every breath is labored. You are dying. You are going to die. It’s terrifying. And then when the attack is over, the depression is still there. Once, my stepdad asked me, ‘What does it feel like?’ And I said, ‘It feels like I’m desperately homesick, but I’m home.'”
That feeling is one she’s had to face throughout the years — enduring several trials of different medications and therapy sessions:
“I went through several therapists. The first one hanged himself. Irony? Yeah. Another one kept upping my Xanax until I was taking 16 a day. Four Xanax, four times a day! I saved all the bottles in a shoe box because I thought, Well, at least if I die and they find this, they’ll know what happened. I was a zombie walking through life. And then, a few years later, my mom took me to a new psychiatrist, who got me off meds completely over the course of six months. I remember taking that last half pill at the high school water fountain and finally feeling like myself again.”
Wow. That is heavy stuff for anyone to go through, especially at such a young age.
Even with support from her boyfriend Michael Sheen, the Sarah Silverman Program star still has “downward spirals,” but has used her career as an outlet:
“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 ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ chemical and otherwise ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ have always informed my work; I believe being a comedian is about exposing yourself, warts and all. But my stand-up has evolved along with me.”
There’s no doubt the New Hampshire native has experienced her fair share of obstacles, but admits to learning a very valuable lesson:
“But there’s one thing I know that I used to not know: It will pass.”
We love Sarah’s honesty and openness about something so personal. We’re sure her story will help those who may be going through similar situations.
[Image via Glamour Magazine.]