For every 100 celebrity interviews discussing their new movie, overpriced lifestyle brand, or misguided thoughts on feminism, there can be one truly beautiful honest statement that may really help people. Because we all experience pain, and when we do, we often feel alone in that pain. So when someone with such a public platform opens up about their experiences, it really can do some good. Here are four women who did that this week.
Sarah Silverman On Depression
If you haven’t read Sarah Silverman’s full piece in Glamour, do so. Her description of her lifelong battle with depression is heartbreakingly honest. She first encountered depression at just 13, after spending a class camping trip trying to hide the fact that she was a bed wetter. She says when her mother came to pick her up, “something shifted” inside of her.
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. I went from being the class clown to not being able to see life in that casual way anymore. 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.”Silverman recounts the therapists she saw. The first one killed himself, the second prescribed her so much Xanax (16 pills a day!) she “was a zombie walking through life.” Her third psychiatrist helped her get off the medication and get her feeling like herself again. Which she did, until depression took hold again at 22. She discusses her fear of passing her depression onto her children one day, and how she’s learned to “live with depression and learned to control it, or at least to ride the waves as best I can.” It’s something that may never go away, “but there’s one thing I know that I used to not know: It will pass. And it does.”
Cara Delevingne on Depression and Anxiety
Cara Delevingne spoke with Rupert Everett for an interview as part of the Women in the World Summit, and opened up about her struggles with depression, which started when she was 15.
I got to the point where I was a bit mad. I was completely suicidal, didn’t want to live anymore,” said Delevingne. “I thought that I was completely alone. I also realized how lucky I was and what a wonderful family, wonderful friends I had, but that didn’t matter. I wanted the world to swallow me up, and nothing seemed better to me than death.She left school to pursue modeling, but says that life only made things worse.
The thing with models is you get used. I saw a lot of misuse from photographers, perverse photographers, to young girls… Poor girls who don’t stand up for themselves because they feel like you should be used, because that’s what models do.She was exhausted and overworked and developed psoriasis from the stress. Finally, at the advice of Kate Moss, she took a break from modeling and found a sense of self and of confidence through writing, before switching paths to pursue acting.
Hayden Panettiere on Postpartum Depression
A statement was released this week that simply read,
Hayden Panettiere is voluntarily seeking professional help at a treatment center as she is currently battling postpartum depression. She asks that the media respect her privacy during this time
Panettiere had her first child in December of last year, and earlier this year she appeared on Live! With Kelly and Michael to discuss the issue, and how it manifests in countless ways. At the time, her character on Nashville was suffering from postpartum depression.
It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you’re told] about postpartum depression, you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child. I’ve never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.
Margaret Cho On Rape
In her latest standup tour, as well as in an interview with People, Margaret Cho is opening up about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. As she also told Billboard Magazine last month, Cho was molested by a family friend for more than seven years, starting at age 5. At age 14, she was raped by another acquaintance. At some point, her peers at school found out and— because children and humans in general are THE WORST— they bullied her. As Cho felt,
It is very painful and disturbing when you realize the depth of apathy out there toward the suffering of victims.She dropped out of school at 17 to start touring as a comedian. Now, almost 30 years later, she’s using her standup to help heal. Her current tour ends with two song, one of which is titled “I Want to Kill My Rapist.”
When I’ve performed it live, women in the audience were screaming and crying and singing along. They felt unburdened by it. Sharing the suffering alleviates the burden. And that’s what I’m trying to do.