Sarah Silverman spoke candidly about her battle with depression in a piece for Glamour. She appears in a new film called I Smile Back, opening on October 23, in which she plays a role that apparently hit a little too close to home.
Silverman told Glamour:
Five years ago I got a phone call out of the blue. A writer named Amy Koppelman had heard me talking about my experience with depression on The Howard Stern Show, and she wanted me to be in the movie based on her book, I Smile Back. The story was about a suburban mother and housewife, Laney Brooks, who on paper has it all, but in reality suffers from depression and self-medicates with drugs and alcohol. I said, “Cool, yeah, sure.” It never occurred to me that the movie would actually get made. For that to happen, it would have to have a star attached to it, right?
Three years later I got an email saying, “It’s happening, we got the funding!” I replied-all: “Yay!” And then I collapsed on the floor of my bathroom, shaking. What had I done? I knew playing Laney Brooks would take me back to a very dark place.
The actress/comedienne revealed that she has been battling depression since the age of 13 and that at the time she was “sadly, a bet wetter”. She opened up about a school camping trip she had gone on, for which she had to pack diapers in her sleeping bag”. She described this as a “gigantic and shaemful secret to carry”.
Throughout the piece, she discusses her continued struggles with depression into adulthood, including while she was working for Saturday Night Live. She gets into the pills she was taking to cope as well as her sadness about the possibility she may never have kids.
It’s a heartfelt story that could probably benefit others who suffer from depression as well as those trying to understand it better. It’s certainly a reminder that the successful and famous are just as prone to it as anyone.
According to stats from the World Health Organization, 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. That’s roughly one out of every twenty people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 16 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2012.