Host and comedian Rose Surnow asked people to describe what depression and taking medication feels like.
Transcript Provided by YouTube:
– Taking antidepressants is like more chill
than taking like Flonase or like Aspirin, like honestly.
– Yeah, it’s like people are so afraid of antidepressants
and they fully like rip cocaine at parties.
Hi, I’m Rose Surnow and I’m mentally ill,
but don’t worry, I’m medicated.
Today on Inside Intimacy, we talk depression.
– Other than Kanye, everyone has to take your meds.
– That’s hilarious.
– I think because my mom was like a Russian immigrant
with a very hard life,
I couldn’t really explain my problems
without her putting it on a graph of like,
well, this is not a big deal.
– Yeah, you weren’t, like, fleeing the Cossacks.
– Yes, exactly.
– Do you have any experience with mental health issues?
– Depression and anxiety.
– So mainly depression and anxiety.
– I do, I struggle with both actually.
– Hi, I’m Beowulf Jones,
America’s sweetheart, bipolar Canadian.
– Yeah, baby.
– I have definitely suffered from depression
for a lot of my life, especially my younger years,
just from past trauma that I couldn’t heal.
– I went through a really bad breakup
and then I went through,
I slipped into a depression
that lasted a good six to eight months,
and I didn’t think I would ever come out of it.
– I’ve been diagnosed bipolar.
At first they thought it was chronic depression
because I was cripplingly depressed half the time,
but the other time I felt great.
– I wasn’t having any fun.
It felt like I was in a little room with a window,
where I could see all my friends hanging out
outside of the window and they’re like,
come on, hang out with us.
I’m like, I can’t.
I’m in this room with no door
and I can, like, see you guys, but it sucks.
– Low interest in socializing, eating, sleeping a lot,
highly emotional, you know, crying,
not being engaged in anything.
You know, kind of feeling like
there was this dark cloud kind of like spraying over you.
– Not being able to sleep,
and then being up at 6:00
and then feeling like I have nothing to do.
There was nothing I could find comfort in.
– I was just very difficult to be around.
I guess I felt I had no confidence,
so I was trying to prove that I was better than people.
– I just felt so short of breath.
Like I just felt like there was a hand
on my throat at all times.
– Like a claustrophobic feeling.
My chest gets really tight and then,
it’s just hard for me to breathe.
I need to sit down definitely.
– One time I was having a panic attack
and I knocked on my roommate’s door at one in the morning.
I was like, “Hey, is it cool if I sleep in here
“because I think if I fall asleep, I’m going to die.”
He was like, “Yeah, man, you could totally,
“like you’re not gonna die,
“like you can totally just sleep in here
“if you want, man, you’re good.”
– He sounds like such a sweet guy.
– He is a very sweet man, yeah.
– After I had my first ever panic attack,
I remember, like, looking in the mirror
and being like, “Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t
“cry off this mascara.” Like, so impressed.
– You killed your first panic attack.
– Yeah, I did, and came out looking
as beautiful as I went in.
– I make things, like, I make short films
and I like to do that to keep creatively motivated.
I was like what if, like, I’d make a short film
where I try to kill myself and fail.
It’s a comedy.
– You’re like, “Ha, ha, ha, help!”
– When I was 21, I was dating a therapist
and after years of no one knowing what to do with me,
she diagnosed me in like two minutes.
– And how did you feel being diagnosed?
– I felt great!
I felt like there was an answer for why I was different,
for why my behavior was so erratic,
it wasn’t just ’cause I was a jerk.
– I took a year off in my junior year for my mental health
and everyone thought I studied abroad.
So they’re like, “How was studying abroad?”
I was like, “At my parents house?”
I just like, laughed it off,
I said, yeah, it was super memorable.
– I got on meds when I was 19, that’s a long time ago.
It wasn’t as common,
so I didn’t know that many people on meds,
so I was really scared when I first got on them.
– Yeah, I mean, I was scared before getting on meds.
That it would destroy my sex life,
it would destroy my art,
it would make me like, a numb, shut down zombie,
who was a gray corporate drone,
who couldn’t feel feelings.
And like, the total opposite happened.
Really, it brought me back to who I feel I really am.
– I mean, that’s exactly how I feel.
– Just the stigma around it is like,
you take them and then you’ve got no emotion,
and you’re just a zombie walking around,
and you’ve failed at life,
that’s why you have to take antidepressants.
But that’s very far from the truth.
– People who are anti-meds who think that you can do diet
and lifestyle hacks to improve your depression,
I was a spin teacher.
I was a yoga teacher.
I was vegan.
I was vegetarian.
I was gluten free.
I did all the things, and I was the most fit,
unhappy, depressed person you’ve ever met.
– So was there ever anyone in your life
who was kind of like, pressuring you not to take medication?
– Yes, my girlfriend was very anti-medication.
I think she just was like,
look you need to try all of the natural options
before you try medication.
– And what was your response?
– Uh, I’m losing my mind, I need to try medication.
– I’m sure you’re girlfriend is amazing,
and she loves you and you love her,
and everyone has their little blind spots,
but my issue with that is like,
a person who doesn’t have clinical depression
really doesn’t need to tell me
what I should be doing with my mental health.
– There were some, you know, side effects
that I wasn’t quite happy with.
– Sexual side effects?
– Yeah, so…
– Were you on Lexapro?
– I was on Lexapro.
– Yeah, it’s a killer.
I mean, I’m on it, but it’s hard.
– I just couldn’t manage with it,
so I tried to just do it on my own, which has been helpful.
I mean, I go to groups and I have a therapist ongoing,
and so that seems to be helping.
I think the benefits for me, is just kind of,
feeling like I exist in the world again.
I have friends who don’t know how to function just yet
and still suffer through it,
because they aren’t taking meds,
they aren’t seeing a therapist.
– If I had have had this ten years ago,
I don’t even know how my life would be different.
And so, that’s why it’s important for me to talk about it.
For 25 year old Megan, who was like,
binge drinking and in bad relationships,
and just couldn’t see that the world didn’t hate her.
It was her head, you know?
– I always say, I’m like a really happy,
fun person with depression.
Like when I’m medicated,
when I’m doing what I need to do, my life is awesome.
I’m really positive.
– Totally, yeah.
– This is how I’m supposed to be.
– So what I love about today is like,
it’s not taboo to talk about this stuff.
Like, I have a coworker who will still whisper like,
“I have to leave to go see my therapist.”
I’m like, that’s like going to see your dermatologist.
You’re a human, who has moods.
– Yeah, I love this Jenny.
– And you need help.
We aren’t born with these tools,
we have to be shown it through other people.
– I don’t think people should whisper
their mental health problems.
I think they should scream them,
because if you’re finding something helpful,
I almost think it’s your responsibility
to let other people know,
because so many people suffer silently.
– The thing that has helped me the most is therapy.
Not just talking therapy, but also hypnosis and meditation.
– And of course, the meds.
They don’t do all the work,
they just level the playing field,
so you can deal with your real world problems.
They don’t magically make everything better,
but they’ve made me stable
and I love being stable, it’s great.
– I love being stable too! – Yay!
– Do you have any advice
for people with anxiety if they’re watching?
– I wish I did,
but I also think I’m still figuring that out,
so if anyone else does.
I’ll watch this video when it comes outs,
and then like, oh, yeah, okay, got it, I’ll do that.
– I just wanted to thank you for talking about this topic,
and I hope people hear other people’s experiences
and know that they’re not alone.
– Thanks, Jenny, I really appreciate it.
– Thank you.
– If your anxiety and depression was a type of sushi,
what would it be?
– It would probably be like,
a loaded, way too many sauces,
like oven baked,
That’s what my depression is, I think.
This post was previously published on YouTube.
Photo credit: Screenshot from video.