What Do Depression & Medications Feel Like?


Host and comedian Rose Surnow asked people to describe what depression and taking medication feels like.

Transcript Provided by YouTube:

00:00
– Taking antidepressants is like more chill
00:02
than taking like Flonase or like Aspirin, like honestly.
00:06
– Yeah, it’s like people are so afraid of antidepressants
00:07
and they fully like rip cocaine at parties.
00:11
Hi, I’m Rose Surnow and I’m mentally ill,
00:13
but don’t worry, I’m medicated.
00:15
Today on Inside Intimacy, we talk depression.
00:22
– Other than Kanye, everyone has to take your meds.
00:25
– That’s hilarious.
00:25
– I think because my mom was like a Russian immigrant
00:28
with a very hard life,
00:29
I couldn’t really explain my problems
00:31
without her putting it on a graph of like,
00:33
well, this is not a big deal.
00:35
– Yeah, you weren’t, like, fleeing the Cossacks.
00:37
– Yes, exactly.
00:39
– Do you have any experience with mental health issues?
00:40
– Depression and anxiety.
00:42
– So mainly depression and anxiety.
00:44
– I do, I struggle with both actually.
00:47
– Hi, I’m Beowulf Jones,
00:48
America’s sweetheart, bipolar Canadian.
00:51
– Yeah, baby.
00:52
– I have definitely suffered from depression
00:55
for a lot of my life, especially my younger years,
00:57
just from past trauma that I couldn’t heal.
00:59
– I went through a really bad breakup
01:00
and then I went through,
01:01
I slipped into a depression
01:03
that lasted a good six to eight months,
01:05
and I didn’t think I would ever come out of it.
01:07
– I’ve been diagnosed bipolar.
01:10
At first they thought it was chronic depression
01:12
because I was cripplingly depressed half the time,
01:14
but the other time I felt great.
01:16
– I wasn’t having any fun.
01:18
It felt like I was in a little room with a window,
01:21
where I could see all my friends hanging out
01:23
outside of the window and they’re like,
01:24
come on, hang out with us.
01:25
I’m like, I can’t.
01:26
I’m in this room with no door
01:27
and I can, like, see you guys, but it sucks.
01:29
– Low interest in socializing, eating, sleeping a lot,
01:34
highly emotional, you know, crying,
01:36
not being engaged in anything.
01:38
You know, kind of feeling like
01:39
there was this dark cloud kind of like spraying over you.
01:42
– Not being able to sleep,
01:43
and then being up at 6:00
01:45
and then feeling like I have nothing to do.
01:46
There was nothing I could find comfort in.
01:48
– I was just very difficult to be around.
01:52
I guess I felt I had no confidence,
01:54
so I was trying to prove that I was better than people.
01:57
– I just felt so short of breath.
01:59
Like I just felt like there was a hand
02:01
on my throat at all times.
02:02
– Like a claustrophobic feeling.
02:03
My chest gets really tight and then,
02:06
it’s just hard for me to breathe.
02:07
I need to sit down definitely.
02:09
– One time I was having a panic attack
02:11
and I knocked on my roommate’s door at one in the morning.
02:14
I was like, “Hey, is it cool if I sleep in here
02:16
“because I think if I fall asleep, I’m going to die.”
02:20
He was like, “Yeah, man, you could totally,
02:22
“like you’re not gonna die,
02:23
“like you can totally just sleep in here
02:24
“if you want, man, you’re good.”
02:25
– He sounds like such a sweet guy.
02:27
– He is a very sweet man, yeah.
02:28
– After I had my first ever panic attack,
02:30
I remember, like, looking in the mirror
02:32
and being like, “Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t
02:34
“cry off this mascara.” Like, so impressed.
02:37
– You killed your first panic attack.
02:38
– Yeah, I did, and came out looking
02:40
as beautiful as I went in.
02:43
– I make things, like, I make short films
02:45
and I like to do that to keep creatively motivated.
02:47
I was like what if, like, I’d make a short film
02:49
where I try to kill myself and fail.
02:52
It’s a comedy.
02:53
– You’re like, “Ha, ha, ha, help!”
02:55
– When I was 21, I was dating a therapist
02:58
and after years of no one knowing what to do with me,
03:01
she diagnosed me in like two minutes.
03:03
– And how did you feel being diagnosed?
03:05
– I felt great!
03:06
I felt like there was an answer for why I was different,
03:11
for why my behavior was so erratic,
03:14
it wasn’t just ’cause I was a jerk.
03:15
– I took a year off in my junior year for my mental health
03:19
and everyone thought I studied abroad.
03:21
So they’re like, “How was studying abroad?”
03:23
I was like, “At my parents house?”
03:25
I just like, laughed it off,
03:26
I said, yeah, it was super memorable.
03:29
– I got on meds when I was 19, that’s a long time ago.
03:32
It wasn’t as common,
03:33
so I didn’t know that many people on meds,
03:35
so I was really scared when I first got on them.
03:38
– Yeah, I mean, I was scared before getting on meds.
03:40
That it would destroy my sex life,
03:41
it would destroy my art,
03:42
it would make me like, a numb, shut down zombie,
03:45
who was a gray corporate drone,
03:47
who couldn’t feel feelings.
03:49
And like, the total opposite happened.
03:50
Really, it brought me back to who I feel I really am.
03:53
– I mean, that’s exactly how I feel.
03:55
– Yeah.
03:56
– Just the stigma around it is like,
03:57
you take them and then you’ve got no emotion,
04:00
and you’re just a zombie walking around,
04:02
and you’ve failed at life,
04:03
that’s why you have to take antidepressants.
04:05
But that’s very far from the truth.
04:07
– People who are anti-meds who think that you can do diet
04:10
and lifestyle hacks to improve your depression,
04:13
I was a spin teacher.
04:15
I was a yoga teacher.
04:17
I was vegan.
04:18
I was vegetarian.
04:19
I was gluten free.
04:20
I did all the things, and I was the most fit,
04:23
unhappy, depressed person you’ve ever met.
04:27
– So was there ever anyone in your life
04:29
who was kind of like, pressuring you not to take medication?
04:32
– Yes, my girlfriend was very anti-medication.
04:35
I think she just was like,
04:36
look you need to try all of the natural options
04:39
before you try medication.
04:41
– And what was your response?
04:42
– Uh, I’m losing my mind, I need to try medication.
04:46
– I’m sure you’re girlfriend is amazing,
04:47
and she loves you and you love her,
04:48
and everyone has their little blind spots,
04:50
but my issue with that is like,
04:52
a person who doesn’t have clinical depression
04:55
really doesn’t need to tell me
04:56
what I should be doing with my mental health.
04:58
– There were some, you know, side effects
05:00
that I wasn’t quite happy with.
05:01
– Sexual side effects?
05:02
– Yeah, so…
05:02
– Were you on Lexapro?
05:03
– I was on Lexapro.
05:04
– Yeah, it’s a killer.
05:05
I mean, I’m on it, but it’s hard.
05:06
– I just couldn’t manage with it,
05:08
so I tried to just do it on my own, which has been helpful.
05:11
I mean, I go to groups and I have a therapist ongoing,
05:15
and so that seems to be helping.
05:17
I think the benefits for me, is just kind of,
05:18
feeling like I exist in the world again.
05:21
I have friends who don’t know how to function just yet
05:24
and still suffer through it,
05:25
because they aren’t taking meds,
05:27
they aren’t seeing a therapist.
05:28
– If I had have had this ten years ago,
05:31
I don’t even know how my life would be different.
05:33
And so, that’s why it’s important for me to talk about it.
05:36
For 25 year old Megan, who was like,
05:38
binge drinking and in bad relationships,
05:40
and just couldn’t see that the world didn’t hate her.
05:43
It was her head, you know?
05:46
– I always say, I’m like a really happy,
05:47
fun person with depression.
05:48
Like when I’m medicated,
05:50
when I’m doing what I need to do, my life is awesome.
05:52
I’m really positive.
05:53
– Totally, yeah.
05:54
– This is how I’m supposed to be.
05:56
– So what I love about today is like,
05:58
it’s not taboo to talk about this stuff.
06:00
Like, I have a coworker who will still whisper like,
06:03
“I have to leave to go see my therapist.”
06:05
I’m like, that’s like going to see your dermatologist.
06:08
You’re a human, who has moods.
06:13
– Yeah, I love this Jenny.
06:14
– And you need help.
06:15
We aren’t born with these tools,
06:17
we have to be shown it through other people.
06:19
– I don’t think people should whisper
06:21
their mental health problems.
06:21
I think they should scream them,
06:22
because if you’re finding something helpful,
06:25
I almost think it’s your responsibility
06:26
to let other people know,
06:27
because so many people suffer silently.
06:29
– The thing that has helped me the most is therapy.
06:32
Not just talking therapy, but also hypnosis and meditation.
06:38
– Cool.
06:39
– And of course, the meds.
06:40
They don’t do all the work,
06:42
they just level the playing field,
06:44
so you can deal with your real world problems.
06:46
They don’t magically make everything better,
06:48
but they’ve made me stable
06:50
and I love being stable, it’s great.
06:52
– I love being stable too! – Yay!
06:54
– Do you have any advice
06:55
for people with anxiety if they’re watching?
06:57
– I wish I did,
06:58
but I also think I’m still figuring that out,
07:01
so if anyone else does.
07:03
I’ll watch this video when it comes outs,
07:04
and then like, oh, yeah, okay, got it, I’ll do that.
07:06
– I just wanted to thank you for talking about this topic,
07:09
and I hope people hear other people’s experiences
07:14
and know that they’re not alone.
07:15
– Thanks, Jenny, I really appreciate it.
07:17
– Thank you.
07:19
– If your anxiety and depression was a type of sushi,
07:24
what would it be?
07:25
– It would probably be like,
07:26
a loaded, way too many sauces,
07:28
like oven baked,
07:30
fried,
07:31
terrible monster.
07:33
That’s what my depression is, I think.


This post was previously published on YouTube.

Photo credit: Screenshot from video.