To promote her dramatic turn in the upcoming film I Smile Back, the wonderful Sarah Silverman opened up to Glamour this week about her struggles with panic attacks and depression since she was a kid, how she’s learned to manage them, and her changing thoughts on the possibility of becoming a mother someday. Here’s an excerpt where Silverman describes what a real panic attack feels like:
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.”
I do have sorrow about the possibility that I may never have my own children. And I still have downward spirals, days when I have to drag myself onstage to do stand-up or I’m just tweeting Morrissey lyrics from my bed. But there’s one thing I know that I used to not know: It will pass. And it does. Usually after 24 hours or so of wallowing in depressing music and being the Sylvia Plath of social media, a friend will reach out: “Are you OK? I saw that tweet.” And I’ll sort of snap to it, brush myself off, and get back to life. I’ve learned that keeping busy is a good thing for me. Like my mom always said, you just have to be brave enough to exist through it.