Sarah Silverman’s recent role in I Smile Back is not only notable for its departure from her usual comedy, but also because it echoes some of her own experiences; specifically, her battle with depression.
In an interview with Glamour, Silverman opened up about her struggles, which started when she was 13. She described how after coming home from a camping trip — where she had to hide her secret of bed-wetting from her classmates — something shifted inside her, “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—ing have the flu!”? It was like that,” Silverman recalled. “Only this flu lasted for three years. My whole perspective changed.”
She struggled in school, experienced panic attacks, and took large doses of Xanax. Seeing a new psychiatrist and stopping her meds helped, but she fought another bout of depression six years later, while she was a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live.
Since then, Silverman says she’s learned to control the depression, and even lets it influence her work.
“The dark years and those ups and downs — chemical and otherwise — have always informed my work,” Silverman said. “I believe being a comedian is about exposing yourself, warts and all.”
Head over to Glamour to read the full interview.