Rosie O’Donnell — who recently lost her ex-wife Michelle Rounds in September — admitted her death was “still very new and still very raw.”
O’Donnell appeared on The Howard Stern Show Monday morning where she gave one of her most revealing interviews yet — detailing her history of sexual abuse as a child and her long battle with depression which led to suicidal thoughts.
“I have major depressive disorder — luckily I’m medicated,” O’Donnell told the Shock Jock.
The 55-year-old revealed she was on the drug Effixer to deal with her depression.
“Effixer…it’s a very hard one to get off and I tried to get off it once and I will never do it again.” O’Donnell admitted. “Within a week-and-a-half, I was in the bed crying, couldn’t get up. And I called the doctor because I was trailing down…you know you can’t just go off.”
O’Donnell told Stern her depression really hit when the tragic shooting of Columbine happened which killed 12 high school students and a teacher.
“I went on right after Columbine, the last week of April 1999. I could not work, I couldn’t stop crying on live tv, it was like I couldn’t find the reason,” O’Donnell revealed.
“So the doctor said, ‘you must go on medication.’ So I went on Prozac — I was on it for about four years and then I had what’s called the Prozac poop where it sort of stops working so they switch you.”
“So since about 2003, I’ve been on Effixer and it’s been really great for me. It’s not for everyone, but for me, I knew it had to participate in my mental health.”
Stern asked O’Donnell if not having a mom growing up and her dad being “unqualified” to raise her had anything to do with her depression or if it was biological.
“I think it’s both,” O’Donnell responded. “There’s a tremendous amount of people who suffer in the way that I do in my father’s family.
I have aunts who try to kill themselves, one who did, some who had ECT — electric convulsive therapy, which Carrie Fisher had up until the end. If you’re at a place where nothing else has worked, that’s what they recommend. Thank god I’ve never gotten to that place.”
“I couldn’t believe this was America, the America we were living in — where high school students are being shot at…you see bodies being dragged,” O’Donnell said.
Stern asks the powerhouse if her depression ever led her to wanting to commit suicide.
“I have suicide ideation — it means you think about it, you never make the plan necessarily of how you’re going to do it,” O’Donnell admitted. “
There’s a great lyric in Hamilton, ‘sometime’s its easier to just swim down.’ You feel like there’s no chance you’re going to get to the surface again.
And I’ve had that probably three times in my life — all as an adult… all over world events.”
“Columbine was the first one, 9-11 was the second, Katrina was the third one and Mr. Donald Trump has been the fourth one.”
O’Donnell then detailed her weight-loss struggle and the procedure she had that led to her 50 pound weight loss. The actress-turned-talk show host says she still struggles looking at herself in the mirror because of the sexual abuse she endured as a kid.
“I can’t see the difference. I can in a photo. If I look in a photo, I go ‘oh wow.’ But I can’t like look in a mirror and go ‘oh I look different,’ like I have that sort of body dysmorphia… I don’t know, I can’t see it almost.”
Stern tells her he can sense her sadness when she is talking about her body.
“I think it’s just more of a disconnect; I think it’s what your body does to protect you if you’re a kid who’s sexually abused — which I was.
You kind of disconnect from your body, you dissociate — you don’t pay attention to it. You don’t want to love it, because it’s kind of betrayed you in some way.
“It was in therapy that I realized I felt scared by the attraction of these men and I wanted to make my body something that would not get them out of the little area where they sell candy to help me.”