Does Stephen colbert have depression?

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In this blog we will discuss Stephen Colbert and his mental health history with depression. 

Does Stephen colbert have depression?

Stephen Colbert has not reported any history of depression however, he has been very open and candid about his experiences with anxiety and panic disorder. 

He had had this conversation about his own mental health struggles in an interview with  Rolling Stone magazine, when he reported that he had begun to have panic attacks when he was around 29 years old. 

The “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” host revealed that he suffered a nervous breakdown marked by extreme anxiety and panic attacks soon after marrying his wife around 1993. 

He noted that he would have panic attacks and that his life would mostly be walking around the house unable to have a hold on his own routine considering that he worked at night. 

Colbert said that the panic attacks and anxiety was so bad that he “needed to be medicated and was put on Xanax was just lovely. He got the help he needed and that helped him.  

He reported that while the drug did help calm his nerves, he still struggled with anxiety and that he could sense it and feel it even if the disorder was not as bad as before. 

While it was managed to some extent, he noted that he could “… feel them, I could feel the gearbox heating up and smoke pouring out of me, but I was no longer walking around a couch,” (Rolling Stone).

He reported that the anxiety started when his Comedy Central cult classic “Strangers With Candy”  had to be relocated and he had to let go of his comedy partners, Paul Dinello and Amy Sedaris.

Colbert speculated that it was at the end of this show that he put his heart and soul into that he felt as though he would never create something as successful again and this fear spiralled into anxiety. 

Stephen Colbert was fortunate enough to realise that creativity and performing on stage was what helped release the anxiety. He reported that while he struggled off the stage, on the stage he could thrive and be unaffected by the anxiety. 

He believes that it is his love for performing and his ability to connect with the audience by doing what he loves is what helped him overcome his anxiety.

What is depression?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.

Depression is marked by the following symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day- either by their own observation or observation made by others.
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia. 
  • A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.

Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts. 

Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives. 

People with depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.

This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts. 

While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death. 

How to cope and manage if you have depression?

Here are a few things you can do to cope with depression:

Seek professional help

If you have not been diagnosed, do not stick to self diagnosis based on your symptoms. Seek out professional consultations starting with your GP who can refer you to specialists in the field. 

There may be different medications- some which might work for you while others that might not help you. 

Taking time to find a doctor who can help you with estimating the right dosage of medication and the right medical treatment can make the quality of your journey to recovery drastically different. 

Reduce stress

If it’s a job that is causing you immense stress, maybe it is time to consider taking a leave of absence. Or it could be your own family environment that is causing your symptoms to flare up- consider moving out if your financial situation persists. 

The intent here is to reduce or remove the things in your life that add stress. If it is a certain relationship, taking the time to set boundaries or communicate that you are taking time out can be one way. 

By reducing stressors, the thought of waking up and facing your day may seem a little less daunting, you might even look forward to it. 

Learn and apply coping skills

If you are depressed, you can learn coping skills and techniques and apply them at least once a day when experiencing depression. 

This can be learning how to tackle your anxieties and negative moods by regulating your breathing and engaging in deep breathing techniques. 

You can also try grounding techniques to help you cope with spiralling down a negative rumination. Make goals for each day and let your goals be small, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound, 

Make plans for your day that suit your pace- if today is especially difficult, make a step by step plan from your bed to the bathroom in the mornings. Reward yourself when you succeed and be kind when you slip up. Remind yourself that you are learning. 

Exercise

Engaging in exercise, even if it is only a 15 minute stretch can be a wonderful step towards loving yourself and caring for yourself. 

You can opt for joining the gym however, if this is too much you can consider yoga or pilates that you can start gradually; you can also go for walks or runs alone or with your loved ones. 

Getting out of your house and doing something that allows you to get your blood pumping in itself can be a great way of self care. 

Eat a healthy diet

Diet is an important aspect of overall health and is an important component of maintaining a positive state of mental health. 

There has been plenty of research studies that have been linked to what we eat and higher risks of depression. Research finds that well balanced meals with adequate intake of vegetables, fruits, grain, and healthy fats are related to lower risks of depression.

Sleep well

Take time to improve your sleep hygiene. Research has found that sleep disorders are also a core symptom of depression. Irregular sleep and not enough sleep can make your healing process difficult and can even heighten the risk of relapse. 

Some of the things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene are

  • Avoid substances that impact your sleep, this includes caffeine. 
  • Exercise daily
  • Avoid heavy dinners
  • Change your sleeping environment to be more soothing and sleep inducing. 
  • Make changes in your pre-sleep routine such as taking relaxing baths before sleep, avoiding gadgets two hours before sleeping time.

Connect with loved ones

Reaching out to people who love you and letting them know that you are having a hard time now, can bring you closer to people who truly love and care for you.

These are positive relationships we want and need around you as you begin your journey to recovery. Positive relationships help you discover joys and meaning to your life. 

Make plans to meet them for lunch, or go for a walk with them. Make sure you make clear what you can and cannot do and agree on something that both you and them can enjoy. 

You can also take the step to connect with other people who are coping with depression through group therapy or support groups.

Oftentimes, listening to other people’s successes can instil hope, it also gives you the opportunity to learn new perspectives of living and life along with new techniques to cope. 

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed Stephen Colbert and his mental health history with depression. 

FAQ related to Stephen Colbert depression. 

When was Stephen Colbert diagnosed with anxiety?

The “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” host revealed that he suffered a nervous breakdown marked by extreme anxiety and panic attacks soon after marrying his wife around 1993. 

How did Stephen Colbert overcome anxiety?

Stephen Colbert was fortunate enough to realise that creativity and performing on stage was what helped release the anxiety. He reported that while he struggled off the stage, on the stage he could thrive and be unaffected by the anxiety. 

He believes that it is his love for performing and his ability to connect with the audience by doing what he loves is what helped him overcome his anxiety.

What illness does Colbert have?

According to deadline, Stephen Colbert revealed that he has been diagnosed with a rare condition called benign positional vertigo as well as a history of anxiety and panic disorder. 

Is Colbert deaf in his right ear?

Yes, stephen colbert is deaf in his right ear as a result of having developed a tumor when he was a child. 

References

Nicole Lyn Pesce. As Stephen Colbert opens up about his anxiety, panic attack sufferers tell us how they cope at work. Market Watch. Retrieved on 25th April 2022. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-stephen-colbert-opens-up-about-his-anxiety-panic-attack-sufferers-tell-us-how-they-cope-at-work-2018-08-30

Stephen Colbert opens up about anxiety struggle: ‘I had a nervous breakdown’ Today. Retrieved on 25th April 2022. https://www.today.com/health/stephen-colbert-opens-about-anxiety-struggle-i-had-nervous-breakdown-t136535

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