O'Donnell says medication, yoga and "inversion therapy" help her mood

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 07, 2007 02:05 PM

Rosie O’Donnell says she fights depression by taking medication, doing yoga – and hanging upside down for up to half an hour a day.

O’Donnell, 44, says she first began treatment for depression after the Columbine massacre in 1999. “I couldn’t stop crying,” she says in an episode of The View set to air Friday, the Associated Press reports. “I stayed in my room. The lights were off. I couldn’t get out of bed, and that’s when I started taking medication.”

It’s also when, she says, she started yoga and “inversion therapy,” in which she hangs upside down by a swing for 15 to 30 minutes a day – something she demonstrates on Friday’s program.

O’Donnell also says she suffers from seasonal affective disorder, often called SAD, which causes her to feel depressed during the fall and winter. “Like in The Wizard of Oz, the color goes out,” she says. “That is what happens in depression. Everything gets gray.”

No one should fear the stigma of taking medication for depression, she says: “It saved my life.”

O’Donnell has talked about her battle with depression before. On Sept. 5, her View debut, she assured her costars she’d be easy to work with, saying, “I’m taking my medicines, so everything’s going to be fine.”

And in 2001, she wrote in her now-defunct Rosie magazine that she had struggled with depression her entire life. “I am one of the haunted,” she wrote, saying she only freed herself of the illness’s grip two years earlier, at age 37, with the help of antidepressants.