Sharon Osbourne Says She Underwent Ketamine Therapy After Leaving 'The Talk' amid Controversy

The former talk show host exited the show in March after she was accused of using racist, homophobic and bullying language in interactions with her past co-hosts

sharon osbourne
Sharon Osbourne. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

In the months since exiting The Talk, Sharon Osbourne developed anxiety that led her to seek out therapy in the form of ketamine treatments, the former talk show host said Monday.

Osbourne, 68, who left The Talk in March after she was accused of using racist, homophobic and bullying language in her interactions with her former co-hosts and faced backlash for a segment in which she defended controversial comments from Piers Morgan, told the Daily Mail that she has struggled with the fallout.

"I definitely went through a difficult patch at the beginning," she told the outlet. "I found it embarrassing. The humiliation that people would think that I might be a racist."

Osbourne said that she and husband Ozzy Osbourne started getting death threats and hired round-the-clock security as protection. The experience, she said, caused her to develop anxiety, and her friend and former co-host Sara Gilbert suggested Osbourne try ketamine therapy treatments.

"I went through three months of therapy," she said. "I had ketamine treatment and I got it all out. All the tears and everything that I felt, you know. All of that, it's gone."

Ketamine is a medication used on patients as an anesthetic, but people also illegally take it to get high, as it can put them into a relaxed or detached state or create hallucinations.

In recent years, though, researchers have started looking at ketamine therapy as a treatment for severe depression and anxiety, particularly for people who haven't had success on other anti-depression medications. A 2019 study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital found that patients with anxiety experienced lessened symptoms just 40 minutes after taking a low dose of ketamine. That same year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a nasal spray called esketamine, derived from ketamine, as a medication for depression.

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Taking straight ketamine as a treatment for depression, though, is not currently approved by the FDA. It's considered an "off-label" treatment, which is offered via an IV at some clinics under the discretion of a doctor.

Researchers are unsure exactly why ketamine appears to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, but they believe the drug goes to the NMDA receptors in the brain, which can help neurons better communicate with each other and improve mood and thought patterns, according to Harvard Health.

Osbourne said that the therapy helped her move past her exit from The Talk, which CBS said was because her behavior "did not align with our values." The TV personality said that she does not plan on going back into daytime television.

"I'm not going to go on another TV show that's talk because I know right now it's not a safe place to be," she said. "The slightest thing and you've pissed off half the nation and I don't want to put myself up for that grief. I really don't."

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