Beyond Blue

I’ve always loved Rosie O’Donnell for her courteous and tactful wit. But now I want to hang photos of this comedian all over my desk because, as a fellow depressive gone public, she has just made my job of educating the public on mental health issues so much easier.

What’s not to love about a celebrity who hangs herself upside down for 15 to 30 minutes a day to jumpstart her neurotransmitters (along with yoga and antidepressants)? Inversion therapy–hanging upside down or at an inverted angle in order to use gravity to decompress body joints–has been used to relieve back pain as early as 400 B.C. But seeing Rosie demonstrate it for her audience, reading a teleprompter from a swing, made me laugh out loud at all the ways–some quite creative–we depressive use to treat our mood disorders.

I have tried and use almost every possible technique to fight the ongoing biochemical and neurological war inside my brain–from magnets on my ears to cranial sacral therapy, from Chinese herbs to acupuncture, from yoga to running, from fish oil to cognitive-behavioral therapy, from a protein diet to meditation tapes, from 12-step groups to gratitude lists–but I don’t think I’d hang upside down in front of a camera. Because, with my luck, something embarrassing would spill out of my pockets (like the time a priest gave me a ride to the train station, and a penis straw from the bachelorette party the night before fell out of my purse with the train schedule.

Rosie gets added to my growing list of mental-health heroes: Art Buchwald, Robin Williams, Patty Duke, Drew Barrymore, William Styron, Mike Wallace, Kay Redfield Jamison, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill.

Click here to see the video of her on YouTube. It’ll give you a smile.

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