NEW YORK – Rosie O'Donnell says she began being treated for depression after the Columbine school shootings and hangs upside down for up to a half-hour a day to improve her mental state.
When gunmen killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, O'Donnell said she felt as if it had happened to her children.
"I couldn't stop crying," she said on an episode taped for ABC's "The View" and due to air Friday. "I stayed in my room. The lights were off. I couldn't get out of bed and that's when I started taking medication."
Anyone concerned about the stigma of taking medication for depression should know that "it saved my life," she said.
When she began taking antidepressants, O'Donnell, 44, said she began yoga and "inversion therapy," where she hangs upside down by a swing for 15 to 30 minutes a day. She demonstrates it on "The View."
O'Donnell said she also has seasonal affective disorder, often called SAD, the wintertime blues that can strike when the days grow short. SAD is characterized by recurrent major depressive episodes during the fall and winter.
She's "instantly happy" on sunny days but feels as if she's being tortured when it's cloudy. She feels the most important thing to do when you're feeling depressed is to get up and move.
"Like in 'The Wizard of Oz' the color goes out," she said. "That is what happens in depression. Everything gets gray."
Friday's episode of "The View" is devoted to women and depression. Actress Linda Dano, who was diagnosed with clinical depression after her husband and mother died within 10 days of each other two years ago, is a guest.