Paulina Porizkova shared a personal story for World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10. “I had my first bout of depression after I weaned off antidepressants I took for my debilitating anxiety,” she wrote on Instagram. “Suddenly, I was in a new world that contained no hope or joy.” She had constant nightmares and sleepless nights while trying to stay away from medication. But she persevered because on antidepressants she “felt numb to [her] sex life and creative instincts.”
She found comfort in knowing that medication existed and was available if she decided she needed it again. “Instead, I tried exercise, meditation, EMDR, tapping, probiotics,” she added. “I had already been in talk therapy for a few years.”
Porizkova used to think of antidepressants as painkillers that would quiet her anxiety while making her feel “insulated” against life. She spoke to psycho-pharmacology professor Dr. Phillip Cowen and psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Boardman and learned that while antidepressants do work, it’s difficult to explain why. Antidepressants are an “incredibly valuable tool” that vary in effectiveness for each person, and often can work and then stop working, the three discussed on the NewsNotNoise podcast with Jessica Yellin. But there are a multitude of additional tools that can be utilized, and “unless the depression is debilitating, and if one has the means and time, the other options should be tried first, because they are longer lasting and may have beneficial side effects,” Porizkova wrote.
“If you suffer from depression, right now the best bet seems to be to find a therapist you can really trust—and develop a game plan, which may or may not include medication,” the model continued.
The two-time SI Swimsuit cover model said she used SAMe when her “life fell apart” and it was effective. According to the Mayo Clinic, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a naturally found compound in the body that helps produce and regulate hormones and maintain cell membranes. It is a prescription drug and should not be used in combination with other antidepressant medications.
The 57-year-old has always been vulnerable and uses her social platforms to open up to followers. She just penned a memoir, No Filter: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful, and revealed the cover on Oct. 7. The book, published by Penguin Random House, is slated to release Nov. 15 and is currently available for preorder ($27 or $14.99 Kindle).
Porizkova openly writes about being one of the highest-paid models in the world in the late 1980s. She discusses the ups and downs and the timeline of her relationship with singer Ric Ocasek, whmo she met when she was 19 when he was 50. She talks about betrayal, divorce, motherhood and dealing with the death of her ex-husband.
“This is a wise and compelling exploration of heartbreak, grief, beauty, aging, relationships, re-invention and finding your purpose,” reads the publisher’s website. “In these essays, Porizkova bares her soul and shares the lessons she’s learned—often the hard way. After a lifetime of being looked at, she is ready to be heard.”