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Stars' Secret Battle With Depression

Aired August 29, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, as actor Owen Wilson recovers from an apparent suicide attempt, inside celebrity depression with country superstar Tanya Tucker, actress Robin Givens and "Inside Edition" anchor Deborah Norville, all opening up on their own battles with the demons that can darken lives spent in the spotlight.
And then, TV judges and talk radio stars sound off on the firestorm over Senator Larry Craig's sex sting scandal.

And more, all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

We begin with an outstanding panel discussing celebrities and depression.

They are, a return visit with Dr. Reef Karim. Dr. Karim is the attending psychiatrist and addiction specialist at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and he's director of psychiatric services at Wonderland Residential Treatment Facility.

In Nashville, Tanya Tucker, the legendary country music star, who became a top draw in her mid-teens and later battled depression and drug abuse and wrote a book about it in 2005 called "100 Ways To Beat the Blues."

In New York, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, psychologist, professor at Columbia University, former radio advice host.

In New York, Robin Givens, the actress and author of the autobiography, "Grace Will Lead Me Home." The ex-wife of boxer Mike Tyson has battled depression herself.

In New York, as well, is Deborah Norville, who has also battled depression, did so on her own without medical help. She anchors "Inside Edition". She's also reported on celebrities and their struggles with the problems.

And a return visit with Mike Fleeman, the West Coast editor of He's with us here in L.A.

Doctor Karim, last night you said that -- when we discussed Owen Wilson, that suicide attempts are not necessarily people who are depressed.

DR. REEF KARIM, DIRECTOR PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES, WONDERLAND RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITY: Right. KING: Explain, because it would seem that if you commit suicide, you're depressed.

KARIM: Yes, you think it's just purely depression, but it's really mental health. It's mental illness. It's emotional suffering, whether you have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression. I've had patients with Post-Traumatic Stress that have tried to commit suicide. It's just really emotional suffering.

KING: So it's possible to be clinically not depressed and try suicide?

KARIM: Oh, yes. Yes. Half of the schizophrenics will try.

KING: Are all who try suicide depressed?

KARIM: Good question.

I mean, in my mind, if you define depression as somebody with emotional suffering -- let me give you the example. Depression essentially is -- you have feelings of worthless, helplessness, hopelessness, problems with sleep, problems with appetite, problems with feeling like you need to end your life and feeling sad all day. People that have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder also feel that way.

KING: Tanya Tucker, at the height of your depression, did you ever think about suicide?

TANYA TUCKER, COUNTRY STAR HAS BATTLED DEPRESSION AND DRUG ABUSE: Never. No. That thought never did cross my mind. I was very depressed, in fact, so much so that I couldn't even get out of bed. But that never did come across my mind. I like life to much.

But I was. I was very depressed. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I couldn't imagine. And the more people would tell me how blessed I was, the more I would get depressed.

So I think it was more like a clinical malfunction, you know, in my brain.

KING: And you used antidepressants, right?

TUCKER: Yes. I mean I -- finally, you know, I never was one to think a psychiatrist was someone that I would ever need. But at that point in my life, I didn't have -- I didn't have anything else to go to. So I made an appointment -- my mother did -- with this wonderful person, a wonderful doctor near Nashville. And I owe my life to him, because he immediately put me on Zoloft. And I've heard a lot of nightmare -- a lot of nightmare stories about Zoloft. But I tell you, it really helped me.

KING: Yes.

TUCKER: I don't take it anymore. I haven't taken it in years. But for a while there, it was what got me through. KING: Doctor Kuriansky, define the difference between a severe case of the blues and depression.

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, PSYCHOLOGIST, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, FORMER RADIO ADVICE HOST: Well, as Tanya was just saying, she didn't really know what was wrong. So many times people who have severe depression have physiological problems. They have brain chemical imbalances...

KARIM: Exactly.

KURIANSKY: ...and that's why they don't really know what's wrong with me. They feel low. They have no energy. But it's really a chemical imbalance. Those are the people who can be helped with antidepressants and with some medications. And it's great for you, Tanya, that you took that route to help yourself.


TUCKER: Yes. I tell you, it was -- I've never felt those feelings before. And when I had my first attack, it was late at night and I didn't know what was happening to me because when I looked in the mirror, I had red splotches all over me. And I immediately went in to my mother's room.

And I said, "Mother, what's happening to me?"

And she said, "I think you're having a panic attack." And she says, she said, "Let me tell you one thing." She said, "The only thing I can tell you to help is that it can't kill you."


KURIANSKY: Well, it can kill you if you...

TUCKER: So that did help me a little bit.

KING: Robin, what kind of...

KURIANSKY: It can kill you, though.

KING: Robin -- hold it.

Robin, what kind of help did you seek when you first knew had you a problem?

ROBIN GIVENS, ACTRESS BATTLED DEPRESSION FOR YEARS: Well, it was so hard for me to figure out. I completely can concur. I didn't understand what was wrong with me.


GIVENS: People were telling me you're hot, everything's great, this is wonderful, you're blessed. And I did not want to get out of bed. And it got to be point where it almost physical. It got in my body. TUCKER: Yes.

GIVENS: I couldn't get out of bed. I used to think like I'll be fine if I can just sleep for like 20 hours. It was -- it was real -- it was difficult for me. And I think once I understood -- my doctor became my -- one of my very best friends.


GIVENS: I started talking. Talking really relieved me so much.

TUCKER: It's true.

GIVENS: A weight got lifted from me. I just started talking to everybody about it.

KING: Deborah, you...

TUCKER: Well, to find someone that knows what you're going through, you know?

KING: Deborah, did you...

TUCKER: Oh, my God.

KING: Deborah, you self-medicated?

DEBORAH NORVILLE, "INSIDE EDITION" ANCHOR HAS BATTLED DEPRESSION: No, I didn't medicate at all. And I sit here just in absolute awe and such respect for these two women on the panel, because my situation was so different. My depression was professionally induced, if you will. I had been the golden girl at NBC, had been the co-host of "The Today Show". And my career, which had been so sky high, in a matter of just months, was down in the toilet -- the ratings and, even worse, my self-esteem right there with it.

Then I had a baby.

TUCKER: Oh, wow!

NORVILLE: So you have this emotional loss associated with your career torpedoing in front of you and then -- so many women -- and Judy probably knows the percentages who suffer postpartum blues...

TUCKER: Oh, yes.

NORVILLE: ...or various forms of postpartum depression. The two of those coming together, I was -- I was like Robin in that I was basically non-functioning about six weeks before I left my house, literally wore out a bathrobe because I was so paralyzed by the enormity of everything that had happened.

KING: Right.

NORVILLE: But, truly, it was mostly professionally induced.

So, no, I...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can agree with that.


NORVILLE: I put myself back on track. I tip my hat to these women who got professional help...

KING: I want to get...

NORVILLE: ...that I wasn't in as bad as shape as them.

KING: I want to get -- we'll get everybody in in the round robin.

Mike Fleeman, you're the last of the panelists and then we'll go at it.

In watching this and listening to this, is this more common among celebrities?

MIKE FLEEMAN, PEOPLE.COM WEATHER WEST COAST EDITOR: It only seems like it's more common because when they experience this, we hear about it. If somebody's not a celebrity and they're going through this by themselves or with their therapist or their family, it doesn't reach a mass audience. And these are folks whose have shared their story and have put a face on something so that people can relate to it.

KING: A good idea to share the story, doctor?

KARIM: Absolutely. You know, there's so much to talk about here. Therapy and medications both work. They both cause brain changes. For some patients, therapy alone, I think, is an amazing tool. Other patients need medications.

The interesting thing here is all three of the panelists that are so giving of themselves to discuss their troubles or depression are women. Depression affects women two times as much as it affects men.

KING: Why?

KARIM: It's a very significant thing. A lot of research shows hormonal changes, pre-menstrual, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, you know?

Another thing is the combination of juggling work and home life for women and they've got to deal with us guys.


KING: In a moment, I'll ask the women why they choose...

TUCKER: That's it. KING: ...why they chose to come forward and talk about it at all.

Don't go away.


MARIA OSMOND: You don't feel like yourself. You feel incredibly fatigued, incredibly emotional. It's back and forth, and back and forth, and you swing so fast from moods. It's like riding a roller coaster, you don't know which way you're going to go next. And mostly just this incredible shame and despair and beating yourself up.



KING: We're back.

Tanya Tucker, why did you choose to come forward?

TUCKER: Well, actually, I think it was you. (LAUGHTER). That you had invited me on a show and I really...

KING: But you didn't have to come.

TUCKER: Well, you know, you're right. And I think I did it and I was in the middle of doing the show and we were talking about my book, "100 Ways To Beat the Blues," and then I just, in the middle of the show, started talking about my problems with depression. Because, you know, we all want to help someone. I mean if we have a problem, it's always good to -- to admit it and try to -- to face it and then try to conquer it and hopefully help someone else along the way.

Because I think that -- I think in America -- I think today in America there is a million -- a million -- probably more than that -- people who have a problem with depression. I think we really have a panic of...

KING: Yes.

TUCKER: ...a lot of people that are depressed. I mean I still get depressed. I mean I still have my nights when I cry, you know?

You know, Kevin Costner got married, you know, I cry.

But, you know, I get a little depressed about certain things, but, you know, you handle it, you know?

KING: Robin, why did you come forward?

GIVENS: Well, I was -- to tell you the truth, I was a little nervous about even coming tonight, you know?


GIVENS: You know, I had to go my gosh, is it OK to talk about that?

The sense of embarrassment that comes with it...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. GIVENS: know, I sort of thought I was over that. And then even, you know, in saying yes, I went oh my gosh, I'm sort of not.

So it's one of the reasons I did decide to come, because I know for me, I felt so robbed of time. I was robbed of so many things. I loved acting and all of a sudden I couldn't do the thing I loved to do.

TUCKER: And I don't enjoy it. Yes.

GIVENS: There were so many things.

So I agree, if you can help somebody sort of not waste that time, just sort of tackle it. It's all good, life, you know, even the difficult times.

KING: Deborah, does it all...

TUCKER: And, also, you're not losing your mind, you know?

You want to know you're not going crazy.


KING: Deborah, does it help you, as well, to come forward?

NORVILLE: You know, not really. To me, this is such a long ago chapter in my life. You know, I think I'm here more of wearing the journalist hat than the woman who battled depression 15-years ago hat.

And I'm interested to something your panelist, the doctor in L.A. said. He talked about women and women get depressed and all of that. I think it's interesting to look at the different ways that men handle depression. Men get very physical. Men get very active. And, you know, I think what sparked this discussion is the terrible news that Owen Wilson apparently tried to harm himself in a very violent way.

That's a big difference between men and women. And I think that's an important thing to bring up if, you know, we're trying to get people a little more aware of the nuances of the differences of depression.

KING: Yes. Good point.

Doctor Kuriansky?

KURIANSKY: Yes, absolutely. I think what Deborah -- what you said is very valid. There are differences. And what the difference is, is that more women may attempt to kill themselves, but more men carry it through and actually do it.


KURIANSKY: and they actually do it in more violent ways. Now, it's interesting, they shoot themselves, for example, as opposed to women, who more often take pills because that's not as violent. And it is interesting that Owen Wilson did cut himself. There are a lot of young girls who do that now that we're very worried about. And that is, in a sense, a cry for help. You can slit your wrists and bleed to death, but when you just cut superficially or take not too many pills, but enough pills so that somebody will find you, what we have is a cry for help.

What's important, from what Tanya said and from what Robin has said and from what Deborah has said, is that people around you need to pay attention to how you're feeling and to do something to help you.

KING: Mike...

TUCKER: Well, you know what really, really concerns me, though...

KING: Mike...

TUCKER: ...really, is the -- the youngsters, the young people, the teenagers in this country that are having really incredible bouts with depression. To see some of these young 14, 15-year-old kids killing themselves is just -- I mean it breaks my heart. And I know that, you know, it's hard.

KING: Mike, when it's celebrities, are we covering it out of kind of a prurient interest?

FLEEMAN: Obviously, there's a voyeuristic quality to hearing about somebody's very personal struggle. But I think more importantly, what it does is it helps people relate to something that may be theoretical. It can take the stigma away. It can make it familiar.

TUCKER: Right.

FLEEMAN: It can humanize something that, for some people, can be very clinical or very difficult to deal with.


KING: Dr. Karim, have we come a long way since Prozac?

KARIM: Yes. I mean we've come a long...

KING: Prozac was the first, right?

KARIM: Prozac was the first. And here's the interesting thing about suicidality. When you have somebody who's really, really suicidal, they don't have the energy. When they're really depressed, they don't have the energy to actually commit suicide. They're usually so depressed, so fatigued, so tired, they can't.

And then when you give them a little energy, a little relief, they're still depressed and they're still suicidal, but they're not so depressed. They have enough energy to actually do something about it.

So, as doctor, I am very scared and very careful when I've got a patient who's really depressed, who just starts to begin treatment, because that's the period of time when most I'm frightened about suicidality.

KING: Deborah, when you cover celebrities and suicide, do you bring your own personal note to it?

NORVILLE: Oh gosh, no. Absolutely not. Again, I feel so unqualified to speak on that level, because the two women on this panel had such a serious situation. They were under a doctor's care. I had sort of my own brand of cognitive therapy that helped me get out of this situation and it continues to help me.

You know, we all -- whether you've ever dealt with depression or just life gets annoying and sometimes you just want to go, aaargh.

It's important to have, within your own individual toolbox, specific techniques that help you deal with stress, that help you deal with the frustrations of daily life. For people who are not necessarily chemically balanced or don't have a good toolbox, those stressors can put them right back in that bad place.

As journalist covering these stories, though, I think it gives us a great opportunity to provide useful information to our viewers and to our readers. And that's why a program like this is so important.

It's tragic what happened to Owen Wilson, but he's blessed to have his family members right there and he's blessed to have friends who've circled around him.

If that cadre of people remains in place, I'm sure the doctors on this panel would say the outlook for him is quite promising, because he does have a great support system, which I personally believe is critical.

KING: Coming up later in our show, the darkening political future of Idaho Senator Craig in the wake of his arrest in a men's room.

But up next, more on depression in the stars, including an interesting question -- whether taking antidepressants could make a famous actor less talented.

We go to break with some comments from Brooke Shields on her bout with depression.


BROOKE SHIELDS: I remember looking at my child and not being able to feel anything resembling a connection to her and feeling the distance from motherhood, from maternal instinct, from feeling as if somehow a part of my entire self and soul had just been -- had just evaporated.



KING: Doctor Karim, can being talented and taking antidepressants and going into analysis make you less talented? KARIM: That's a great question.

You know, for antidepressant treatment and for treatment in analysis, our goal is to improve your functionality. It's not to make you less talented or less this or less that.

I will specifically choose the right medication or specifically choose the right therapeutic measure to get you to be more who you are.

Now, the interesting part of this is, if your talent relies on you being angry and irritable and sad, then it's a different story. And you've got to play that and it's got to be an adequate level of functioning. But at the same time -- so you're not suicidal -- but at the same time you're keeping your talent.

KING: A delicate balance.

KARIM: Very much so.

NORVILLE: Are more stars reluctant to get help then, Doctor?

KARIM: What's that?

NORVILLE: Are more stars reluctant to get help, then, because of that possibility?

KARIM: Oh, that is -- yes. Absolutely true. We talked about men. A lot of men are less likely to seek help. And then for people that are in the industry, I've seen so many people that are like, no, doc, you know, the meds, sorry. I can't go there, because I don't want to lose my ability to act or my ability to perform. And I have to teach them that it is possible to balance both.

KING: Robin?

GIVENS: I want you to explain to everyone, you know, including myself, just to further enlighten me, why talking can be so powerful -- talk therapy. It really, really can.

KURIANSKY: I think, Robin, because it gets it off your chest. You really get a chance to unload. You get chance to speak your truth and to be accepted for it. And that's what gets rid of the shame for celebrities.

It's a big shame to say something's wrong, and especially for comics -- Owen Wilson, you have somebody who's supposed to be funny. Robby Williams, supposed to be funny. Then they think I really can't reveal my depression. But that is the cover for the depression.

GIVENS: One other thing that I just wanted to stay and just sort of make clear. At a time when we, to me, are just surrounded by the celebrity life and people are so enamored -- you can't go to the grocery store, you can't go anywhere -- there's a sense of wanting these people's lives, our lives, to be very different than civilians, I call them, in many respects. And I think that we have to be clear, with Owen or anybody else, that -- that life is difficult for everyone. And being in the public eye does not exempt you from ordinary problems. And in many cases, just having the camera on you constantly -- Deborah mentioned what she went through -- certainly makes it more difficult.

KING: Mike, playing the Owen Wilson story front page today, right, "People" out today...

FLEEMAN: That's correct.

KING: ...Thursday, Friday, people will get it.

Was that a delicate balance?

FLEEMAN: It was because this is a difficult story to tell properly. We don't want to be -- we don't want to sensationalize it, yet at the same time we want to try to put it in some context and show the factors that might have been involved here.

With depression -- he didn't talk about it as clinical depression or something he was diagnosed with. He spoke about it more as a mood thing or how he would feel badly sometimes. He joked that he had an Irish strain of depression. But it wasn't something like we're talking about here.


Let's take a call...

TUCKER: Yes, I've been around a lot of...

KING: Hold...

TUCKER: ...a lot of comedians in my life. And I used to hang out at the comic store a lot. And it was my experience that most comedians I've ever been around have a lot depression.


KURIANSKY: Well, that's kind of sad, that it's really -- the comedy really helps you to deal with feelings. And this is actually positive, because as Deborah, as you were saying about the tools, it can be healthy to say jokes. Smiling, by the way...


KURIANSKY: ...changes the chemicals in your brain and you cannot be miserable and be smiling or laughing -- everybody could try this at home -- at the same time.

KING: True.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. KURIANSKY: And so that's a tool.

KING: Let me get a call in.

Toronto, hello.


Yes, I'd like to ask the doctor how to deal with circumstantial depression.

KING: Dr. Karim?

KARIM: That's a good question.

Circumstantial meaning like situational or reactive depression. Like you had -- you had a breakup with your boyfriend or something like that. It comes down to functionality. If you're -- if you have a two week period of time when you're feeling helpless, hopeless, worthless, you can't get out of bed, you're feeling fatigued and everything else, and it lasts two weeks or longer, I think you should get help. You should look to somebody for help.

If it's something that's transient, that goes away over time, I mean all of us have had breakups and we feel sad and we can't eat and we can't sleep for a while. You talk to your friends about it and you slowly get over it. That's not clinical depression.

But when you really are dysfunctional for an extended period of time, that's when you need to see a counselor.

KING: Deborah, how widespread is depression?

NORVILLE: Oh, I think the statistic is something like, at any given time, two out of 10 women. I'm fuzzy on my statistics. But something like 45 percent, in a study of grad students at Berkeley University two years ago, reported that they were depressed.

And what's even more disturbing about that, when you think that nearly half of the grad students are depressed, the majority didn't know that there were mental health services available on-campus.

So for most people who are dealing with depression, they're completely unaware of the vast array of possible palliatives that exist for them out there.

KING: And in our remaining...

GIVENS: But the courage it must take to walk through that door of mental health services...


GIVENS: You know, it just takes a tremendous amount of courage.


KURIANSKY: There are tricks that...

KING: I've got to take a break.

In our remaining segment, we're going to concentrate on the medicinal care.

So I wanted to thank Mike for coming.

Mike -- Mike Fleeman, the West Coast editor of

The current issue of "People" -- the front page story is about Owen Wilson.

We'll be back with the rest of our panel for one more segment.

And then we'll gather on another topic.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back with our panel on depression -- Dr. Reef Karim, Tanya Tucker, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Robin Givens and Deborah Norville.

How do you know what antidepressant to prescribe?

KARIM: It's a long process. I look at the side effects, in some way, and efficacy in the other way. So I look at which ones have worked for me and in the research that I've seen, which ones have worked, you know, in general.

KING: Because it's possible, Type Z works for him and not for her?

KARIM: Absolutely. And you look at side effects. If it's going to cause weight gain and decreased sexual performance, I'm not going to give it to a young woman. I'm just not going to do it.

KING: Let's take a call. Charlotte, North Carolina, hello?

CALLER: Hi, Robin. I just want to say you look gorgeous and I also want to say, why do you think comedians are the ones that usually seem to struggle the most with depression? You know, from Jim Carrey to Richard Jeni? Why do they all seem to have this problem with depression?

KING: Tanya, do you think it's laughing on the outside?

TUCKER: Well, I think a lot of it is, of course, pressure. Of course when they're growing up, that was one of their ways to succeed and to be popular, was to be funny. And then when, now all of a sudden they make their living that way, then all of a sudden there's a big, a big pressure on them to be funny all the time. NORVILLE: I might also throw in, we did an exclusive interview with Richard Jeni's girlfriend and she said the only time he was truly happy, was when he was onstage entertaining.

TUCKER: Yes, I can see that.

What happens is the depression is there first, and then the comedy comes as a way to cope.

TUCKER: Right.

KURIANSKY: So that's what really explains that whole situation. And there are ways to cope. Changing your thinking 1 a very good way, as Deborah was saying. If you could just say to yourself, I'm going to get through this. I know I'm going to get better. For some people that works way before you have to get to the drugs.

GIVENS: But for me -- I'm sorry. I was thinking about even comedians. I know for me, we were talking about actors earlier. Just knowing you can sort of cover up how you feel. It's your job. My big answer is how do you feel? Oh, I'm fine. I'm fine.

TUCKER: The show must go on.

GIVENS: It was difficult for me to admit that I wasn't fine. That was my starting point when I was not fine.


KING: Hold on, Dr. Karim has something.

KARIM: Comedy is about suffering. That's really what comedy is about. And so it's so easy to hide behind the mask of comedy. Because when we see funny people we're like, oh, they're funny. They don't have problems, they're cool, they're great. That's not the reality. The reality of comedy is suffering. It's so easy to go undiagnosed, when you're in comedy.


KING: We used to say there's a thin line between comedy and tragedy.

KARIM: Exactly, comedy and tragedy.

KING: Another call from Hamilton, Ontario. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. I'm just, like, totally blown away by your people tonight. The doctor said, I'm on six different kinds of medication, because my son died in a horrific accident, and I have post-traumatic stress because high to identify his body. So when we're talking depression, let's talk real depression and how long is this going to take before I can --

KING: How long ago did it happen, dear?

CALLER: I'm sorry?

KING: How long ago did it happen?

CALLER: Six years. But it happens to me every day. Six years.

KING: Why, doctor, six years? Why does it --

KARIM: First off, I'd like to know if she was depressed prior to the event. We don't know that. But essentially, bereavement is supposed to take six months to a year at most. Anything beyond that is true clinical depression. This woman has the bereavement issue as well as true diagnosis of --

KING: How about the trauma of identifying the body?

KARIM: That's a horrific trauma. And you're talking about a couple of different things, post-traumatic stress from that, the bereavement of losing and then the combination of the depression. So six medications is a lot of medications to be on from an antidepressant standpoint. Perhaps there's something else she can talk to her doctor about.

KING: Possible she might never get over it, Robin?

GIVENS: I don't know. I know for me, I would love to talk to the doctors about this or ask this question. I wonder if she's going through this. It was hard for me to stay in the moment, not look in the past continually. To go from where I was now or where I am now and continue to look forward. And I get the feel with her, that's what I hear, that she's looking in the past. One of the doctors, I'm sure, can answer that question.

NORVILLE: Can I throw something out here, Larry? I'm a big proponent of do it yourself, and certainly this woman has got a physician. She's on a lot of medication. I think, you know, it's probably advisable to see if maybe there's some way to change this, because it's clearly not working for her.

But I think you can you also go outside the chemical realm and do some things that are pretty simplistic, some would say, but actually quite effective.

In each one of our days, there is at least one thing that happened that was pleasant, that was positive. And I think the more one's able to focus in on that and grab hold of it, write it down, put it on a piece of paper, a bright pink Post-It if you have to so that you know that at least one good thing happened. It's a tiny little life preserver that can be the beginning of the foundation of a big float that can keep her going through life.

KURIANSKY: Deborah, I love that Deborah brings that up because that is true. There are things you can do, thinking positive thoughts, remembering good things that have happened, even from the past. Looking forward to something, and collecting people around you who will remind you of how wonderful you are and some of the blessings. These may sound like they're simple, but it is. It's a simple way to help yourself cope with some of these things.

I need to say about loss, though, that it can take half the time of a relationship to get over losing it, and even then, 10 percent of the pain remains. So people need to really accept. I am suffering and I have a right to suffer, and it is valid. That gives you strength to go on. Even knowing I'm OK that I'm not OK.

KING: Tanya, you have a thought for the lady?

TUCKER: Yeah, because the worst day of my life was Thanksgiving of last year. Thanksgiving morning I lost my dad, who had a massive heart attack early that morning on Thanksgiving. And, of course, I had to go through Thanksgiving with my children and trying to just persevere and this was my mentor, my coach, my manager. He was my life.

For every -- he was everything to me. He was my warrior. So you know, I would go in serious bouts of depression over that since it happened. I go back and forth. So it's a very, very -- just last night I was talking to my sister about it, and started to, you know, started bawling about it.

I think about him all the time. And just because of my -- personal feelings but also he was my manager. He was my business. You know?

GIVENS: What about fair? I have to say that for me, my saving thing, I don't want to - I appreciate that Deborah was able to do it herself have to say. But if you cannot do it yourself, no one should feel bad about having to go to a doctor, first and foremost. For me, prayer was a tremendous thing, Larry. I have to say.

TUCKER: That's it.

GIVENS: And just having faith because there's so many thing we cannot control and I know for me, I would suggest that to her.

TUCKER: Definitely I've been praying a lot. But also my fans have helped me.

KING: The Senator Larry Craig controversy is still ahead in the show. But when we come up, more on antidepressants and side effects, including weight gain. And one of our guests has a firsthand story about that. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Did you have a weight gain problem, Tanya?

TUCKER: No. You know, I gained some weight, but it wasn't because of depression. It was more of a thyroid thing. You know. No. It wasn't --

KING: It wasn't due to pills. Are there weight gain problems frequent, Dr. Karim? KARIM: Yes, there are in some of the medications. I think Tanya, interestingly enough, there is a link, a medical link between depression and certain physical ailments in the body, thyroid being one of them.

When you have a medical illness, coronary artery disease, you have a heart attack. If you have a heart attack, there's a 50 percent chance you may become depressed after and then a mental health problem and you've got a problem with your body. So it's even that much more compounded.

KING: Can you become addicted to anti-depressants?


KING: You can't. That's not possible?


KING: By the way, before they leave us, I want to check on what each of our talent people are doing. Tanya, what are you doing now?

TUCKER: Well, I'm in the process of trying to finish a new album. Of course -- and hopefully it will, is going to be, get in the right management company. Since my dad's no longer here, and able to represent me well, and hopefully re-launch this career of mine. So --

KING: I hope so, too. Robin, what are you doing? I know the book did well.

GIVENS: Yeah. I finished the book and I just finished a movie. "The Queen of Media," we just wrapped on that. That will be out next year.

KING: That's great. And Deborah?

NORVILLE: I'll be at "Inside Edition" first thing in the morning. Check your local listings. But I've also got a book coming out in the fall, it's called "Thank You Power" and it's how to make the science of gratitude work for you. I'm really excited about it.

KING: By the way, it's terrific because she sent me an advance copy of it.

NORVILLE: Thank you, I'm glad you like it, Larry.

KING: In New York and I bumped into you in New York and it really is very, very well done. You ought to be very, very proud of it.

NORVILLE: Coming from you, thank you.

KING: I mean it. Philadelphia, hello?

CALLER: Hello, Larry. I have a question for Tanya. I would like to know how difficult it is for her to perform in front of a live audience with panic disorder?

TUCKER: Gosh you know, I really haven't done that with panic -- when I was having a panic attack. I mean, I guess you could have some sort of panic when you're doing live television, like the CMA Awards or something. But you handle that. I've always been able to handle that.

But when I was having my bouts of depression, I couldn't get out of bed, much less go on stage. I didn't go anywhere near a stage. One time I went down -- thought I could get out of bed and go down the hill I got down there and had couldn't get back up. Somebody had to pick me up.

KING: Thank you all very much for an illuminating 45 minutes. Dr. Reef Karim, you're going to be a regular here. Tanya Tucker, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, always good to have you with us. Robin Givens, Deborah Norville and when we come back, a dark day for a disgrace senator as a colleague will call for his resignation. Stick around. That's next.


SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R), IDAHO: I am not gay. I never have been gay.

SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R), IDAHO: I've spoken with Larry yesterday. You've read the statement, and I take him at his word.

CRAIG: I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Pled guilty, and then he had the opportunity to plead innocent. So I think he should resign.


KING: We'll be discussing Senator Larry Craig in a moment. Let's get down to New Orleans and a big anniversary and Anderson Cooper is there for "AC 360." Anderson, what's up?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, we're here tonight to keep a promise we made two years ago, not to forget what happened to the people here or the pledges made to them after Hurricane Katrina to help them in their battle back.

So tonight we're keeping the politicians honest. We're also highlighting the hard work of doctors and teachers, volunteers from the community and all across the country. Young people like the ones behind me who have come here to help rebuild New Orleans. Some remarkable stories. I hope you'll join us for that, Larry, at the top of the hour.

KING: That's "A.C. 360," 10 Eastern, 7 Pacific. Anderson Cooper on the scene.

Right now the subject is Senator Larry Craig. The panelists are, in San Diego, Judge David Young who presides over a new TV court program bearing his name. It premieres in syndication in September. He's a former circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County and he's in San Diego to address the 2007 convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

In New York is Randi Rhodes, host of the popular "Randi Rhodes Show" on Air America. In Portland, Oregon, Lars Larson, talk radio host of the "Lars Larson Show." The motto of his show is right on the left coast.

And here in Los Angeles, Judge Greg Mathis, presiding over TV's "Judge Mathis Show," former Michigan district court judge.

We'll begin right away with the political verdict against Craig has been rather swift and harsh. Republican leaders already calling for his resignation. Here is Senator John McCain in this interview with CNN. Watch.


MCCAIN: Pled guilty and he had the opportunity to plead innocent. So I think he should resign. My opinion is that when you plead guilty a crime, then you shouldn't serve. And that's not a moral stand. That's not a holier than thou. It's a factual situation. I don't try to judge people, but in this case, it's clear, that it was disgraceful.


KING: Judge Young, what do you say?

JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, FORMER CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE: I agree with the senator. The problem is that he tried to cover it up. That's the reason he needs to resign. When he said that he pled to a lesser charge, so it would go away, what does that tell you? It smacks of hypocrisy and the man should not be in the United States Senate whatsoever.

KING: Lars Larson, what do you think?

LARS LARSON, TALK RADIO HOST: Now he's compounded the crime because he came out yesterday and announced he didn't really wanted to plead guilty, he's not really guilty of anything. That either means he lied to the court or he's lying now to his constituents. He needs to resign, Larry.

KING: Randi Rhodes, what's going on with this? And there's a front page story in the "New York Times" today about what's hitting Republicans. What do you make of this?

RANDI RHODES, AIR AMERICA: Well, he's a hypocrite and people don't like hypocrisy. Some people like bigotry and they practice it regularly. But hypocrisy just wreaks. And what can I tell you?

The guy was in a bathroom. I think that's the most embarrassing part of the story. He was in a bathroom, Larry. I'm a woman. I would rather explode than use a public toilet. You know? It's one of those things.

But it does explain in a weird way, you know, why they went after Clinton the way they, because apparently Republicans have a problem with sex with women. You know, it's just -- it's crazy. The list of gay Republicans is longer than the -- the cast of you know, "Rent" or "A Chorus Line."

I wish everybody would stop the bigotry and come out and be who you are, and realize that fear and loathing in this country is so 20th century. This is the 21st, you know, stop with the bigotry.

KING: Judge Mathis, what do you think?

JUDGE GREG MATHIS, TV'S JUDGE MATHIS: In terms of the political ramifications, I think it's very deep. Here you have a conservative family values, right-wing Christian loving man who has criticized the gay lifestyle and other so-called liberal lifestyles.

And you catch him under the toilet with a man, allegedly. Then you have a few months ago, or a year or so ago, Congressman Foley, same type of politics. Conservative, right-wing, family values.

Then you have the leading evangelist, Ted Haggard, who was also a right-wing political activist who always espoused family values. I'm becoming confused as to what family values they're talking about.

LARSON: Hold on --

RHODES: I think I know what family values are.

KING: Hold on. Lars -

RHODES: I really do, the whole idea of -- you know, a woman called me today Larry and put it so beautifully. She really did. She said here on the left we love our religion, but we love our children more. I really think that's what we ought to start the 21st century.

KING: Lars, do you want to chip in?

LARSON: Larry, I want to tell you something. This isn't about loving children. This is about two perverts. If you want to bring up Foley --

RHODES: Well for Foley, it was about loving children.

LARSON: Foley's a pedophile. That's not homosexuality.

RHODES: I know Mark Foley. Mark Foley was my congressman. Let me tell you something, everybody knew Mark Foley was gay. And the only person --

LARSON: But this isn't about being gay. It's about being attracted -- in Foley's case, it was children.

RHODES: The only person that wouldn't admit that Mark Foley was gay was Mark Foley. LARSON: This isn't homosexuality.

RHODES: Because Mark Foley didn't believe he could get re- elected if he admitted who he was.

KING: Randi, let Lars talk.

LARSON: Larry, here's the thing where Randi's wrong. She's trying to draw a parallel between perverted six in a bathroom and homosexuality. When Republicans do that, they get bashed. But here's Randi saying they're equivalent.

RHODES: Nobody's saying they're equivalent.


MATHIS: I think you're missing the point. I think you're missing the point. The point is the contradiction between family values and what they espouse and the lifestyle that they actually live.

YOUNG: When you say they, are you saying -

MATHIS: Foley, I'm referring to -- Foley and -

YOUNG: Let's talk about hypocrisy. I'm the only gay person on this panel.


MATHIS: I'm referring to they as Foley. I'm referring to they as Craig. I'm referring to they as Haggard. All of them espoused family values, right wing and hypocrites and contradiction --

KING: Hold on. Judge, you get a word then Lars.

YOUNG: Let me get a word in edgewise. I appreciate what you all are saying but the bottom line is, being the only gay person, what this guy did was in his whole career is put the gay movement down, put gays and lesbians down.

And look what's going on with him. He's in the closet, and he's doing things when give gay people a bad name. If you think the gay people pick up people, which I've heard at bathrooms and rest stop, you're absolutely insane.

It's the policy of this senator that he's voted for time and time again, that he's espoused time and time again that cause him to be in the closet, to go under cover.

It is wrong it is wrong, it is wrong. Did I say his actions are wrong? It's horribly wrong and he should resign.

KING: We'll take a break. More on the so-called sex sting senator when we go back.

As we go to break, proving that everybody in the country is not taking this story seriously. Stay tuned.


DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW: Senator Craig said he made a mistake by pleading guilty, and I was thinking, well, maybe that was your second mistake. The way I look at it, anybody who spends more than two minutes in an airport bathroom is guilty of something.

JAY LENO, TALK SHOW: And Senator Craig is married. He's married. Apparently told his wife, don't worry about having dinner ready for me. I'm going to wolf down a hot dog at the airport. That's what he said.



KING: Randi Rhodes, how much legs does this story have?

RHODES: Well, as long as he tries to hold on to his Senate seat, people are going to take pop shots at him. Everything's a double entendre. I don't even mean it to be that.

The story just cracks us up today because of the hypocrisy of it all. But truly I just wanted to say somewhere there is a 15-year-old kid struggling right now, being bullied in school because of his sexual orientation. And the whole idea that they still practice bigotry and that grand old pervert party, it's got to stop.

KING: Lars, is -- when she says something like that and you see about Senator Craig, is it embarrassing to you as a Republican?

LARSON: No because I don't think the grand old party stands for that. Randi Rhodes is trying to paint the rest of the Republican Party based on the actions of one individual, which is crazy.

RHODES: Well I don't bring up -- I don't want to banter on gay marriage and I don't put those things on the ballot to get people.

LARSON: This isn't about gay marriage. It's about perverted sex a bathroom. Bathroom sex and gay marriage have nothing to do with each other, Randi. Tell me a -

RHODES: Well he's gay in the bathroom. If the policy wasn't the way it was, he wouldn't -


KING: One at a time.

YOUNG: You both are missing the big picture.

RHODES: I'm not. I'm trying to --

YOUNG: Excuse me. Hypocrisy - (CROSSTALK)

KING: Randi, let him talk.

LARSON: She can't stop talking.

YOUNG: It's about the hypocrisy of a United States senator who went on "Meet the Press" and called Bill Clinton a nasty, dirty white boy and he's doing the same things. Politicians have got to better start being responsible to themselves, and if we have to be responsible to yourself and to your family then you have no business in public office, and this senator from Idaho has no business in public office, because he is a great big hypocrite.

KING: Listen, Judge Mathis -- Judge Mathis?

MATHIS: It isn't just one right wing conservative family values advocate.

RHODES: Right!

MATHIS: We can say once again, Ted Haggard, a leading evangelist who was a leader of the right wing conservative movement. Then Mark Foley, same thing - family values guys. We're not going to isolate this on one. We are prosing, perhaps a culture within the right wing conservative movement of hypocrisy and contradiction.

KING: Lars?

LARSON: Larry, here's the thing. When Republicans do bad things -- I came out Monday night when this story broke on "Roll Call" and said this guy has to go. That's what Republicans do. Foley -- hold on. Larry, can I get a word in edgewise with Randi?

KING: Randi, let him finish.

LARSON: Mark Foley was out of the Congress so fast, he packed his car and went back to Florida. This guy is going to be out by before the end of the week.

Where's William Jefferson? Where's the outrage at that kind of corruption? Apparently the Democrats don't believe in calling their own on corruption. Bathroom sex has nothing to do with gay marriage. It's about corruption.

RHODES: It's about the policies that the Republican Party stands for! That puts the man in the bathroom.

LARSON: Nobody is standing up for this guy, Randi.

RHODES: Stop making sex a sin and you'll keep people out of the bathroom. Are you dense?


KING: We're going to hear a lot more on this. Thank you all very much.


KING: Time to shut off the mikes! Thank you, guests.

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Now to New Orleans, Anderson Cooper and "A.C. 360."