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Ellen DeGeneres opens up about her struggles with depression

“What’s not easy is for me to turn it on when I feel sad inside,” she told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie.
/ Source: TODAY

Ellen DeGeneres, who made headlines this week with her decision to end her talk show after its upcoming 19th season, says the depression she faces can take a toll on her ability to host it.

The comedian says it can be challenging to get in the zone and host on days when she’s not feeling particularly happy.

“It’s really hard, yeah. Yeah,” she told Savannah Guthrie in an interview with TODAY on Thursday.

“And when I come out here it’s not like I have to fake it and so, for that one hour, and if we do two shows, two hours, I’m able to do that because I’m a performer and it’s easy for me to turn that on.”

DeGeneres said sometimes though, depression rears its ugly head.

“What’s not easy is for me to turn it on when I feel sad inside,” she said. “That’s the depression. That’s where I’m in myself. I’m not good when I’m going through a bout of depression or anxiety or whatever. But, yeah, I can do this. But, like I said, I also have other emotions.”

DeGeneres, 63, says she’s not ending her show because of last year's reports that her show was a toxic workplace, which prompted an internal investigation.

"Did you feel like you were being canceled?" Savannah asked her about the allegations, which prompted intense public scrutiny.

"I felt like somebody had some kind of, you know, I mean, I really didn't understand it, I still don't understand it," DeGeneres said. "Yeah, I thought, I thought something was going on, because it was too orchestrated, it was too coordinated.

DeGeneres told her viewers on Thursday about her decision to walk away from the show.

“The past 18 years have changed my life. You’ve changed my life," she said. "I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing ... sometimes crying. This show has been the greatest experience of my life and I owe it all to you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

"The truth is, I’ve always trusted my instincts. And my instinct told me it’s time," she added.