Bowen Yang Announces Podcast Hiatus Amid 'Bad Bouts With Depersonalization' Disorder

Yang hosts the 'Las Culturistas' podcast with Matt Rogers.

Bowen Yang is sharing a health update.

The Saturday Night Live star took to his Instagram Story on Saturday and shared that he's battling "bad bouts of depersonalization" and, as a result, will be "taking a very short break" from his Las Culturistas podcast, which he co-hosts with Matt Rogers. Yang and Rogers launched the popular iHeart Radio culture podcast in 2016.

 "Taking a very short break from last clutch. Bad bouts of depersonalization are f***ing me up bad but I am doing my best to get better!" Yang shared on his Story. "Please take care, be back soon."

According to the Mayo Clinic, depersonalization-derealization disorder occurs "when you persistently or repeatedly have the feeling that you're observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things around you aren't real, or both. Feelings of depersonalization and derealization can be very disturbing and may feel like you're living in a dream."

The medical center goes on to say that when depersonalization keeps occurring or never completely go away it can interfere with one's ability to function. Depersonalization disorder, the Mayo Clinic also notes, is more common in people who've had traumatic experiences.

The 32-year-old, who joined SNL as a staff writer in 2018 and became the first Chinese-American cast member when he was promoted the following year, told The New York Times in a January 2020 profile that he's "pretty damaged," and he pointed to an experience when he was 17 after his parents found a conversation he was having on AOL Instant Messenger.

Bowen Yang / Instagram

"Me sort of having lewd conversations with someone, just revealing that this was who I was, that I was gay," he recalled. "They just sat me down and yelled at me and said, 'We don’t understand this. Where we come from, this doesn’t happen.' I'd only seen my father cry when my grandpa died and now he’s sobbing in front of me every day at dinner. And I’m thinking, 'How do I make this right?' This is the worst thing you can do as a child of immigrants. It’s just like you don’t want your parents to suffer this much over you."

Yang later shared that his father arranged for eight sessions with a specialist, which Yang said turned out be gay conversion therapy.

"I allowed myself the thought experiment of: 'What if this could work?'" he said. "Even though as I read up on it, I was just like, 'Oh, wait, this is all completely crackers.' At the first session, he asks me, 'Would you like this to be Christ centered or a secular sort of experience?'" And I was like, 'I guess nonreligious.' But even for him to ask that question means that there was this kind of religious agenda behind it anyway."

"The first few sessions were talk therapy, which I liked, and then it veers off into this place of, 'Let's go through a sensory description of how you were feeling when you’ve been attracted to men,'" he continued. "And then the counselor would go through the circular reasoning thing of, 'Well, weren't you feeling uncomfortable a little bit when you saw that boy you liked?' And I was like, 'Not really.' He goes, 'How did your chest feel?' And I was like, 'Maybe I was slouching a little bit'  And he goes, 'See? That all stems from shame.' It was just crazy. Explain the gay away with pseudoscience."