It’s not always easy to imagine the people we view as “having it all” dealing with the exact same struggles as anybody else. Please allow Gina Rodriguez to spell it out for you.
The “Jane the Virgin” star has repeatedly used her platform to advocate for important issues over the course of her career like inclusion, sex positivity and ― in this particular case ― mental health. In a new conversation at The Kennedy Forum Illinois, Rodriguez opened up about her own experiences, which included living with depression starting as a teen, as well as dealing with anxiety and panic attacks.
The actress told moderator and NBC News correspondent Kate Snow, whose father-in-law died by suicide, that she spent a long time feeling unable to communicate or explore those feelings, which also included thoughts of suicide.
“I started dealing with the idea of that same concept that I think your husband was talking about,” Rodriguez told Snow. “Everything is going to be better when I’m gone. Life will be easier, all the woes will be away, all the problems. Then I wouldn’t have to fail or succeed, right? Then all this surmounting pressure would go away. It would just go away.”
Speaking honestly and through tears, Rodriguez touched on the part social media plays ― both good and bad ― when it comes to mental health. She said ultimately the apps gave her a platform to share what she was going through and help others.
“It opened a pathway to allow me to talk about it freely, to seek help, to be unafraid,” she said in the interview.
That ability to be open ultimately encouraged her to more properly manage her mental health ― which included temporarily halting production on “Jane the Virgin’s” most recent season because of her anxiety and panic attacks.
“There was a point where I couldn’t push through every single time anymore,” she said. “I’m one of those human beings where they’re just like, ‘I’ll handle it later, I’ll deal with it later, I’ll figure it out later.’”
Rodriguez joins a long list of celebrities who have opened up about mental health, the benefits of therapy and the importance of being part of the conversation ― but this interview is exceptionally raw and totally relatable for anyone who has ever felt the same way as Rodriguez.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.