Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez has opened up about her struggles with anxiety and depression.
During a sit down with NBC's Kate Snow at the Kennedy Forum, Rodriguez revealed she first experienced depression at around age 16 and that while filming the final season of Jane the Virgin she suffered debilitating panic attacks.
"I think I started dealing with depression around 16," Rodriguez said (via E! News). "I started dealing with the idea of… 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."
Speaking about her panic attacks while filming the show's final season, Rodriguez revealed production had to be stopped at one point. "There was a point where I couldn't, I couldn't push through every single time anymore," she said.
"And I'm one of those human beings, and I know either you're it or you know who they are, where I'm just like, ‘I'll handle it later. I'll deal with it later. I'll figure it out later. I just have to do this now.' All the while dealing with this, you know, your silent little dragon in your head."
"This season was the first season where I had to stop production. I had a really tumultuous season and I was unafraid for the first time to be like, 'I can't.'"
Rodriguez added that she was sharing her story to help young women who may be going through the same problems.
"It has to be a part of the conversations I have with these young girls," Rodriguez said. "I can't just tell them to go out and make their dreams come true and then to ignore everything else."
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Jane the Virgin airs on Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW in the US, and on Netflix the following day in the UK.
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