Gina Rodriguez’s longtime struggle with anxiety and depression has made the actress consider suicide on more than one occasion.
The Jane the Virgin star is known for her bubbly personality, but in 2017, she went public with her mental health problems in a candid video posted on Instagram, and now she is opening up further about the deep-rooted issues she has faced since her teens.
“I think I started dealing with depression around 16,” the 34 year old told U.S. newswoman Kate Snow during a talk at The Kennedy Forum event in Chicago, Illinois last week (June 14, 2019).
“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 (go) 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.”
Asked to clarify if she was talking about suicide, Rodriguez replied, “Oh yeah… and I’ve felt that before, not too long ago, and it’s a very real feeling,” she said.
The newlywed was inspired to speak out about her own experiences to encourage her fans, particularly girls, to be more candid about their issues on social media, instead of trying to bury them, like she did during her youth.
Admitting that sharing her emotions was still “very new territory” for her, Rodriguez said, “It has to be a part of the conversations I have with these young girls. I can’t just tell them to go out and make their dreams come true and then to ignore everything else.”
The star also explained her anxiety is still something she has to keep in check, and one panic attack even forced her to halt filming on the fifth and final season of Jane the Virgin.
“There was a point where I couldn’t push through every single time anymore,” she recalled. “It came to a point – this was the first season that… I had to stop production. I just had a really tumultuous season.”
However, Rodriguez was finally able to voice her needs to the cast and crew, and she is proud not to have shied away from confronting her struggles head on: “I was unafraid, for the first time, to be like, ‘I can’t,'” she added.
The last season of Jane the Virgin debuted in the U.S. earlier this year (2019).