Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, 34, recently opened up in an emotional interview about experiencing anxiety and suicidal thoughts at the age of 16.
While in Chicago, Rodriguez spoke to NBC’s Kate Snow at The Kennedy Forum about her dealing with depression from her teenage years well into her adulthood. “I think I started dealing with depression around 16,” she confessed.
The statement came after Snow’s husband, Chris Bro, took the stage to speak about losing his father to suicide, inspiring Rodriguez to speak about her own battles with suicidal thoughts saying, “I started dealing with the idea – that same concept that I think your husband was talking about – that 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,” the new bride continued. “It would just go away.”
Rodriguez started to tear up as she noticed she what she was confessing to in front of the audience. “I felt that before, not too long ago, and it’s a very real feeling,” she said through tears. She’s previously been open about her experience with anxiety, sharing an Instagram video two years ago of a 10-second portrait of herself. The caption detailed to followers about the anxiety she experiences.
“It’s always great to be in front of his lens but this time it was just me,” Rodriguez wrote. “Bare and exposed in the streets of LA. No makeup. No styling. Just me. I suffer from anxiety. And watching this clip I could see how anxious I was but I empathize with myself.”
She continued, “I wanted to protect her and tell her it’s OK to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.”
During her interview for The Kenny Forum, Rodriguez revealed the last season of Jane was particularly difficult for her to film, as she suffered panic attacks. “The last season was the first season that I had to stop production,” she confessed. “And I just had a really tumultuous season, and I was unafraid, for the first time, to be like, ‘I can’t.'” Recently, the cast of the critically acclaimed CW show wrapped the series with its 100th episode, which will air later this summer.
The actress wanted people, young girls especially, to know her life wasn’t perfect and still had its own struggles. “It was the reason why I took this talk,” Rodriguez said, confessing she felt it was vital to remain honest with her fans. “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.”