Zachary Levi had ‘mental breakdown’, ‘active thoughts’ of suicide
Zachary Levi speaks candidly about his lifelong battles with anxiety, mental health and depression.
The 41-year-old actor details his struggles in his new book ‘Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others’ as he tries to find a place where he has achieved self-love.
Levi opened up about his battles with suicidal thoughts and his nervous breakdown at age 37 with journalist Elizabeth Vargas on her “Heart of the Matter” podcast before the release of his book, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The “Shazam!” star noted, “I didn’t realize I was struggling with these things until I was 37, about five years ago. . . and I had a complete nervous breakdown.
He said the breakdown happened once he moved to Austin, Texas, and realized what was happening when he was just driving around town and couldn’t decide on a restaurant to eat.
“I’m sitting in my truck, and I remember vividly standing behind the wheel and shaking back and forth, like I was almost trying to get myself out of what was going on, and I was just crying. I just cry,” he recounted. “I’m like, ‘God help me.’ “
He explained that he even had “very active thoughts of ending my life”. Although not the first time, this instance was different as he “didn’t have anyone” after moving to Texas.
“I had no support structure. So at this particular time, I am here in this wonderful city, but mostly by myself, and darkness surrounds me again,” he said.
He continued, “The lies whisper in my ear and the failure I felt I was enough to be like, ‘Zach, I feel like you’re not going to make it. ‘ “
A friend of his then suggested that he undergo “intensive, life-changing, life-saving therapy” in a psychiatric hospital for about a month.
The “Chuck” alum also explained that he spent his childhood growing up with a stepfather who had high expectations of him and a mother “who was a borderline personality.”
He later turned to “sex, drugs or alcohol” to soothe “the pain I was running from most of my life”.
Levi said: “The irony is that alcohol can give you this temporary relief, but the next day it increases that anxiety tenfold. So you come running back for more and it just becomes this vicious circle.
The ‘Tangled’ star’s next project will be the reboot of the ‘Spy Kids’ franchise and he will appear alongside ‘Jane the Virgin’ Gina Rodriguez.
The plot of the as yet untitled revival reads: “When the children of the world’s greatest secret agents unwittingly help a powerful game developer unleash a computer virus that gives him control of all technology, they must themselves- even become spies to save their parents and the world.”
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.