Entertainment

‘Jane The Virgin’ Actress Opens Up About How Anxiety Kept Her From Showing Up To Set

Even though depression, anxiety, and mental health are becoming more publicly discussed, there is a stigma attached to it. It’s still seen as a weakness instead of a disease. Mental wellness is not regarded in the same way physical wellness is. It isn’t discussed at home or at schools — making the important topic all but taboo. That’s why it is so important that we talk publicly about our struggles with mental health.

It’s with that in mind that “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez opened up about her own experiences.

Rodriguez has been open about her personal experience with her mental health in the past.

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In 2017, in fact, she posted about her journey with anxiety in a very candid Instagram post.

She has now opened up even further in an emotional sitdown with NBC’s Kate Snow during the recent Kennedy Forum.

The actress explained:

“I think I started dealing with depression around sixteen. 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.”

The pressure Rodriguez refers to includes the difficult time she had while filming the final season of “Jane the Virgin.”

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According to the star, she began suffering from panic-induced, debilitating anxiety attacks while on set.

“There was a point where I couldn’t, I couldn’t push through every single time anymore,” Rodriguez shared with Snow. “And I’m one of those human beings…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.”

Rodriguez went on to explain that this struggle caused her to stop production on the series for the first time ever.

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“I had a really tumultuous season, she confessed. “I was unafraid for the first time to be like, ‘I can’t.'”

That courage motivated Rodriguez to get the help she needed and to take the time to prioritize herself. It’s a milestone that anyone who fights against their mental illness would recognize. We can only imagine the pressure Rodriguez faced in the midst of a busy production schedule.

Her ability to speak openly about mental health is motivated by the girls and women who look up to her.

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“I can’t just tell them to go out and make their dreams come true and then to ignore everything else,” Rodriguez explained.

The actress has long been a mentor in the fields of art, body positivity, immigration rights, and feminism. In 2016, Rodriguez launched the We Will Foundation to promote young artists through education and scholarships. In 2018, she worked with P&G to start the Always Campaign to benefit Feeding America.

This candid conversation is another example of her commitment to being the sort of mentor the world needs most.

Poor mental health is often a side effect of other illnesses; which is the case with Rodriguez.

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Anxiety and depression are complications of her Hashimoto’s Disease. Rodriguez shared in a 2017 SELF interview that the medicine she takes for her thyroid causes heart palpitations. This disrupted rhythm sometimes triggers panic attacks.

The illness has forced the actress to reassess herself and become more self-aware. After adjusting her medication, she noticed improvements.

Still, Rodriguez had to face the bigger issue of her underlined mental health. That self-awareness has helped her and hopefully, her experience can help others struggling with the same issues.

More Latinos Are Struggling With Epilepsy Than You Might Think

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More Latinos Are Struggling With Epilepsy Than You Might Think

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Epilepsy is a disorder that is characterized by unprovoked seizures that are not tied to alcohol withdrawal or low blood sugar. The disorder can be genetic or a result of a traumatic brain injury. Hundreds of thousands of Latinos in the U.S. are diagnosed with epilepsy and there is more we can do as a community to help those with the disorder.

There are around 400,000 Latinos who are living with epilepsy.

Camila Coelho, a Brazilian fashion influencer and blogger, recently shared her own journey living with epilepsy. In an interview with PEOPLE, Coelho opened up about being diagnosed with epilepsy since she was 9 years old.

“My mother said to me, ‘Camila, you are a normal child. You will live your normal life. There’s nothing you can’t do,'” Coelho told the magazine.

Coelho is using her platform to educate people about epilepsy.

“I have EPILEPSY and I didn’t let it stop me from achieving my dreams 🙏🏻 💜 I am happy to announce that I am not only an @epilepsyfdn Ambassador, but now also a member of the BOARD,” Coelho shared on Instagram. “As someone who lived with epilepsy since the age of 9, I feel honored and excited to join this amazing team, and help change and save lives of those with epilepsy around the world, who may feel different and alone like I once did!! (I shared more on my stories)! #epilepsyawareness

The Epilepsy Foundation did a study to find out the cultural awareness around epilepsy.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, there is still a perception of fear and misunderstanding around epilepsy. The misunderstandings around epilepsy make diagnosing and treating the disorder a challenge.

There are different therapies and treatments for epilepsy. The Epilepsy lists some of those therapies as:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This form of therapy started in the 1960s and has been successful in helping people to overcome some of their symptoms. This form of therapy is based on the belief that the thoughts are responsible for guiding behavior. The therapy helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression that might lead to seizures.

Educational Intervention: Studies have found that people being diagnosed early and supported have a better time adjusting to the diagnosis. The younger someone can learn about epilepsy and how it can be managed with appropriate therapy, the better they can adjust.

Relaxation Therapies: The Epilepsy Foundation claims that massage, acupuncture, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and deep breathing therapies could be beneficial for people living with epilepsy.

Make sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your existing treatment plans.

You can learn more about epilepsy and how you can help by going to the Epilepsy Foundation website.

READ: Salice Rose Gave Her Family A Vulnerable Look At Her Mental Health Struggles: “I Was Asking For Help”

Parents Angered After Priest Refuses To Offer Autistic Son First Communion

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Parents Angered After Priest Refuses To Offer Autistic Son First Communion

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First Communion is a very important moment in any Catholic child’s life. The family gets together to watch the little ones walk down the church aisles in white and partake in the sacrament for the first time. For one family, however, a priest has taken that moment away from them because their child is autistic.

The LaCugna family is upset that their autistic son was denied his First Communion.

Credit: Jimmy LaCugna / Facebook

Jimmy LaCugna took to Facebook to share his disappointment with his church for denying his special needs son his First Communion. First Communion is one of the most important moments in a young Catholics life and the family feels like it has been taken away from them.

“They said there is no way he can make his Communion. He doesn’t understand what the Holy Communion is about,” Nicole LaCugna told News 12 New Jersey. “Nowhere in the Bible does it ever show discrimination of anybody.”

Since the Facebook post by Jimmy, the church tried to change course then deleted their reversal from Facebook.

Credit: Jimmy LaCugna / Facebook

Allegedly, the church released a statement that painted the LaCugna family as being dishonest about the situation. However, it was deleted from their Facebook page without warning.

The post initially stated that “new information has come to light” stating that children with intellectual and cognitive disabilities “should be presumed to have an inner spiritual relationship with God.”

“My heart shattered,” Nicole told the New York Post. “My first thought was, how do you take a child who was one of God’s children and say that he is not good enough, basically, to be making the sacrament?”

At the center of the controversy is the fact that Rev. John Bambrick made the decision but hasn’t addressed the family personally.

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In a statement posted to the church’s website, Rev. Bambrick blames the controversy on a breakdown of communication.

“With the guidance and support of Bishop David O’Connell, we were able to discern a way for the child to receive First Holy Communion without any delay,” Rev Bambrick stated. “We have made the family aware of this development and hope to be able to meet with them to discuss it. Their child continues to be welcome in our program, and will be able to receive First Holy Communion this year.”

Catholic parishioners have been shocked and dismayed by this church’s handling of a child with special needs.

Credit: @TaylorCVaughn / Twitter

The decision to withhold the child’s First Communion for mental or health issues isn’t the first time. A quick Google search brings back several cases of children being denied their First Communion because of mental or health issues.

READ: 21 Things Latinos From Catholic Families Know To Be True