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.

This Man Suffered From A Rare Syndrome That Burns You From The Inside Out, All Because He Had A Reaction To His Anti Depressants

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This Man Suffered From A Rare Syndrome That Burns You From The Inside Out, All Because He Had A Reaction To His Anti Depressants

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*Warning: Graphic images ahead*

A man’s reaction to anti depressants was so bad, his skin started peeling off his face. The kin on his entire body flaked off, leaving his flesh exposed and at risk of infection. He was diagnosed with a rare syndrome caused by medication that targeted his bi-polar disorder. 

Jonathan Laird, from Greenfield, Indiana, was prescribed lamotrigine in April 2016 to boost his mood after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Within a month of taking the pills, the 38-year-old was suffering flu-like symptoms and his eyes became so sore it felt as through ‘glass was piercing them’.

Laird was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

The symptoms escalated quickly, and he developed red raw sores inside his mouth and lips, as well as on the back of his throat and across his entire body.

Mr Laird was taken to a hospital and was immediately transferred to an intensive care unit where he was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS).

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare but serious disorder that affects the skin, mucous membrane, genitals and eyes. The mucous membrane is the soft layer of tissue that lines the digestive system from the mouth to the anus, as well as the genital tract (reproductive organs) and eyeballs. Stevens-Johnson syndrome is usually caused by an unpredictable adverse reaction to certain medications. It can also sometimes be caused by an infection —and in Laird’s case, it was a reaction to Lamotrigine.

The syndrome often begins with flu-like symptoms, followed by a red or purple rash that spreads and forms blisters. 

The affected skin eventually dies and peels off. Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a medical emergency that requires treatment in hospital, often in intensive care or a burns unit.

The skin on Mr Laird’s face started rotting and flaking off, leaving his flesh exposed and prone to infection. 

Doctors wrapped his face in pig skin grafts, which keep affected wounds sterile before a proper skin graft can be done. They have long been used as a wound dressing in burned patients.

When Mr Laird was admitted to hospital, doctors scrambled to save as much of his healthy skin as they could.

They even stitched his eyes shut for two weeks in a bid to protect his eyeballs because the disorder had made them ultra-sensitive to light. He recalled: ‘My eyes started to feel like they had little pieces of glass in them, it was very uncomfortable, and I was scared to touch them or rub them because it literally felt like I was going to cut my eyes. ‘I thought, “Is this Stevens Johnson Syndrome?”’

‘When you have Stevens Johnson Syndrome you basically burn from the inside out,’ said Jonathan.

‘It starts as a rash and then the rash erupts into blisters. ‘They stitched my eyes shut to protect my vision, they bound my hands together so I couldn’t rip the tube out that was down my throat. ‘I don’t remember much. I fell in and out of consciousness. ‘I felt like I was dreaming all the time, I don’t think I really knew that my eyes were stitched shut. ‘They also put pigskin all over me to prevent infection. ‘They were afraid I was going to get pneumonia at one point, so they had to make sure that everybody who came to see me had gloves on and gowns.’

Jonathan was unable to speak and had to communicate with his family by writing down answers to their questions. 

He said at one point he wrote ‘am I going to die?’ which was hard for everyone to read. After 11 days in ICU, he was transferred to a burns unit and his eyes were unstitched after two weeks. Jonathan was released from the hospital last summer and continues to recover while writing a blog about the condition. He added his hope was to show that those affected by Stevens Johnson Syndrome are not alone. ‘Be brave and you’ll get through this, and the person you’re going to be on the other side of this is a much stronger person,’ he said.

Steven Johnson Syndrome(SJS) affects only one in a million people in the United States, with only 22,000 new cases each year.  

The damage the syndrome causes in just a few short weeks can include(perhaps for the rest of your life) any of the following: Sores in mouth/throat/eyes/skin, several blisters, scars, shedding of skin and internal organs, chronic pain and fatigue, blindness and in some cases death.  There is no way to stop the avalanche of these reactions and in the words of medical professionals “it needs to run its course through the body.”  The treatment does include pain killers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, steroids, IV’s for hydration and food.  SJS is aggressive, devastating and extremely painful for loved ones to witness.  

Selena Gomez Got Candid About Her Mental Health Struggles, Vulnerability, And How It All Inspired Her New Album ‘Rare’

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Selena Gomez Got Candid About Her Mental Health Struggles, Vulnerability, And How It All Inspired Her New Album ‘Rare’

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There’s a myth that good art comes from tortured artists. And, while it’s not always the case, sometimes hard times can actually lead to some exciting work. Such is the case for Selena Gomez. In a new interview promoting her upcoming album, Rare, Selena Gomez opened up about her mental health struggles and how getting help led to her most honest album yet —and why she didn’t want to keep on being ‘tortured’ to produce good work. 

Selena Gomez has opened up in the past about her lupus diagnosis and mental health struggles

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Feels so good to dance again #7DaysToRare

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And now, in a cover story with the WSJ Magazine, the Lose You To Love Me singer got real about her mental health journey, how therapy and meds helped her. 

She explained how her lifestyle and health issues affected her mental wellbeing.

Gomez talked about how the pressure of a frantic work schedule, the Hollywood partying scene, plus flare-ups of her autoimmune disease, all contributed to worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression. “My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time,” she recalled. 

Selena talked about how getting the help she needed was such a major step forward.

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Living in my Cali Bolds for summer. @pumasportstyle

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The pop star visited treatment facilities due to mental health issues more than once, and —she disclosed in the interview— has been seeing therapists for over six years now. “I found out I do suffer from mental health issues,” she said. “And, honestly, that was such a relief.” “I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust,” Gomez went on. “I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed.”

Now, the singer finds talking about her mental health and learning more about it to be a helpful tool. 

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hi Cannes…you’re very pretty

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“I had low self-esteem, and that’s something I work on continuously. But I feel so empowered because I’ve gained so much knowledge about what was going on mentally,” she revealed.

Her physical health issues have also played a role in her gratitude for life today. 

During a surgery she underwent to receive a kidney transplant, Gomez experienced complications that turned the two-hour procedure into a seven-hour one. “That’s what makes you go, You know what, I’m just so happy to be alive,” she said.

Now, with her lupus in remission and her mental health in a more stable and positive place, Gomez said sees the purpose in her past struggles. 

“There were a few moments in my life when I felt like, Why? Why me?” she said. “But now I look at it as, At least I can relate to more people.”

All this newfound empowerment, and ability to openly speak about her struggles, has led straight to Rare.

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✨💖RARE💖✨

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Selena’s new album ‘Rare’ will be her first album since 2015’s Revival. Gomez has described Rare as “the most honest music I’ve ever made.” And if you needed more affirmation, take it from the singer’s famous BFF, Taylor Swift.

Sel’s BFF Taylor Swift gave ‘Rare’ her stamp of approval

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✨💖RARE💖✨

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“This is the first time I’ve heard her truly channel the details of her emotional experience,” Swift told WSJ about Gomez’s new album. “I just thought, Wow, she’s finally allowing herself to let other people know things aren’t always OK. You can be vulnerable and lonely and independent and strong and brave and scared all at once.” Swift’s approval was just one of the things that made Gomez feel she was on the right track with this album. “I remember Taylor said when I played her some of the new songs, ‘I feel like I’m seeing who you were before this,’” the singer recalled. “That makes me happy. I like feeling like that girl again.”

If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264).