Gina Rodriguez said she had suicidal thoughts when she was around the age of 16 as she felt there was a surmounting pressure on her to be successful.
The Jane the Virgin star has opened up about her battle with depression and how she thought life would be easier if she wasn’t alive.
She admitted: “I think I started dealing with depression around 16. 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 34-year-old actress has played the titular role of Jane Villanueva on Jane the Virgin since 2014, and she admitted filming the final season of the show recently brought on a lot of panic attacks and she had to stop filming to recover as she felt like she couldn’t continue.
She said: “There was a point where I couldn’t, I couldn’t push through every single time anymore. And I’m one of those human beings, and I know either you’re it or you know who they are, where 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.”
It was the first time Rodriguez felt like she could take control of her mental health by stepping back.
She continued: “This season was the first season where I had to stop production. I had a really tumultuous season and I was unafraid for the first time to be like, ‘I can’t.'”
The Deepwater Horizon actress said it was vital that, as a role model, she showed young women that it was important to put their health first before their work ambitions.
She added to E! News: “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.”
Rodriguez previously admitted she felt like she was going to die when she had her first panic attack.
The actress experienced her first major anxiety episode after she became famous for her role a in The CW comedy-drama series, whilst out eating at a sushi place, where she started to get paranoid that people were looking at her.
She recalled: “The anxiety started coming, like, two years into ‘Jane’. [I] had my first panic attack at a sushi restaurant. All of a sudden, I thought I was going to die, and people are taking pictures. It was horrendous.”