Gabrielle Union spoke candidly about mental health during a conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow at the Goop Health virtual summit.
The 48-year-old actress looked back on her own personal struggles and also discussed her recent battle with suicidal thoughts.
“I’ve had so many rock bottom moments as an adult, starting with being raped at 19 at gunpoint at my job. It just felt like every so many years there was some major catastrophic event that was happening in my life. You know, divorce, career setbacks, relationship issues. There’s always something that just lands you on your ass and you’re like ‘There’s no way I can move on from this, I’ll never recover, I’ll never be the same,’” shared the the “L.A.’s Finest” star per E! News.
Explaining how she has used difficult situations throughout her life for growth, she continued, “You have these mini deaths. You have to grieve the person you were before. And there have been times I’ve felt like I had to be reborn out of success, because that comes with its own challenges.”
Union also discussed how perimenopause has impacted her mental health due to the hormonal changes that occur within this period of a woman’s life.
After “symptoms reached a fever pitch” back in September, she recalled, “I thought I was losing my mind. I thought I had early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s. I gained 20 pounds overnight of water retention, inflammation, bizarre. I couldn’t think. Now, when I have to public speak in the last few months, I’m so anxious, because I’m like, ‘Am I going to remember words?’”
Union also revealed how a recent argument with her husband, former NBA star Dwyane Wade, led to her experiencing suicidal thoughts.
“I fell into something so dark in December that it scared me,” she shared. “I had a stupid argument with D, and instead of my usual problem-solving…immediately, my brain, that little inner voice said, ‘He’s never going to get it unless you’re dead.’ Only because I’ve been in therapy for half my life that I was like ‘No, I don’t know who is talking now, it’s not my intuition.’”
Union was able to get past the feelings after seeking therapy.
“I was able to get through it with talk therapy and diving into how I can regulate my hormones. Luckily I was at home and I alerted everyone,” she added.
“Separating the symptoms from who you really are…to say that it’s a challenge, I don’t think I really have the words, or I lost them, to describe what these last few months have been.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.