In an interview, Zachary Levi said that he suffered “Mental Breakdown”
To address his own mental health issues, actor Zachary Levi is speaking out.
The Shazam! actor recently opened out about his struggles with anxiety and depression, saying he has “struggled with” them for “most of his life” owing to childhood trauma and self-doubt in his work.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, he remarked, “I did not realise that I was struggling with these things until I was 37, about five years ago, and I had a complete mental breakdown.”
Zachary claims he had the breakdown after relocating to Austin, Texas. In that moment, he was driving about aimlessly, unable to decide where to stop for lunch.
“I’m sitting in my truck, and vividly, I remember I was holding onto the wheel and I was just shaking back and forth, that like almost trying to shake myself out of what it was going on, and I’m just weeping. I’m just crying,” he recalled. “I’m like, ‘God, help me.'”
Having “very active thoughts of ending my life.” Zachary said that he was considering suicide. While “it wasn’t the first time” he would had such ideas, he “didn’t have anybody” after relocating to Austin, so this time was different.
“I had been in dark places in my life before, but I guess in those moments I had people around me,” he said. “I didn’t have a support structure. So, in this particular moment, I’m out here in this wonderful city, but basically by myself, and the darkness surrounds me again.”
As he elaborated, “The lies are whispering into my ear and the failure that I felt that I was enough to be like, ‘Zach, it doesn’t feel like you’re going to make it out of this.'”
Zachary claims he sought “intensive life-changing, life-saving therapy” for over a month at a mental institution after this incident because he was advised to do so by a friend.
To avoid “running to lots of other things, whether it was sex or drugs or booze” the Tangled actor “from the pain that I was running away from most of my life,” he stated on a podcast he recorded after completing a treatment programme.
He remarked, “The irony is that booze can give you this temporary relief, but then the next day amplifies that anxiety tenfold,” To continue the cycle, one must continually return for more.
When asked what he thought caused his problems, he pointed back to his boyhood.
“The majority of my life, I grew up in a household where my stepfather was a perfectionist on the highest of levels, his bar was so high, was impossible to reach, and then a mother who was a borderline personality,” he added. “So, she didn’t have an impossibly high bar. She had an impossible target because it kept moving.”
Zachary grew older and had a harder time accepting his own assessment of his professional accomplishments “I feel like I’m a bit on the outside looking in. I’ve never really felt like I am a part of whatever the cool kid group is.”
Now, as he moves on, he is relying on prayer and meditation. On June 28th, you can listen to his entire episode of his podcast.