Gina Rodriguez is speaking candidly about her mental health journey. The Jane the Virgin star appeared at the Kennedy Forum in Chicago this weekend where she spoke to NBC's Kate Snow about depression and anxiety and opened up for the first time about her experiences with suicidal ideation.
"I think I started dealing with depression around 16. I started dealing with the idea of — that same concept that I think your husband was talking about," she said, referring to Snow's husband Chris Bro and his earlier discussion about losing his father to suicide. "Everything's 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. It would just go away."
The 34-year-old then mentioned that some of her depression was triggered by the pressure to succeed after seeing how far her two older sisters — an investment banker and a doctor — were making it in their careers. She also explained that mental health wasn't a huge topic of conversation in her household growing up because of a "lack of education" and how depression is generally looked at in certain cultures. "Latino families — you don't get depressed. That's not a thing. It's between your two ears," she said. "That's nonsense, stop that thought! And then you think, 'I don't know how to. I don't know what I'm supposed to do.'"
Rodriguez first opened up about dealing with anxiety with a lengthy Instagram post back in 2017. Spending most of her life avoiding having these conversations with her loved ones is part of the reason why she felt compelled to sit down with Snow in the first place. "It's the conversation that starts with healing, and that's just a conversation that's never been in my space," she said. The actress continued later, "[That post] opened up a pathway to talk about it freely, to seek help, [and] to be unafraid."
Watch Rodriguez's full conversation with Snow in the video above.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.