Gina Rodriguez is typically the life of the party. She’s always smiling, always dancing and being encouraging. Sometimes, however, that happiness she shows on the outside is masking what is truly going on. What we can count on is that she always keeps it real. In a recent interview, the Jane the Virgin star opened up about her struggle with anxiety and depression.
“I think I started dealing with depression around sixteen,” the 34-year-old said in an interview with NBC’s Kate Snow at the Kennedy Forum yesterday. “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.”
She said the issue didn’t go away. While filming her television show, the anxiety crept up stronger than ever.
“There was a point where I couldn’t…push through every single time anymore, and I’m one of those human beings … where I’m like, I’ll handle it later,” she said. “I’ll deal with it later. I’ll figure it out later. I just have to do this now. All the while, you’re dealing with your silent little dragon in your head. And it came to a point, and 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.'”
Rodriguez said feelings of depression and anxiety are symptoms of her Hashimoto’s disease, and it’s something she continues to deal with today. What is so interesting, and true to our nature of Latinas — and the Latinx community as a whole — is that it’s just like us to put our mental health issues aside and continue to work. It’s almost easier to keep working than to deal with the hard stuff, the problem is, the issue will never go away until it’s dealt with.
Rodriguez added that if she genuinely wanted to be a role model for young women, she had to show them that life isn’t just about the pretty stuff but taking care of your mental health as well.
“It has to be a part of the conversations I have with these young girls,” Rodriguez said. “I can’t just tell them to go out and make their dreams come true and then to ignore everything else.”
In 2017, Rodriguez opened up about her anxiety on Instagram in a super touching post. The video clip shows Rodgriguez staring into the camera while her picture is being taken, but there was nothing glam about the shoot, it was just her, and her anxiety got the best of her.
“I suffer from anxiety,” she wrote. “And watching this clip, I could see how anxious I was, but I empathize with myself. I wanted to protect her and tell her it’s ok to be anxious, there is nothing different or strange about having anxiety, and I will prevail. I like watching this video. It makes me uncomfortable, but there is a freedom I feel maybe even an acceptance. This is me. Puro Gina.”