Zachary Levi reveals mental breakdown, battle with anxiety and depression - The Hollywood Reporter

Zachary Levi reveals mental breakdown, battle with anxiety and depression – The Hollywood Reporter

Zachary Levy has a memoir released on June 28 titled Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others. in that , Shazam! The franchise star reveals that his journey to get to a place where he can fully practice self-love and acceptance has been a difficult one as he faced a lifelong battle with anxiety, depression and self-esteem due to growing up in a complex and abusive family filled with high expectations.

The 41-year-old actor says he wasn’t able to fully define his issues until a dramatic regression led to him having a mental breakdown at age 37, a situation so urgent that he sought treatment for three weeks after overcoming it. With suicidal thoughts. Before the book was published from Harper Horizon, Levi joined veteran host and journalist Elizabeth Vargas on it. Crux The Partnership to End Addiction podcast discusses all of the above in a relentlessly honest interview starting June 28.

Levi, known for working on other high profile projects such as Chuck, Tangled, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, American Underdog And the Mauritanian (and next Shazam! wrath of the gods), also touched upon the misconception that wealthy and/or public figures are free from such struggles, how the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams affected him, and why he delayed his release. Radical love And rituals practiced to stay in a healthy place.

In the podcast’s opening moments, Vargas – someone who has been open about his struggles with substance abuse and anxiety (and finding recovery) as reported in her book between the breaths He praises Levy’s book as “amazing” and “amazingly honest” for how he detailed his mental health issues.

“I struggled with these things most of my life. I didn’t realize I was struggling with these things until I was 37, about five years ago and had a complete mental breakdown,” Levy explained before revealing his struggles that began in his youth while growing up in Complicated house.” Most of my life, I grew up in a house where my stepfather sought perfection at the highest levels, his bar was too high, and it was impossible to get there, then my mother was a borderline figure. Therefore, she did not have an impossibly high level. She had an impossible goal because he kept moving. Anyone who spends time with borderline characters, if I was going home and my mom was in a good mood, I could say to her, “Hey, I didn’t do well on that test in school,” and she would be, “Oh, don’t worry about that. There will be Another test and we could work on it, whatever it was, but if she was in a bad mood, it was the end of the world. I was embarrassing for the family. I mean, it was a lot of barbs, a lot of yelling.”

As he got older, Levi, like many in the same situation, dealt with his problems with a mixture of substances and vices. “I would run into a lot of other things, whether it was sex or drugs or booze or things that distracted me from it, to numb myself from the pain I had been running from for most of my life,” he detailed. “The irony is that booze can give you that temporary relief, but then the next day that anxiety amplifies tenfold. So you come back for more and it becomes this vicious cycle.”

Levi’s career also played a role in how he beat himself. At one point, he thought that moving to Austin and building a movie studio would be the thing that would give him a purpose in his life. “My career has been in a place where I felt that even though I had accomplished a lot of things up to that point, I was still, and to be honest, I still felt that way. I feel like on the outside looking inside. I never felt like a part Of a wonderful group of children,” he said, adding that these feelings can be traced back to childhood as a “nerdy” child who was often bullied. “I think that carried me into my Hollywood career, and it was reassured to you in the lies you tell yourself when you don’t get certain jobs, and you aren’t hired to do this movie or that show with that level of director or producer or actor or whatever.”

Vargas asked Levi to detail the panic attack that eventually led him to seek treatment and said he had moved to Austin and was having trouble doing routine activities like emptying boxes and focusing on a restaurant. The feeling of despair mixed with self-loathing and panic created an emotional landscape.

“I probably drove for 10 minutes without knowing where to eat because I didn’t know which place was the right place to eat instead of just saying, ‘Zack, go get some food. Did not matter. It doesn’t matter if you go to that pizzeria or that Chinese place or something else. Just go get some food. If you are hungry, go get some food. “I’m sitting in my truck, and I vividly remember grabbing the steering wheel and was shaking back and forth, like I’m almost trying to get rid of what was going on, and I’m just crying. I’m just crying. I’m like, God, help me.”

Later, he tells how he eventually got to the emergency room due to suicidal thoughts. He revealed, “I had very active thoughts of ending my life.” “It wasn’t my first time. I’ve been in dark places in my life before, but I guess in those moments I had people around me. I was foolish, I mean, I think I made the right decision to move to Austin. I don’t think I did. That’s exactly the right way. I didn’t realize I was running away from a lot, but I moved here and I didn’t have anyone. I didn’t have a support structure. … So, at this very moment, I’m here in this wonderful city, but basically Alone, and darkness all over me again. The lies whispered in my ear and the failure I felt was enough to be like, “Zach, I don’t feel like you’re going to get out of this.”

At the suggestion of a “dear friend,” he sought treatment in a psychiatric ward and spent three weeks in “a life-changing and life-saving intensive therapy”.

During the interview, he also talked about how he was affected by the suicides of Bourdain, Williams and Kate Spade. Of Williams, Levy said, “Robin, he was my hero. His talent, his heart, the way he loved people, the way he loved the homeless, the way he cared for him, he was really, really, really a very compassionate person who really cared about other humans, and yet he was He was also tormented in his mind. I think that’s probably partly why he felt obligated to bring joy into the world. I felt very, very close to that.”

When he died, “It really, really, really, really, really shook me because I felt that if he couldn’t make it, I don’t know how I would eventually go on through this life, unless I could somehow figure out how not to fall into places of depression and anxiety.” this is “.

Although Levi has worked his way around his problems, he still lives with them and can manage them by following a healthy routine focusing on a good diet, exercise and sleeping habits. “Prayer and meditation are very important, and they are also somewhat synonymous, I think, in some ways. Sometimes my prayer is meditation. Sometimes I’m just there and let God take over that time. I don’t really say anything as far as I spend the time. Just. I think one of the most important things, at least for me, is taking my thoughts into captivity. Our minds are so powerful, but they are so easily hijacked if we don’t really go, ‘Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.’ I do it again. I started talking bad about myself again. I started to be harsh or self-critical. I started judging my place in my life.”

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