- In her forthcoming memoir “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life,” Gisele Bündchen revealed her previous mental health struggles.
- The model said she experienced claustrophobia and panic attacks that left her feeling “powerless” and lead to suicidal thoughts.
- Bündchen says she improved her mental health by consulting doctors and overhauling her lifestyle, which used to involve drinking three Frappucinos and a bottle of wine every day.
- Now, she and her husband Tom Brady follow a notably strict diet.
In her forthcoming memoir “Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life,” Gisele Bündchen wrote about her past struggle with mental health. Speaking to People, the model said she experienced claustrophobia and panic attacks that left her feeling “powerless” and lead to suicidal thoughts.
“Things can be looking perfect on the outside, but you have no idea what’s really going on,” Bündchen told People of her decision to share her story. “I felt like maybe it was time to share some of my vulnerabilities, and it made me realize, everything I’ve lived through, I would never change, because I think I am who I am because of those experiences.”
Bündchen’s fear of enclosed spaces like tunnels, elevators, and cars began in 2003 when she experienced her first panic attack during a turbulent ride on a small plane, People reported.
“I had a wonderful position in my career, I was very close to my family, and I always considered myself a positive person, so I was really beating myself up. Like, ‘Why should I be feeling this?’ I felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel bad,” she said. “But I felt powerless. Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had.”
The panic attacks became so intense that the model had suicidal thoughts, Bündchen told the magazine.
“I actually had the feeling of, ‘If I just jump off my balcony, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in,'” she said.
Eventually, Bündchen sought the help of a doctor, who prescribed her Xanax. “The thought of being dependent on something felt, in my mind, even worse, because I was like, ‘What if I lose that [pill]? Then what? Am I going to die?'” she told People. “The only thing I knew was, I needed help.”
Instead, under the guidance of specialists, Bündchen decided to completely overhaul her lifestyle.
“I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking a bottle of wine and three mocha Frappucinos every day, and I gave up everything in one day,” she said. “I thought, if this stuff is in any way the cause of this pain in my life, it’s gotta go.”
And when she was “alone” in her major life changes, she broke up with then-boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio in 2005.
“Everyone who crosses our path is a teacher, they come into our lives to show us something about ourselves,” she said of DiCaprio. “And I think that’s what he was. What is good versus bad? I honor him for what he was.”
She and her husband Tom Brady married in 2009. The two follow a notably strict, plant-based diet. They live with their two children and Brady’s son from a previous relationship.
“They are really flourishing to be the beautiful angels that they are,” Bündchen told Page Six of the children.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.
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