Zachary Levi just shared with his fans that at one point his mental health was so bad, that he did a three-week stay in a mental health facility. He is now encouraging his fans to prioritize their overall health.
Zachary Levi Struggled With His Mental Health For A Long Time
The Shazam actor was on the “Heart of the Matter” podcast hosted by Elizabeth Vargas where he shared that his struggles stem as far back as childhood. “I’ve struggled with this stuff most of my life.” Like some people, he admits that he didn’t even realize he had a problem.
“I didn’t realize that I was struggling with these things until I was 37, about five years ago, and I had a complete mental breakdown.” The 41-year-old detailed that his own mother dealt with a borderline personality disorder. His father was a “perfectionist” and this often made him feel like he was failing at even the smallest tasks.
Zachary Levi Never Felt Like He Fit In
Levi is kind of a big deal in his own right. He has been on a successful TV series and he is part of a superhero universe. Yet, the actor shares that he often feels like he does not fit in. Starting as a child, “I was an embarrassment to the family. I mean, it was lots of vitriol, lots of yelling,” he shared.
As he got older, he learned to cope with those feelings in all the wrong ways. Levi shared that he turned to “sex or drugs or booze or things to distract me from, to numb myself from the pain that I was running away from most of my life.”
Zachary Levi Realized That this Wasn’t Right
“The irony is that booze can give you this temporary relief, but then the next day amplifies that anxiety tenfold,” he realized. “So, then, you’re running back to get more, and it just becomes this vicious cycle.”
He even tried to run away from his problems by moving to Austin, Texas to start his company, Wyldwood Studios in May 2020. Unfortunately running away did not help the actor and his problems caught up with him.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he couldn’t even make a decision about what he wanted to eat because he was so anxiety-riddled.
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Zachary Levi Couldn’t Pick A Meal To Eat
“I drove around probably for 10 minutes not knowing which place to eat because I didn’t know which place was the right place to eat as opposed to just saying, ‘Zach, just go eat some food,” he,” he shared.
This eventually turned into a full-blown panic attack. “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 was going on, and I’m just weeping. I’m just crying. I’m like, ‘God, help me.’”
The devastating moment led Levi to visit the emergency room because he was having suicidal thoughts regularly. “I was having very active thoughts of ending my life, it wasn’t the first time I had had them.,” he notes.
I had been in dark places in my life before, but I guess in those moments I had people around me. At that point, he was in Texas mostly by himself.
The Psych Ward Was Intense For Zachary Levi
The actor details his time in the mental health facility in his new memoir “Radical Love” out June 28. He notes that his time there was “intense”. He participated in “intensive life-changing, life-saving therapy.” The Tony nominee credits the facility and the therapy for giving him life-long tools to manage his mental health.
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“Our minds are so powerful, but they are so easily, so easily hijacked if we don’t really go, ‘Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I’m doing it again. I’m starting to speak ill of myself again. I’m starting to be harsh or critical of myself. I’m starting to judge where I’m at in my life.’”