After struggling with mental health and having suicidal thoughts, Zachary Levi revealed he once had a “complete mental breakdown” that sent him to a psychiatric ward five years ago.
The actor candidly spoke about his three-week stay at the ward, telling Elizabeth Vargas on her “Heart of the Matter” podcast, “I’ve struggled with this stuff most of my life. 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 “Shazam!” star, 41, said he had an imperfect upbringing, claiming there was vitriol” and “lots of yelling” in his household. He turned to “sex or drugs or booze” to distract himself.
“The irony is that booze can give you this temporary relief, but then the next day amplifies that anxiety tenfold,” he said in the interview obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. “So, then you’re running back to get more, and it just becomes this vicious cycle.”
Over time, his anxiety got worse, have he even have panic attacks over something as simple as where to eat.
“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,'” he recalled.
After having suicidal thoughts, he went to the emergency room, which led to the psych ward.
“The lies are whispering into my ear, and the failure that I felt that I was enough to be like, ‘Zach, it doesn’t feel like you’re going to make it out of this,'” he said.
The psychiatric ward saved his life.
“I think one of the most important things, at least for me, is taking my thoughts captive,” he said. “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.'”