Zachary Levi is getting candid about his lifelong battles with anxiety, mental health and depression.
The 41-year-old actor details his struggles in his new book “Radical Love: Learning To Accept Yourself and Others,” as well as trying to find a place where he achieved self-love.
Levi opened up about his battles with suicidal thoughts and his mental breakdown at age 37 with journalist Elizabeth Vargas on her “Heart of the Matter” podcast ahead of his book’s release, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The “Shazam!” star noted, “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.”
He said the breakdown happened once he moved to Austin, Texas, and he realized what was happening when he was just driving around town and could not decide on a restaurant to eat at.
“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 it was going on, and I’m just weeping. I’m just crying,” he recounted. “I’m like, ‘God, help me.’ “
He explained he even had “very active thoughts of ending my life.” Despite them not being the first time, this instance was different as he “didn’t have anybody” after moving to Texas.
“I didn’t have a support structure. So, in this particular moment, I’m out here in this wonderful city, but basically by myself, and the darkness surrounds me again,” he said.
He went on, “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.’ “
A friend of his then suggested he go through “intensive life-changing, life-saving therapy” at a psychiatric hospital for about a month.
The “Chuck” alum also explained that he spent his childhood growing up with a stepfather who had high expectations of him and a mother “who was a borderline personality.”
He later turned to “sex or drugs or booze” to sedate himself “from the pain that I was running away from most of my life.”
Levi said: “The irony is that booze can give you this temporary relief, but then the next day amplifies that anxiety tenfold. So, then you’re running back to get more and it just becomes this vicious cycle.”
The “Tangled” star’s next project will be the “Spy Kids” franchise reboot and he will be appearing alongside “Jane the Virgin” alum Gina Rodriguez.
The plot line of the as-yet-untitled revival reads: “When the children of the world’s greatest secret agents unwittingly help a powerful game developer unleash a computer virus that gives him control of all technology, they must become spies themselves to save their parents and the world.”
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.