Gabourey Sidibe is opening up about her struggles with mental health and says they began at a young age.
The Empire star joined Taraji P. Henson on her Facebook Watch show Peace of Mind with Taraji, and says she first developed depression growing up, which snowballed into anxiety and eventually Bulimia.
“I was so embarrassed, and I hated crying so much, I hated it,” Sidibe told Henson and co-host Tracie Jenkins on Monday’s episode (January 18).
Sidibe says that while in college she stopped eating for days at a time, and what she did eat she would then throw up. She says the eating disorder was a “button” that would stop her from crying.
“And on top of that, people were like, ‘You’re looking good.’ So I’m like, why would I stop? Like, this is dope, in a way,” she said, calling it a “self-defense mechanism.”
Sidibe continued: “That’s what bulimia was for me. It wasn’t about losing weight, it wasn’t about controlling my appetite. It truly was about how it stopped me from crying.”
Any control Sidibe thought she did have was just a failed mask for her problems.
“It felt like I was controlling my emotions — I was not, I was out of control. I was getting worse,” she said. “Being depressed is one thing, if you add an eating disorder on top of that, that’s a whole other monster you have to fight.”
Watch Gabourey Sidibe talk about her bout with depression here.