Munn got candid about her past struggles with depression and anxiety on Instagram.
In just one week, the passing of designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain has reignited the conversation surrounding depression and suicide. And on Thursday, the CDC reported that from 1999 to 2016, the suicide rate in the U.S. increased in “nearly every state.” Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
In a recent Instagram post, Olivia Munn shared her own experience with depression and anxiety, hoping to encourage people to shed the shame and seek help.
“I have lived with anxiety and sporadic bouts of depression for most of my adult life,” wrote the former Daily Show correspondent. “Ten years ago I tackled it, learned to fully understand it and haven’t felt the dark depths of depression in about a decade. But before that, thoughts of suicide crossed my mind more than a few times.”
Her caption accompanied a list of international suicide hotlines including phone numbers from Argentina, Botswana, and Japan.
“Please don’t hesitate to call for you or someone you think needs help,” she wrote. “A phone call could change everything.”
The former TV journalist, actress and model herself has struggled with managing depression and anxiety. According to a WebMD feature from 2015, Munn consulted a doctor and therapist when she began having panic attacks.
Growing up, depression wasn’t a topic of discussion in her family. Her mother would tell Munn and her siblings to “figure it out,” and they were “never allowed to feel sorry for ourselves.”
Munn also began seeing a hypnotist to help manage her anxiety and trichotillomania (the “hair-pulling disorder”). Munn began working with a trainer and focusing on exercise, which helped with her anxiety.
Munn gave insight as someone who contemplated suicide “more than a few times.”
“For those who don’t understand depression, when someone is in that place it’s not because they want to die, it’s because the ongoing, relentless darkness is too painful to endure anymore,” she wrote in her Instagram post. “You don’t have to suffer from anxiety and depression to feel that low. Something very sad or traumatic can happen to you just once to bring about that feeling of despair.
“But please listen to me,” she continued, “from someone who is telling you that she’s been where you are, when I say that SUICIDE IS NOT THE RIGHT CHOICE.”
Munn hopes to encourage more people to seek support with her message.