Vanessa Ray shows her strength on the set of Blue Bloods as Office Eddie Janko-Reagan, but she recently showed another side during an interview with The Pink Lemonade Stand podcast. The actress, who previously starred on Pretty Little Liars, opened up about her bipolar diagnosis on the podcast Monday. Ray decided to seek professional help after experiencing depression and anxiety.
At first, Ray "never really understood what it was," she told hosts Nicole Kaplan and Heidi Webster reports Cheat Sheet. "I kind of always thought, well that's just who I am. I'm just someone who can be out and bright one day and then I need four days to recover inside my house and I just want to sleep. I just want to go to sleep and some days I just didn't want to wake up."
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Eventually, the depression became "completely unmanageable." She was not eating healthy foods, started drinking, and using drugs. She went through "a really rough patch a couple of years ago" and "kind of lost all value in myself," she said. At the same time, Ray felt guilty for feeling this way, since she had a successful career and it looked like her life was good. Around Christmas one year, Ray "got really sick," she said. "My body was giving up. And my husband was like, ‘What is going on? What’s happening?’ And I was like, ‘I’m just so sad. I’m so angry and I’m so sad.’"
Ray then decided to go to a mental health facility for three months. There, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and things suddenly started to make "so much sense ot me," she said. Now, Ray is going out of her way to take care of her mental and physical health. She exercises every day, changed her diet, makes sure to stay in touch with her loved ones, and takes medication.
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"I have to do stuff that makes me physically thrive to combat all of these other issues," Ray said. She later said it was important for people to stay true to themselves. "The more places in my life that I can be my true, authentic self, the easier my life is, and the easier my loved one’s lives are,” the actress continued. “I think that’s the name of the whole game of all of life. It’s figuring out how deeply and truly you can love yourself and care for yourself
Ray and the rest of the Blue Bloods cast will be back in action when the show returns from its winter break on Friday, Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. In the new episode, Eddie and Jamie (Will Estes) help another officer shot in the line of duty. Tony winner Ali Slater guest stars as a detective who hopes to convince Frank (Tom Selleck) to let her stay on the job.