Former America's Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union opened up about her mental health struggles during an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow at the In Goop Health virtual summit on Sunday. The 48-year-old said she has faced "so many rock bottom moments" throughout her life, from her experience with sexual assault to divorce to career setbacks. She felt like she was "losing my mind" at one point last fall and has short "depressive episodes." She also discussed a shocking moment when she considered suicide.
"I've had so many rock bottom moments as an adult, starting with being raped at 19 at gunpoint at my job," the Bring It On star told Paltrow via video conferencing, reports E! News. "It just felt like every so many years, there was some major catastrophic event that was happening in my life. You know, divorce, career setbacks, relationship issues. There's always something that just lands you on your a— and you're like 'There's no way I can move on from this, I'll never recover, I'll never be the same.'"
Union said each challenge she faced has helped her grow as a person. She called them "mini deaths" and you have to "grieve the person" you were before each of them. "There have been times I've felt like I had to be reborn out of success because that comes with its own challenges," she said. The L.A.'s Finest star then explained her latest challenge, perimenopause. This marks the end of a woman's reproductive years before menopause. The symptoms "reached a fever pitch" in September 2020, she said.
"I thought I was losing my mind," Union said. "I thought I had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's. I gained 20 pounds overnight of water retention, inflammation, bizarre. I couldn't think. Now, when I have to public speak in the last few months, I'm so anxious, because I'm like, 'Am I going to remember words?'" The scariest symptom was a suicidal thought that came during a "stupid argument" with her husband, retired NBA star, Dwyane Wade. "Only because I've been in therapy for half my life that I was like 'No, I don't know who is talking now, it's not my intuition,'" she said, adding that the thought was "fleeting."
"I was able to get through it with talk therapy and diving into how I can regulate my hormones," Union said. "Luckily I was at home and I alerted everyone." She later added, "Separating the symptoms from who you really are...to say that it's a challenge, I don't think I really have the words, or I lost them, to describe what these last few months have been."
Union has spoken out about her mental health in the past. In 2018, she said she was diagnosed with PTSD after she was raped as a teenager. "I'm here to tell you that I am PTSD survivor, thriver, bada— motherf— I was diagnosed with PTSD at 19 after I was raped at gunpoint — and I didn't let it stop me," Union said in a video for The Child Mind Institute, reports PEOPLE. "I didn't want it to define my whole life, and it doesn't have to. Asking for help, needing help doesn't make you weak or less worthy of love or support or success."
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.