Supermodel Gisele Bündchen has opened up about her struggles with mental health. Picture: Instagram
Supermodel Gisele Bündchen has opened up about her struggles with mental health. Picture: Instagram

Supermodel considered taking own life

AS supermodel Gisele Bündchen's star continued to rise in the early 2000s, she also felt the walls closing in around her.

After enduing a bumpy ride on a small aircraft in 2003, the Brazilian-born model suffered her first panic attack, with crushing fears of enclosed spaces to follow, reports the New York Post.

"I had a wonderful position in my career, and I was very close to my family, and I always considered myself a positive person, so I was really beating myself up. Like, 'Why should I be feeling this?' I felt like I wasn't allowed to feel bad," Bundchen told People magazine. "But I felt powerless. Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can't breathe, which is the worst feeling I've ever had."

On the surface, supermodel Gisele Bündchen has always appeared to live a charmed life. Picture: Supplied
On the surface, supermodel Gisele Bündchen has always appeared to live a charmed life. Picture: Supplied

The panic attacks continued, which lead Bündchen, 38, to a dark place.

"I actually had the feeling of, 'If I just jump off my roof, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in,'" she explained.

The mother of two detailed the night she considered ending her own life, as described in her forthcoming memoir, Lessons, which is published on October 2.

"It felt like everything in my life was going to kill me. First it was the aeroplanes, then elevators. Then it was tunnels and hotels and modelling studios and cars. Now it was my own apartment," Bündchen wrote.

Gisele Bündchen with her NFL superstar husband, Tom Brady at the Met Gala earlier this year. Picture: Getty Images
Gisele Bündchen with her NFL superstar husband, Tom Brady at the Met Gala earlier this year. Picture: Getty Images

"Everything had become a cage, and I was the animal trapped inside, panting for air. I couldn't see a way out, and I couldn't stand another day of feeling this way."

She continued, "The idea swept over me then: Maybe it will be easier if I just jump. It will be all over. I can get out of this.

"When I think back on that moment, and that 23-year-old girl, I want to cry. I want to tell her that everything will be all right, that she hasn't even begun to live her life. But in that moment, the only answer seemed to be to jump."

After consulting with doctors, Bündchen sought to change several aspects of her life.

"I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking a bottle of wine and three mocha frappuccinos every day, and I gave up everything in one day," she revealed.

"I thought, 'If this stuff is in any way the cause of this pain in my life, it's gotta go."

Gisele Bündchen during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Picture: Getty Images
Gisele Bündchen during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Picture: Getty Images

Following her breakup with Leonardo DiCaprio in 2005, Bündchen went on to find her happily ever after with NFL star, Tom Brady. The couple wed in 2009, later welcoming son Benjamin, 8, and daughter Vivian, 5.

But motherhood also raised its own set of challenges.

"When I became a mother, I kind of lost myself. It was like part of me died," the model said. "I'd been this very independent person. It was all about me. But now I had this little being, and I suddenly felt I couldn't do other things, and that was very hard for me."

With her husband's unyielding support, Bündchen and Brady remained focused on family, which also includes the quarterback's son, John, 11, with his ex-girlfriend, actress Bridget Moynahan.

"They are really flourishing to be the beautiful angels that they are," she gushed.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call 000.

This story was originally published in the New York Post and is reprinted with permission.


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