‘Blue Bloods’: Vanessa Ray Reveals Bipolar Diagnosis
Vanessa Ray says she didn’t understand her feelings of depression and anxiety at first
During an interview with Pink Lemonade Stand podcast hosts Nicole Kaplan and Heidi Webster, Ray says she experienced feelings of depression and anxiety, but she wasn’t sure what was happening to her at first.
“I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety,” says Ray. “I was never really diagnosed, and I never really understood what that was. 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.”
Vanessa Ray went through a ‘dark patch’
Ray recalled a challenging moment in her life about four years ago when her depression symptoms worsened. She says she reached a point where the depression became “completely unmanageable.” She admits she wasn’t eating healthy foods and she began to drink a lot of alcohol and take drugs. “I had a really dark patch a couple of years ago,” shares Ray. “I kind of lost all value in myself.”
Ray says she felt guilty for having these feelings because she has a good life. She felt like she didn’t have a right to feel sad or angry because she has people around her who love her, and she has a successful career. She says she was so sad that she couldn’t feel joy even when everything in her life was going well.
Inside, I was Cinderella after the ball. You work so hard, and it’s all magical, and it’s all these things. And you go home, and then you’re still just you at home, dealing with the same mental health issues you were dealing with before you had all those things to be shiny and look at. So, it had gotten to a really bad place.
And around Christmas, I got really sick. 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.’Vanessa Ray, Pink Lemonade Stand podcast
Vanessa Ray received help at a mental health facility
Ray decided to go to a mental health facility for about three months. She says she received “pretty intense therapy” and training. “I was diagnosed bipolar at that point, which made everything make so much sense to me,” says Ray. Now that she has a diagnosis, Ray says she makes sure to take extra care of her mind and body.
Ray exercises daily, eats healthy meals, stays connected to friends and family, and takes medication for bipolar disorder. “I have to do stuff that makes me physically thrive to combat all of these other issues,” Ray adds.
The Blue Bloods actor emphasizes that mental illness isn’t always obvious. “It’s not just your ‘basket case’ friends. It’s your friends who are keeping it all together,” she says.
Ray also says it’s important to be authentic and truly love yourself.” “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,” Ray continues. “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.”
How to get help: In the U.S. and Canada, text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to reach a crisis counselor for support.
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