Gisele Bündchen's public life may have always looked perfect to the outside world, but she secretly has battled a world of pain.
In her new memoir "Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life," set for release on October 2, Bündchen, the wife of Tom Brady and a mother of two, opens up about her mental health battles. She reveals that 15 years ago, as her career took off, she experienced her first panic attack on a bumpy plane ride. This led her to develop a fear of tunnels, elevators and other enclosed spaces. She then had more panic attacks, including in her own home, and eventually contemplated suicide.
"I actually had the feeling of, 'If I just jump off my balcony, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in,'" Bündchen told People in comments posted on Wednesday.
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Bündchen said she sought professional help and was prescribed Xanax, but did not want to rely on the medication. Bündchen then decided to change her eating and drinking habits and turned to yoga and meditation to combat stress. The supermodel and her husband are nowadays known for their strict but healthy diet.
"I had been smoking cigarettes, drinking a bottle of wine and three mocha Frappucinos every day, and I gave up everything in one day," she told People. "I thought, if this stuff is in any way the cause of this pain in my life, it's gotta go."
She also did some soul-searching and in 2005, she broke up with Leonardo DiCaprio after five years.
"Things can be looking perfect on the outside, but you have no idea what's really going on," the supermodel told People. "I felt like maybe it was time to share some of my vulnerabilities, and it made me realize, everything I've lived through, I would never change, because I think I am who I am because of those experiences."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).