Before Rachel Bloom‘s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend got picked up and became an Emmy-nominated comedy, the co-creator and star’s personal life entered into a negative downward spiral.
In the November issue of Glamour, Bloom, 29, recounts her battles with depression and anxiety — and how she got a handle on both.
“It all started with one sleepless night: Aline [Brosh McKenna, my Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator,] and I were pitching the show to networks the next day. In my head, this was my chance to ‘make it,’ which hinged on my performing in those meetings. I had a friend staying over, and suddenly it was midnight. I said to myself, ‘Oh, you stupid bitch! Go to bed. You have a pitch in the morning!’ I didn’t sleep for a second that night,” the CW star recalls.
She adds, “By the time I met Aline the next day, I looked like I had been hit by a truck. That started a spiral. Every night before a pitch that week, I had sleep anxiety. I became delirious — and afraid that I wasn’t sleeping; ergo I would ruin everything. But the lack of rest didn’t ruin the pitches, and I was good at covering up my anxiety.”
After meeting with therapists, Bloom says she sought out a psychiatrist to confront her anxiety. The doctor diagnosed her with depression: “In his office I finally felt safe. I told him everything. Each session improved my life. He diagnosed me with low-grade depression and put me on a small amount of Prozac. There’s a stereotype (I had believed) that antidepressants numb you out; that didn’t happen to me.”
Bloom, who won a Golden Globe for her starring role on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, also credits her psychiatrist to helping her take control of her mental process and reveals that meditation has been a positive addition to her routine.
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“When I’m about to engage in an anxiety spiral, it feels like I’m balancing at the edge of a pool, and if I dip my toe into the nonsense, I fall in. So I have to stay balanced. To help me do that, I’ve gotten into meditating. Yes, meditating,” she says. “Meditating has helped me to focus on the present and to not see every great thing as my thing to f— up. I used to feel like, ‘Okay, this good thing is happening; it’s yours to lose.’ With this show, though, every day is so high stakes that I would crumble if I thought that way. So I try to say to myself, ‘Hey, you only live once. Go along for the ride. Do your best.’ “
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns for season 2 Oct. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on CW.