Jameela Jamil Says She Once Tried to Kill Herself as She Implores Others to Seek Mental Health Help
"I urge you to hang on just a bit longer and ask for help if you need it," the Good Place star wrote on Twitter
Jameela Jamil is opening up about her mental health struggles with the hope that she can inspire others who might be struggling with suicidal thoughts to get the help they need.
Thee Good Place actress, 33, revealed on Twitter on Thursday that she once tried to kill herself.
“Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay” she wrote. “This month, 6 years ago, I tried to take my own life. I’m so lucky that I survived, and went on to use EMDR to treat my severe PTSD. I urge you to hang on just a bit longer and ask for help if you need it. Because things can turn around. I promise.”
In another tweet, the star added, “There is so much work to do in Improving awareness and mental health care, and we need to further de-stigmatize the conversation around asking for help. While you’re gathering the strength, I recommend the work of @matthaig1 @Ayishat_Akanbi and @scarcurtis ALL my love to you.”
EMDR is a form of psychotherapy that stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and “enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences,” according to the EMDR Institute.
Per the Institute’s website, EMDR therapy helps patients process traumatic memories and feelings and come out on the other side feeling empowered.
“Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR therapy result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes,” the website explains.
On Instagram, Jamil shared her tweets and encouraged people to call helplines if they can’t afford such therapies.
“Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to access affordable therapy,” she said. “But if you can’t, in the mean time, there are helplines ( @crisistextline @giveusashoutinsta ) and community groups online around the world and friends and family who might surprise you as to how supportive they can be.”
“It’s not something you have to tolerate on your own,” she continued. “You have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I feel you. I’ve been there. And it’s a process of radical self forgiveness, patience and care that will help you out. It feels like the pain, nightmares and exhaustion will never end sometimes, but they can. And they will.❤️”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
In an interview with Elle magazine in January, Jamil described EMDR as “a specific kind of therapy that removes the conditioning of irrational thought.”
“So it goes right to the core of the problem,” she said. “It’s very good for PTSD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and OCD—all of which I had. Within a matter of months, it just sort of extracted the root of the problem, which meant that I didn’t have to deal with the symptoms anymore.”
In July, Jamil wrote more about how EMDR worked for her with an Instagram post.
“It’s ok not to be. Well done for just getting through the damn day,” she wrote in the caption under a photo of herself making a pouty face and holding balloons that read “Happy.”
“Nothing wrong or embarrassing about getting help either,” she said. “I had a therapy called EMDR that I used for depression, anxiety, eating disorder issues and PTSD, and if you should be lucky enough to access any mental healthcare I would urge you to spend your money on that before ANYTHING else that isn’t a necessity for your life. Saved my life. Love you. ❤️”
Jamil often gets candid about body image and mental health, and opened up about dealing with anorexia as a teenager in an interview with BuzzFeed last year.
She said that after a math class exercise that involved getting weighed in front of all her classmates, she “stopped eating around then and it developed into full-formed anorexia and I had like body dysmorphia around 14.”
Now, Jamil is “not interested in my appearance,” she told PEOPLE in August.
“I still suffer from body dysmorphia so it can be very distracting for me,” she said. “Doing that has helped me concentrate on progressing and doing things that enrich my life, like watching my career grow and my relationships grow. That’s what gives me a wonderful sense of self.”
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.