"I was a master at hiding my mental health issues," Ginger Zee said

By Ally Mauch
September 12, 2020 01:45 PM
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Allison Michael Orenstein

Ginger Zee opened up about her struggles with mental health in honor of Suicide Prevention Week this past week.

The Good Morning America meteorologist shared a throwback photo of herself on Instagram Friday, accompanied by a lengthy caption.

“This photo always breaks my heart,” Zee, 38, began. “This was during my first real job on tv at WEYI. This wide, forced smile was not long after my second suicide attempt. Of course no one at work knew. I was a master at hiding my mental health issues. Especially from myself.”

The ABC News star continued, “It is #suicidepreventionweek and I often wonder if there is anything I could go back and say to myself the morning I tried to take my own life. I don’t know if I would have been ready to hear it - I don’t know if this message will help — but I feel it is my duty to talk about it — because I was lucky. Beyond the luck, I had the support and financial ability to get the help I needed to treat my mental health issues. Not everyone has that.”

Zee went on to urge others to reach out for help and provided some resources.

“If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, take it seriously,” she added. “Act immediately. Don’t be afraid to go to the hospital to get urgent help and they can get you to the right type of therapy or medication you may need. For parents and young folks — @childmindinstitute has some great info and support.”

Zee has often been open about her past struggles with mental health, touching on her eating disorder last year after a viewer tweeted that they thought Zee was pregnant.

"Yes! I'm due in a month!!! So glad you asked," Zee replied sarcastically to the viewer at the time, before going on to say she was "just kidding" and not expecting again. (She shares two sons with husband Ben Aaron: Miles Macklin, 2, and Adrian Benjamin, 4.)

The weather expert then touched on her past battle with an eating disorder, explaining to another fan who apologized for "jump[ing] to conclusions" about her body, "Wish it didn't affect me but I'll probably be even harder on myself — anorexia is a difficult disease but I am recovered and these types of comments make me rely heavily on my therapy and self confidence I've been working on for years."

Fellow meteorologist Karen Rogers chimed in on the conversation to praise Zee and chastise those who would come to her with such an inquiry.

"Oh Dear Lord … I saw @Ginger_Zee this morning and thought ‘Wow! She looks fabulous,' " Rogers wrote. "It's awful to be scrutinized when you're doing your job so beautifully. People listen up … unless you're her husband, asking a woman if she's pregnant is NEVER OK!"

"I wish I didn't have that seed of anorexia that still tells me lies — I'm constantly keeping it muted but this challenges me," Zee replied in a tweet to Rogers. "Thank you for your support."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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.