"I used to scream out that I was having anxiety and everyone kind of looked at me funny, like, 'What's wrong with this kid?'" said the reality star

By Ally Mauch
December 17, 2020 04:00 PM

Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino is continuing to open up about his mental health experience.

The reality star, 33, appeared on this week's episode of the Click Bait with Bachelor Nation podcast, joking to co-hosts Tayshia Adams, Joe Amabile and Natasha Parker that he "had anxiety before it was cool."

"I had anxiety on TV before it was like, a thing," he said. "I used to scream out that I was having anxiety and everyone kind of looked at me funny, like, 'What's wrong with this kid?' But now there's a lot more awareness behind it and a lot of people are talking about it."

Guadagnino, who currently stars in the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation reboot, recalled the moment he left the original series in 2012 in the middle of season 5 to address his clinical anxiety.

"I'm an over-thinker and I've had it since I was a little kid and, as you guys know, being on a reality show is someone with anxiety's worst nightmare because you're locked up," he said, noting that the cast used to film the MTV show without interruption for extended periods of time.

"You can't read a book, you can't turn on the TV. I mean, back in the day, we were ... closed off from the whole world," he continued. "At that particular time when we were filming, we had just filmed for like, three months straight and my body and my brain just couldn't take it anymore."

"A lot of it is physical for me and I just hadn't slept in like, a week," he added. "And if I don't sleep I become like, manic, I'm just not myself anymore — and I was like, 'Guys, I've got to get out of here and just sleep.' And that's what made me end up leaving."

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Over the years, the The Keto Guido Cookbook author said he "developed a toolkit" of strategies for managing his anxiety, including working out.

"As you grow older, you start to recognize and see the anxiety for what it is, instead of letting it totally consume you, like I used to do in the past," he explained. "I always tell everybody now, my biggest message is to never seek perfection with it and never seek to be cured of it, because you're never going to be perfect and that's never going to happen."

"It's really just about managing the stresses that happen that come to you on a day-to-day basis," he continued. "Because you will face those stresses and it's just about managing them, handling them and getting through to the next day."

Guadagnino also said that the tools he's developed helped him when the coronavirus pandemic first hit, because he knew how to deal with his stressors.

"When the pandemic came around, it was actually easier for someone like me," he said. "Because I'm very used to dealing with my obsessive negative mind and laughing at it, almost, from going through the stuff I've gone through in the past."

If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.