RHOD: Stephanie Hollman and Kary Brittingham's Daughter Olivia Discuss Past Struggles with Suicidal Thoughts
"I've always dealt with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember," Stephanie Hollman said in Tuesday's episode
On Tuesday's Real Housewives of Dallas, Hollman, 40, sat down with Brittingham and her 20-year-old daughter Olivia to discuss their experiences with depression and suicidal thoughts.
"I can relate to a lot of things [Kary] tells me you're going through," Hollman, who has previously opened up about a suicidal attempt in her twenties, told Olivia. "I've always dealt with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember."
Olivia explained that she "started getting depression" about two and a half years ago.
"It was really bad last year," she shared in the conversation. "Nothing mattered. I was like, 'Why am I even going to school?' I could crash my car and not care. I was driving and texted my mom and said, 'If I don't see a therapist soon, something bad is going to happen.' Within a day she found me a really good therapist, who I still see now."
"It's really beautiful that you have your mom because a lot of people don't and they deal with it on their own and they spiral," Hollman replied. "A lot of times, especially when you're in a low place, you don't feel like people see you. Like you're in your own head screaming and nobody cares."
Hollman then told Olivia about her past suicide attempt, saying, "there was a time when I was in my twenties where something happened with a relationship and I spiraled like I've never spiraled before."
"With my parents, I think it kind of changed them," Hollman told cameras during a confessional. "They were terrified all of the time that if something bad happened and I was having a hard time and that I was having a hard time emotionally that I was going to do something drastic ... As a mom I look at it very differently now. How scary that has to be if you don't know what your kid is going to do or if they're going to harm themselves. It's got to be really scary."
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"It made me realize that I needed to get a hold of everything," Hollman told Olivia in their conversation. "I started taking anti-depressants, started going to therapy."
"I don't think that I'll get to that place again but if I do, I definitely won't be the only one who knows about it," Olivia said. "I was wondering, when you feel it coming what is something that can make it manageable and not intense?"
Hollman answered that she practices "self-compassion."
"Hand on your heart and then I do breathing," she said. "I'll do that until my breathing has slowed. If you can control the physical everything else will follow suit."
"It's really comforting to see Stephanie with a happy family knowing that she's felt that sad and that alone and that empty before," Olivia told cameras. "How well she's doing and just thriving in life gives me hope that that's going to be me one day."
"What I've experienced with Olivia really taught me how to be softer and listen and communicate," Brittingham told cameras after their chat. "It made me go, 'Oh my gosh, she's right.' I never had a mom teaching me. So I have to learn with my kids how to be a better parent, a better friend, a better person."
In January, Brittingham explained to cameras that her daughter had "been struggling with depression for a few years, which I didn't really know about until last year."
Olivia told her mom that for "a lot of people, it's really hard to tell" that they struggle.
"For me, I didn't know how to act normal because I didn't even feel normal. I just reacted to things," Olivia said. "I didn't really think about things or have any care. For me, I realize that talking about it and telling my parents probably was going to help me most."
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Brittingham then revealed to cameras that she had received a text message from her daughter last year asking for help and sharing that she was struggling with suicidal thoughts. "That was the hardest text I've ever gotten," the Bravo star said.
"I wonder if I should've been more like, 'Hey, let's go to lunch,' or, 'How are you doing?'" Brittingham told Olivia. "I feel like I could've been trying to engage more."
But Olivia shared that "just letting a kid know that you're there for them is really the most you can do."
The Real Housewives of Dallas airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
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 tosuicidepreventionlifeline.org.