Entertainment TV Sandra Oh Saw a Therapist to 'Stay Grounded' During 'Traumatic' Rise to Fame on 'Grey's Anatomy' Sandra Oh opened up about how she handled the instant success from her time on the hit medical drama By Vanessa Etienne Vanessa Etienne Twitter Vanessa Etienne is an Emerging Content Writer-Reporter for PEOPLE. Prior to joining in April 2021, she served as a reporter for Men's Health Magazine and BET Digital after freelancing for publications such as The New York Times and Everyday Health. Originally from northern Virginia, Vanessa is a proud Haitian American with a love for R&B music and mental health topics. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's in Communication and Public Relations before earning her master's degree in Journalism from the City University of New York. People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 30, 2021 10:20 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Sandra Oh is reflecting on her rise to fame after Grey's Anatomy. Over the weekend, the 50-year-old actress appeared on Sunday Today with Willie Geist and opened up about her "traumatic" experience becoming a household name after the success of the ABC medical drama. Oh played Dr. Cristina Yang for the first 10 seasons of Grey's before announcing her departure in 2013. The performance earned her her first Golden Globe, as well as five Emmy nominations. Despite the success of the ABC series, which launched her to critical acclaim, the actress told Geist the sudden fame was definitely an adjustment. "To be perfectly honest, it was traumatic," Oh said. "The reason why I'm saying that is the circumstances you need to do your work is with a lot of privacy." She continued, "So when one loses one's anonymity, you have to build skills to still try and be real. I went from not being able to go out, like hiding in restaurants, to then being able to manage attention, manage expectation, while not losing the sense of self." Sandra Oh Says She Won't Return to Grey's Anatomy: 'I Have Moved On' Karen Neal/Walt Disney Television via Getty Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. The actress then shared that she was able to cope with the fame and new lifestyle because she had a good therapist. "I'm not joking. It's very, very important," she said about dealing with her mental health. "You just have to work at finding your way to stay grounded. And a lot of times that's by saying no." Oh left Grey's Anatomy seven years ago and fans have been hoping she might make a return to the series one day as season 17 of the medical drama welcomed back a number of former stars. Among those that returned were Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, T.R. Knight as George O'Malley, Chyler Leigh as Lexie Grey, Eric Dane as Mark Sloan, and Sarah Drew as April Kepner. sandra oh. Getty Images However, in May, Oh shut down the possibility of reprising her role as Cristina Yang, noting on the Los Angeles Times' podcast Asian Enough that she has "moved on." "It's very rare, I would say, to be able to see in such a way the impact of a character. In some ways, you do your work as a bubble and you let it go," she said at the time. "I left that show, my God, seven years ago almost. So in my mind, it's gone. But for a lot of people, it's still very much alive. And while I understand and I love it, I have moved on." "I love it, though," she added. "And this is also why I really appreciate the show … that I still get asked this." FRANK OCKENFELS/ABC Sandra Oh Celebrates 50th Birthday with a Special Tribute to Her Favorite Roles: 'My Muses' Since her exit, Oh has moved on with other projects, including the hit series Killing Eve, which will return for a fourth and final season next year, and Netflix's latest series The Chair. She encouraged fans to follow along as she advocates for more representation of the Asian American community. "Please come with me to Killing Eve and on to The Chair and on to the other projects," Oh said on Asian Enough. "Come see the characters that I'm playing that are much more deeply integrated in … the Asian American experience."