"I fell off the grid because I deal with depression and I stopped taking, like, my meds that one week, ‘cause I thought I was good," Kathryn Dennis admits

By Natalie Stone
June 27, 2018 04:49 PM

Kathryn Dennis is opening up about the effects of her battle with depression.

After disappearing for a week on a recent episode of Southern Charm, the mother of two gets candid with costar Shep Rose about how she “fell off the grid” as a result of her diagnosis.

“Everybody was worried that you had fallen off the wagon and all this different stuff,” Rose tells Dennis in Entertainment Tonight‘s sneak peek at Thursday’s episode.

“See, the thing is, it had nothing to do with, like, alcohol or weed,” Dennis explains.

“It’s simply, like, I fell off the grid because I deal with depression and I stopped taking, like, my meds that one week, ‘cause I thought I was good. And, like, I knew everyone’s immediate go-to is, ‘Oh, she went to rehab! It must be she fell off the wagon.’ It sucks, because it’s not even a problem, but it’s, like, my label,” says Dennis.

Initially, Rose admits he “thought it was drugs and alcohol,” explaining, “To analyze the present, one has to look at the past. But, God, she’s come a long way.”

He tells Dennis, “Fall off the grid all you want, just give us a heads up that you’re okay,” and adds, “because everybody who worried about you really does care. Everybody loves you, so, you know?”

Upon hearing those comforting words, Dennis gets visibly emotional and says “sorry” as Rose comforts her.

Last week’s episode — aptly titled “Gone Girl” — opened with Dennis skipping a boxing class with Naomi Olindo, who fails to track her down. By the end of the hour, though, she resurfaced at Danni Baird’s home, where she revealed while completing rehab in California in 2016, she was officially diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

“I am so excited that you are actually alive right now! Oh my God, don’t ever do this to me again,” Baird exclaimed. “Where the heck have you been, and why didn’t you respond to me, and why did you almost give me a heart aneurysm?”

“I don’t know, it’s really difficult to explain. With everything going on like the Ashley stuff, it’s just been a lot, and I felt like I literally just took a mental break and shut my phone off, locked myself in my apartment,” Dennis said. “It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t see anyone’s messages until like two days ago.”

“Which was a week!” Baird cried.

“But nothing actually went on,” said Dennis. “I literally just shut off the world.”

WATCH: Thomas Ravenel and Ex Kathryn Dennis Spend Father’s Day Weekend at Beach Amid Assault Claims

Dennis has been clashing with her ex Thomas Ravenel’s new girlfriend Ashley Jacobs all season long, and things came to a head when the Bravo newbie criticized her parenting skills with daughter Kensie, 3, and son Saint, almost 18 months. (In 2016, Dennis lost custody and entered rehab after she tested positive for drugs, but she’s been focused on rebuilding her life ever since. Ravenel currently stands accused of sexually assaulting two women, which he has denied.)

Dennis’ friends had been concerned that she’d relapsed … or worse. “Kathryn, I swear to God, I did not know if you were alive,” Baird said. “And it scared me to death.”

“I know, but you have to understand, it’s difficult to explain to people that maybe don’t deal with depression,” Dennis said, tearing up. “I have been on meds for a while now, dealing with depression. And as far as living sober and being happy that way, I’ve been doing well. I got a job now. I thought to myself, I don’t need these. So I just stopped taking them and I didn’t really realize how it would affect me, and it really did. It increased my anxiety. It increased my emotional response. And it snowballed. And I’ve been in a way kind of ashamed.”

“Getting this diagnosis gave me some relief as to why I was choosing, irresponsibly, to numb out those emotions,” she told the camera. “That being said, I now take anti-depressants.”

Southern Charm airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.