Gisele Bündchen’s life was not always as perfect as it appeared. The supermodel reveals in her new memoir, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, that she once considered suicide and battled panic attacks.
“When I think back to a time in my early 20s, I remember that I felt so helpless that I questioned whether I wanted to live,” Bündchen, 38, recalls in the book, via Radar Online.
The former Victoria’s Secret Angel writes that she once relied on “stimulants and depressants to get me through the day.” She experienced her first panic attack on an airplane in 2003 and they continued for nine months.
“When I got back to New York, this new fear found other ways to show itself,” she recalls of her first attack. “It was as if it were moving from place to place, thing to thing, room to room. Suddenly I didn’t feel right about getting on elevators. I couldn’t breathe.”
Bündchen writes that she turned to two top doctors in New York to help regulate her breathing. However, she later experienced another attack during a massage in her apartment.
“Everything had become a cage,” she recalls, “and I was the animal trapped inside, panting for air.”
Bündchen says she was prescribed Xanax, but she did not want to rely on medication so she threw the pills in the garbage shortly after getting them. These days, she is doing better than ever.
Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life hits bookstores on Tuesday, October 2.
People was first to report the news.