Fans love Sarah Hyland as Haley Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family, but behind-the-scenes, the actress was silently suffering.
“At the time I was 26, after 26/27 years of just always being sick and being in chronic pain every single day and you don’t know when you’re going to have the next good day, it’s really, really hard,” Hyland, now 28, told Ellen DeGeneres on the Friday, January 11, episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I would write letters in my head to loved ones of why I did it and my reasoning behind it, how it was nobody’s fault. I didn’t want to write it down on paper because I didn’t want anybody to find it. That’s how serious I was.”
When asked by DeGeneres how “close” she was to actually taking her own life, Hyland added, “I was very, very, very close.”
The sitcom star has been open about her kidney dysplasia diagnosis in the past. She explained to DeGeneres that the series of surgeries she had to undergo over the years led to chronic pain and depression.
“I finally said it out loud to someone … Just saying it out loud helped immensely because I kept it to myself for months and months at a time,” she explained. “I didn’t want anybody to know that I was that close, because if they knew they would try to persuade me.”
“Every person with their anxiety or depression or if you have suicidal thoughts, every individual is different, so I wouldn’t just rely on everything that I say. I’m just sharing my story,” Hyland continued. “But I think talking to someone and saying it out loud really, really makes it sound almost ridiculous and it puts it into perspective.”
Hyland has also credited boyfriend Wells Adams for his support over the past year. She told DeGeneres that she met the Bachelor in Paradise alum shortly before she had a kidney transplant.
“He’s amazing,” she told DeGeneres. “He’s the best man I’ve ever met.”
Adams opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about Hyland’s health battle in December.
“Imagine having a vital organ replaced. Imagine having 16 surgeries, going to hundreds of doctors visits and taking thousands of pills. Imagine losing crazy weight because of dialysis, medication side effects and stress. Then imagine, having to do it all over again. This time keeping it quiet while you recovered, all while trolls on the internet judged you for your appearance,” he explained. “Oh, and throw in filming the funniest show on TV and executive producing and starring in a movie … and never breaking down. Never losing it. I know Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman on film, but Sarah is the real-life version.”
Adams also told Us earlier this month that the couple are “definitely” going to get engaged in the future.
“Everyone thinks [Sarah and I are] engaged right now. … We are not engaged, let me just say that,” he said. “We just moved in together, so I think we’re still kind of, like, feeling each other out, but … it’s gonna happen eventually.”
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If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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