“Scandal” actress Kerry Washington is opening up about her mental health amid her “toxic” eating disorder, even admitting she contemplated ending her life.
Kerry Washington Admits She Contemplated Ending Her Life
Kerry Washington sat-down interview with “Good Morning America”‘s Robin Roberts for a “20/20” special, which will air Thursday, the actress opened up about how she contemplated suicide due to her eating disorder, and was “trying to destroy myself.”
“I could feel how the abuse was a way to really hurt myself, as if I didn’t want to be here,” she told Roberts in a preview for the sit-down “20/20” special which aired on “Good Morning America” Thursday. “It scared me that I could not want to be here because I was in so much pain.”
When Roberts asked her if she considered suicide, Washington responded, “Yeah. Yeah … The behavior was tiny little acts of trying to destroy myself.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 21, 2023
Washington went on to admit she prayed for her to get better. “The first thing that put me on my knees — like the first time I got on my knees and prayed to some power greater than myself to say like, ‘I can’t do this, I need some help’ — was with my eating disorder,” she told Roberts.
“I was good at performing ‘perfect.’ I was good at control. I could party all night and drink and smoke and have sex and still show up and have good grades,” the actress continued. “I knew how to manage; I was so high-functioning and the food took me out. The body-dysmorphia, the body-hatred, it was beyond my control and really led me to feeling like, ‘I need help for somebody, or something, bigger than me because I’m in trouble and I don’t know how to live with this.’”
Washington’s Ongoing Struggles
The “Little Fires Everywhere” actress previously opened up about her eating disorder in an interview with Essence, admitting she felt “shame” she felt about it.
“I’d eat anything and everything…sometimes until I passed out,’ she told the magazine in 2020. “But then, because I had this personality that was driven toward perfectionism, I would tell people I was at the library, but instead go to the gym and exercise for hours and hours and hours. Keeping my behavior a secret was painful and isolating. There was a lot of guilt and a lot of shame.”
Washington said she began therapy, which has helped her cope.
“Learning how to love myself and my body is a lifelong process,” she said. “But I definitely don’t struggle the way I used to. Therapy helped me realize that maybe it’s okay for me to communicate my feelings. Instead of literally stuffing them down with food, maybe it’s okay for me to express myself.”
Kerry Washington Is In A Much Better Place
Luckily, the “Scandal” actress is in a better place, though she still has to keep herself in check and be aware of her disorder.
“I wouldn’t say that I never act out with food, it’s just very different now,” she admitted in the “20/20” preview. “It’s not to the extreme. There’s no suicidal ideation, that is not where I am anymore. But I know, ‘Oh, I’m really in this chocolate, this is good information for me.’ The bottom has gotten a lot higher where just a little discomfort with it is enough for me to know this is a way to check myself. But it definitely looks a lot healthier. It’s a lot easier. It’s a lot saner than it used to be.”