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Gabourey Sidibe gets real about depression and eating disorders

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10: Actress Gabourey Sidibe attends the opening night of The Color Purple at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on December 10, 2015 in New York, New York. Photo by Raymond Hagans/Steed Media Service

In addition to recently revealing she underwent weight-loss surgery, “Empire” star Gabourey Sidibe, 33, is getting real about her bout with depression and bulimia in her new memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.

In a clip of Sidibe’s Audible audiobook, shared via People, the Oscar nominee said, “Here’s the thing about therapy and why it’s so important. I love my mom, but there’s so much I couldn’t talk to her about during my Hoe Phase. I couldn’t tell her that I couldn’t stop crying and that I hated everything about myself. Whenever I did try to open up, my mom seemed unconcerned. When I was sad about something, she told me to ‘get a thicker skin.’ When I was upset, she told me to ‘stop nitpicking.’ My mom has always had faith that things would be okay, but saying ‘tomorrow will be a better day’ wasn’t enough for me.”

“When I first told her I was depressed, she laughed at me. Literally. Not because she’s a terrible person, but because she thought it was a joke. How could I not be able to feel better on my own, like her, like her friends, like normal people? So I just kept thinking my sad thoughts — thoughts about dying,” she continued in the book.

According to Sidibe, everything came to a head during college when she began suffering from panic attacks and stopped eating, often for days at a time. “Often, when I was too sad to stop crying, I drank a glass of water and ate a slice of bread, and then I threw it up,” she added. “After I did, I wasn’t as sad anymore; I finally relaxed. So I never ate anything, until I wanted to throw up — and only when I did could I distract myself from whatever thought was swirling around my head.”

After opening up about thoughts of suicide, Sidibe revealed she was diagnosed with both depression and bulimia by a healthcare professional and has since continued to manage her mental health condition with treatment such as antidepressants and therapy.

“I found a doctor and told her everything that was wrong with me. I’d never run down the entire list before, but as I heard myself, I could sense that dealing with this on my own was definitely no longer an option,” she writes. “The doctor asked me if I wanted to kill myself. I said, ‘Meh, not yet. But when I do, I know how I’ll do it.’ I wasn’t afraid to die, and if there was a button I could’ve pushed to erase my existence from earth, I would have pushed it because it would have been easier and less messy than offing myself. According to the doctor, that was enough.”

This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare is in stores now. Will you be buying? Sound off in the comment section below.