Culture

Kelly Ripa Opens Up About Battling "Severe" Depression And Anxiety That Causes "Physical Pain" And Makes It Hard To Get Out Of Bed

By Gina Florio
·  3 min read
kelly ripa
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You wouldn't think the bubbly, extroverted Kelly Ripa would struggle with anxiety and depression, but she opens up about her mental health struggles in her new memoir called "Live Wire."

Kelly Ripa hosts one of the most popular morning talk shows in the nation: "Live with Regis and Kelly." She and Regis Philbin hosted the show together for 10 years, after which she hosted "Live" with Michael Strahan and now with Ryan Seacrest. But while you may see Kelly as an enthusiastic, fun-spirited host, she sometimes struggles to keep it together on camera.

Kelly Ripa Opens Up about Battling "Severe" Depression and Anxiety That Causes "Physical Pain" and Makes It Hard To Get Out of Bed

Kelly, 51, decided to share her experience and give people more insight into who she is when the cameras are off. "I have a severe case of social anxiety disorder, and I tend to say awkward or inappropriate things when under duress," she writes in her new book. "People think that because I’m an extrovert on television I am one in real life. Surprise. That’s why they call it acting."

She also says she was "miserable" when she first started hosting "Live" because it was a time when women weren't "in the room where decisions are being made." Through the years, she has continued to struggle with depression and anxiety. She shares intimate details about her experiences.

"I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I almost always wake up crying at the thought of having to go to work," she continued. "I feel like I’m in physical pain. My hair hurts. I have no energy at all."

"I’m very easily distracted. When I’m playing with my kids, I feel like I’ve forgotten to do something at work, and when I’m at work, I feel like I’ve forgotten to do something for my kids. I cry in the shower. I cry myself to sleep. I cry backstage. I sometimes want to cry in the middle of the show. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe." 

But Kelly says going to therapy regularly over the last decade has helped her immensely. She "spent ten years focusing on my marriage, work life, childhood, and all the things that I wanted to fix about myself."

In an interview with ET, she says she couldn't have gotten through all of this without her husband, Mark Consuelos, who she married in 1996. They have three children together.

"I think of this book really as a love letter to Mark," she said. "That’s why I dedicated the book to him, because he really has walked through most of my adult life with me. He really is such a great husband, he's a great father, he's a great guy, he's a great friend. That's the greatest thing he is, a great friend. That's the thing, if you have him as a friend, you've hit the jackpot."