Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide that some readers may find upsetting.
Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland has revealed that she came "very, very, very close" to taking her own life.
The Haley Dunphy actress opened up about the extent of her health problems over the past few years in a new interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, explaining she had 16 surgeries in her life, including multiple kidney transplants.
However, she admitted that the pain she has been through took a toll on her mental health and led her to consider ending her life.
"I have an amazing job, an amazing support system, but… after 26, 27 years of just always being sick and being in chronic pain every single day, you don't know when you're going to have the next good day. It's really, really hard," she recalled.
"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 and I didn't want to write it down on paper because I didn't want anyone to find it because that's how serious I was."
DeGeneres then asked the actress how close she came to taking her own life, Hyland saying: "I was very, very, very, very close, yeah."
However, Hyland revealed that a turning point came when she spoke to someone about how she was feeling, continuing: "I finally said it out loud to someone and that someone - I'd been saying, 'I need to go to see a therapist. I think I need to go see a therapist again,' and they were like, 'No, no, why would you see one? You can just talk to me'.
"When I said it out loud, they were like, 'Oh, you need to see a therapist,' and that's when I was like, 'OK, I don't think you're going to help me'.
"I think I need to really do this on my own and really do even more digging and soul-searching,' and just saying it out loud helped immensely because I kept it to myself for months and months at a time and saying it out loud really helped."
She added: "I didn't want anybody to know that I was that close because if they knew, they would try and persuade me."
Hyland also said she hoped her story would encourage others feeling the same way to seek help, stating: "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, but I think talking to someone and saying it out loud really, really makes it sound almost ridiculous and it puts everything into perspective."
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), and Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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