Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee Talks Depression
In 2011, just days before starting her job as Good Morning America‘s chief meteorologist, a 30-year-old Ginger Zee checked into a mental-health treatment center, according to a her new memoir, Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One.
“I was in this place where I knew my personal life could affect this outstanding job and opportunity that I had,” Zee told People in a recent interview. “For the first time in a long time, I wanted to live and I knew that.”
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Zee was previously diagnosed with depression at the age of 21 after attempting suicide by pill overdose. Thankfully, her former roommate and ex-boyfriend rushed her to the hospital, and the mixture of over-the-counter meds she’d taken turned to be non-lethal.
“I’d lost all hope,” Zee told People. “I just shut down. It wasn’t worth living. I was wasting people’s time and space.”
The season 22 Dancing with the Stars contestant told People she believes a disheartening job outlook after college and the prescription she takes for narcolepsy, which “amplifies” emotions, prompted her suicidal episode.
“I didn’t question it,” said Zee, now 36. “I didn’t sit there and think about it. I just went for it. It’s scary, the way your mind can overpower what is real and what is right. Now as a mother, to think that that could be my child? That is frightening.”
She and husband Ben Aaron have a 2-year-old son, Adrian, and are expecting a second boy in February. Zee said support from her mother, husband, and the incredible therapist she’s been working with since her pre-GMA stint in the mental-health facility keep her strong.
She also credits motherhood for helping her maintain perspective: “You have bigger things than [your own problems]. That has helped a lot — being a mother has helped incredibly.”