Gisele Bündchen Suffered From Panic Attacks, Suicidal Thoughts During Height of Modeling Career

"I was in tunnels. I couldn't breathe. And then I started being in studios, and I felt, like, suffocated," the supermodel recalled in an upcoming interview with CBS News Sunday Morning.

Gisele Bündchen is opening up about her past struggles with mental health.

In an interview for CBS News Sunday Morning, the supermodel recalled struggling with panic attacks, and even once considered taking her own life as a result of the stress during the height of her modeling career.

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“You know, I was in tunnels. I couldn’t breathe. And then I started being in studios, and I felt, like, suffocated,” Bündchen told journalist Lee Cowan. “I lived on the 9th floor, and I had to go up the stairs because I was afraid I would be stuck on the elevator, and I’d be hyperventilating.”

“You know when you can’t breathe even when the windows are open, you feel like, I don’t want to live like this, you know what I mean?” she added, before Cowan asked, “Did you really think about jumping?”

“Yeah. For, like, a second,” Bündchen admitted in reply.

The 43-year-old previously spoke about her mental health struggles while promoting her memoir, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, back in 2018.

“Things can be looking perfect on the outside, but you have no idea what’s really going on,” Bündchen told People at the time. “I felt like maybe it was time to share some of my vulnerabilities, and it made me realize, everything I’ve lived through, I would never change, because I think I am who I am because of those experiences.”

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After having her first panic attack in 2003 on a small plane, the Brazilian model developed a fear of tunnels, elevators, and other enclosed spaces.

“I had a wonderful position in my career,” she recalled. “I was very close to my family, and I always considered myself a positive person, so I was really beating myself up. Like, ‘Why should I be feeling this?’ I felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel bad, but I felt powerless. Your world becomes smaller and smaller, and you can’t breathe, which is the worst feeling I’ve ever had.”

The panic attacks began overwhelming the model in her own home, which led her to thoughts of suicide.

“I actually had the feeling of, ‘If I just jump off my balcony, this is going to end, and I never have to worry about this feeling of my world closing in,'” she shared.

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Meanwhile, also during her upcoming interview with CBS News Sunday Morning, the mom of two reflected on her divorce from Tom Brady. The former couple — who shares kids Benjamin, 13, and Vivian, 10, — divorced in 2022 after 13 years of marriage.

“I mean, it’s not what I dreamed of and what I hoped for,” she said. “My parents have been married for 50 years, and I really wanted that to happen. But I think you have to accept, you know, sometimes that the way you are in your 20s, it’s sometimes you grow together, sometimes you grow apart. I mean, he’s the father of my kids, you know? So, I always wish him the best, and I’m so grateful that he gave me wonderful children.”

Bündchen also shared how her life has changed since her divorce.

“I’m able to choose more of what I want,” she said. “I think before I was more surviving, and now I’m living, which is different.”

Bündchen’s full interview drops on Sunday.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress.

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